The wiring in your home is the highway of power that feeds everything electrical in the household. Over time, parts of it can become damaged or deteriorated and may present a serious fire or shock hazard. But age alone doesn't mean wiring is inherently unsafe, nor does old wiring automatically have to be replaced. The oldest type of wiring system found in homes is called knob-and-tube , named for the insulating knobs and tubes are used to run the wiring along and through the house framing. Knob-and-tube wiring was run as individual wires—one black hot wire and one white neutral wire—throughout the home. The ceramic insulators keep the wires from touching each other and from touching the wood and other combustible materials.
Some newer houses may likewise have a receptacle that was not grounded properly or the ground wire may have become loose or disconnected. Doing this yourself can help save you from hiring an expensive electrician, and it's a relatively simple procedure with the right preparation and know-how. Before you attempt to ground an outlet yourself, check your local electrical codes and schedule any required inspections. Turn off the breakers to those outlets and remove the screws attaching the cover plate over the outlet.
What Is Required to Install Ground Wiring in a House Built in the 1950s?
The use of such an adapter avoids the need to replace receptacles, but is potentially hazardous if the grounding tab is not connected to electrical ground. Cheater plugs are also used to break ground loops in audio systems. Cheater plugs were previously available with a short flexible grounding wire rather than a screw tab. This allows use of the second duplex outlet that does not have a faceplate screw in the correct location for the screw tab. The grounding wire would be wrapped around the adapter to reach the faceplate screw.
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