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How To Extract A Broke Ground Prong from an Outlet

By Dave Rongey - Summary:

Extracting a Broken Ground Prong From an Outlet – If the ground prong is hallow then insert a small screw driver into the space and twisting it slightly until it is wedged then pull out gently.

How to Get That Broken Prong Out of an Outlet

Electrical Question: The grounding prong broke off for vacuum when the cord was pulled from across the room (bad deal).

This electrical wiring question came from: Mike, a Handyman from Durango, Delaware.
See more about Home Wiring for Delaware

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your home electrical repair question Mike.
Mike, bummer deal – but stuff happens.  Yes, it’s always a good idea to turn off the circuit before trying to pry the broken prong out of the outlet. I have listed some ideas below.

How to Extract a Broken Ground Prong From an Outlet

Skill Level: Beginner to Intermediate.
Tools Required: Basic Electricians Pouch Hand Tools, needle nose pliers and a Voltage Tester.
Estimated Time: Depends on personal level experience, ability to work with tools and the number of outlets that will be replaced.
Precaution: Identify the outlet circuit, turn it OFF and  Tag it with a Note before working with the wiring.

  1. First, turn off the power to the outlet circuit.
  2. Use a small needle nose pair of pliers to grab the prong and pull it out.
  3. If the ground prong is hallow then insert a small screw driver into the space and twisting it slightly until it is wedged then pull out gently.
  4. Find a small screw and screw it into the hollow ground prong and the pull it out.
  5. If all else fails then replace the outlet with a new one.

The Following will assist you with electrical outlets:

Electrical Grounding

For more information about Grounding
Electrical Grounding
Electrical Grounding Methods and Requirements

This link is helpful as a Handyman
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2 Responses to “How To Extract A Broke Ground Prong from an Outlet”
  1. Dave Rongey says:

    Hi LBL,
    I understand your concern about loosing the ground prong on the cord. The point is that the cord did have a ground prong and if it has broken off then one should be provided. The ground can only be restored and provided if the cord was replaced or if a new cord cap or plug-in was installed, therefore this should be done.
    As for other info you read on the internet, Be Very Careful! Is the information coming from an Experienced Licensed Electrician with years of documented experience?

  2. LazyBoy Lounger says:

    OK so I already grabbed the protruding, broken ground plug with a pair of pliers and yanked it out. Then I plugged the now two-pronged plug into a different outlet. Everything seems fine but some websites warn of imminent electrocution. One idea is to get a two-prong to three-prong converter to go between the broken plug and the outlet, but would it really provide any additional safety? Cutting the power cord and putting on a new plug seems likely to risk more problems than it would solve.