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Replacing a Non-Grounding Outlet

These outlets are uncommon in more modern homes, but in older homes they are usually in the majority. These outlets have no grounding hole and will accept only a two-prong plug. The outlet boxes will not have a grounding wire (green or bare wire). If you remove your outlet and discover that the box behind it is grounded (has a green screw inside it anchoring a bare or green wire), you should take advantage of your good fortune and refer to our instructions on Replacing a Grounding Outlet.

To replace a non-grounding outlet rated 15 or 20 amps, 120 volts, first disable the power, remove the cover plate and test the outlet to make sure the power is off. Test every terminal screw that secures a wire. If the wire ends look dirty or worn, you may need to strip the wires. Take the outlet with you to the hardware store to ensure that you get a new one with the same amp and voltage ratings as the old one. Wrap the outlet box's wires clockwise around the appropriate terminal screws, tighten the screws gently to secure the wires and anchor the outlet in the box. Replace the cover plate before restoring power to the area.