Fusion Electric Blog

The Three Prong Adapter: Are They Safe?

The three- or two-prong adapter, which is also called a cheater plug, allows you to connect a three-pronged plug to a non-grounded receptacle that only has two slots. These are mainly used for plugging in electronics and appliances to the older two-prong receptacles.

Uses for a Three-Prong Adapter

Many of the items available for purchase today require a third prong for sufficient protection. Some of these items include gaming consoles, televisions, computer towers, and dishwashers. If you live in an older house that doesn’t have very many – or any – of the three-pronged, grounded outlets, you may be tempted to use one of the three-prong adapters to get around this problem and continue using your devices. It is going to work, but if it is safe for your appliance or electronics or you, is something to consider.

Advantages of Using Cheater Plugs

With cheater plugs you can use electric devices in areas where you wouldn’t be able to usually. You can purchase the three-prong adapter at virtually any store you go to and they don’t require anything to be re-wired to start using them.

Potential Disadvantages of a Cheater Plug

The cheater plug isn’t designed to be a safe solution to power three-pronged electrical devices. Most electronics include the third prong to help protect them from electrical malfunctions, electrical surges, and fires. If you remove that functionality it is going to become easier for your electrical device to break and cause even more damage.

The grounding adapter doesn’t function the same way a grounded circuit does. If there’s an electrical issue, such as an electrical surge, the three-prong adapter isn’t going to provide adequate protection and may cause an electrical fire or electrocution. There are many people who aren’t aware of the negative aspects and they assume that because these items are sold in most stores, they are safe for using in the home.

Replacement of a Wall Outlet

If there are only two-prong outlets in your home, a better and safer option is to replace them. A two-prong outlet is unsafe, outdated, and it can’t keep up with the demand of modern electrical devices. When you update your wall outlets from the two to the three prongs, it may only require that a grounding wire is added. The grounding wire is going to divert the electrical currents to the ground, using a copper pipe or grounding rod if there is an electrical issue.

Installation of a GFCI Outlet

An even better and safer option is to replace all of your old outlets with a GFCI wall outlet. These help to protect against electrocution and are usually required around a source of water, such as in the kitchen or bathroom.

If you are ready to upgrade your wall outlets and want to stop using cheater plugs, then call an electrician for help. They can help you determine what the best course of action is to make your outlets safer and able to handle modern electrical loads.

Looking for electrician services in Kansas City?  Contact Fusion Electric today.