Why Outlet Adapters are Not Safe and What the Alternatives Are
The Problem with 2Prong Ungrounded Outlets: The Risks Involved when Using Adapters and Solutions to Consider, Upgrade the Wiring or Install a Ground Wire to Make it Safe
Possible Risks when using 3Hole Outlet Adapters
Electrical Question: I live in an old apartment, and it only has 2 plug outlets.
- I have to use an a 3 hole adapter when using the wall outlets.
- I bought a Nina soft spin dryer, and the product’s instructions indicated that , not to use an extension cord or adapter, because it may cause power shortage and lead to a fire.
- I was wondering if it’s okay, to use this product with an adapter, even though it warns me not too.
- If I use it, will it do damage to the product?
- You see I use adapter for other products that probably warns the same thing, but nothing serious has happen.
Please help, Thank you so much!
This electrical wiring question came from Jen, in San Jose, California.
Thanks for your electrical wiring question Jen.
The Problem with 2Prong Ungrounded Outlets
The Risks Involved when Using Adapters and Solutions to Consider
- The Problem with an Ungrounded Outlet
- The 2 plug outlets indicate that a ground wire is not available, and most newer appliances do require a ground wire which ensures protection for the equipment and the user, so with this in mind I would advise you not to use an adapter for the dryer.
- Keep in mind that using an adapter will not create a ground connection unless it is found that there is a circuit ground that is bonded to the outlet and box and the adapter has a bonding wire that can be fastened to the outlet cover metal screw, however if the apartment is older then this is unlikely.
- Voiding the Warranty of the Equipment
- Another reason not to use an adapter is that it will most likely void the warranty of the equipment by using an adapter, so if anything should go wrong with the equipment then you have to deal with the repairs.
- Upgrade the Wiring or Install a Ground Wire to Make it Safe
- You may ask the apartment management or owner of the property if they could have an electrician install a ground wire to the outlet, or obtain permission to have one installed.
- Either way, it is best not to use an adapter and make arrangements to have a ground wire installed so you can use your new dryer.
Resources about Wiring Outlets and Electric Dryers
Wiring Electrical Outlets for the Home
Home electrical wiring includes 110 volt outlet receptacles which are common place in every home. See how to wire electrical outlets.
3Wire and 4Wire Configurations for Clothes Dryers
See an electric dryer installation with a typical 220 Volt electric power cord wiring system with 3-wire or 4-wire electric dryer, or a 3-wire or 4-wire outlet, how the electric dryer is wired and what to do if your cord does not match the plug.
Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all Electric Wiring Projects.
The Safest Way to Test Electrical Devices and Identify Electric Wiring!The Non-Contact Electrical Tester
This is a testing tool that I have had in my personal electrical tool pouch for years, and is the first test tool I grab to help identify electrical wiring. It is a Non-contact tester, [amazon.com], I use for the detection of Standard Voltage in Cables, Cords, Circuit Breakers, Lighting Fixtures, Switches, Outlets and Wires. Simply insert the end of the tester into an outlet, lamp socket, or hold the end of the tester against the wire you wish to test. Very handy and easy to use.
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