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Old 08-14-2003, 07:02 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Electrical Question

I was not sure where else I could post this, but this is for any electricians out there, or people who may know about these kind of things.

I moved into a new apartment recently and none of the outlets are 3-prong. Someone had mentioned to me that this was against code or something to that effect. When I asked the maintenance people to replace the outlets, they just gave me adaptors.
Aside from this being a liability to my equipment, is there any way to get the maintenance people to change them to 3-prong outlets properly?How big of a project is it to change them to 3-prong?

Thanks

-Dan
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Old 08-14-2003, 07:11 AM   #2 (permalink)
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If the wiring is not "two wire with ground" there is no way to have a three prong outlet, that works correctly, without rewiring your apartment.

This would be against code in a NEW construction but evidently your apartment building is quite old. In a multilpe story apartment building it may be necessary to remove the wall board to replace all the wiring. I can't imagine that the owners would go to the trouble unless they were forced to.

If it WAS wired with "two wire with ground" they would only have to change the outlets.
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Old 08-14-2003, 07:25 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Rockogre put it better then I ever possibly could
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Old 08-14-2003, 08:38 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Depending on the locality as well. In the town where I live, when the ownership of a building transfers to another person, the building must be brought up to code, which would include bringing the wiring up to code. However, if the owner of that building has been the same person for many years then that person doesn't need to bring it up to code.
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Old 08-14-2003, 09:30 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Here's a good article on two vs. three prong devices: http://electronics.howstuffworks.com/question110.htm
Take note of the last paragraph "What happens if you cut off the ground prong or use a cheater plug so you can plug a three-prong appliance into a two-prong outlet? Nothing really -- the appliance will still operate. What you have done, however, is disable an important safety feature that protects you from electric shock if a wire comes loose."
I suggest you be very very careful with electric appliances in your apartment.
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Old 08-14-2003, 09:41 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I'm currently rewiring my apartment which is 2 prong to full grounded wiring with dedicated circuits for AC and computers and chaging the circuit box.... it's just a 1 bedroom apartment around 800 sq ft....

it's costing me US$5,000, and since he's doing that I'm adding some ceiling fans and a couple other fixtures, which I think is about US$1,000 of it....
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Old 08-14-2003, 08:14 PM   #7 (permalink)
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If the outlet boxes are metal, and connected to each other with metal conduit, and provided that the said boxes and conduit are grounded properly, you can go to Home Depot or Lowe's and buy a $0.39 self-grounding receptacle. Obviously if the boxes are not metal, or otherwise not grounded, this will not satisfy any codes or safety concerns. My 1924 house is this way -- metal boxes and conduit with only two wires, but since all are grounded, this is how I fixed the two-prong situation. hope this helps.
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Old 08-14-2003, 10:03 PM   #8 (permalink)
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You should get the adapter that has a metal tab that can go under the cover plate screw. If what philthy said is correct in your apartment, that screw will be grounded.
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