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Frequently Asked Questions

1. How to legally replace two prong plug (receptacle) with a three prong outlet

The dangerous two prong outlets are rather inconvenient in use and bring a lot of safety hazard for your family. The additional prong on a plug has a role to give fault a path in the event the hot wire or anything that is connected to should short out.

Electrical shock is caused by a lack of a ground path i.e. a metal light fixture could become energized on its exterior, and the lack of grounding will not allow the breaker to trip.

It is not simple to replace a two prong plug with a three prong plug. In situation where wiring system is not bonded to ground it is illegal to fix. The thing you can do on your own is that you can check every plug in your house with a tester. Such a tester costs only a few dollars. A three prong plug tester is showing “open ground”.

Sometimes the wiring may be grounded but they didn’t put a three prong plugs, because it was cheaper solution. Often there is no wire, or any grounding path. Old type two wire clothe is not uncommon in houses that are 60 years old or so.

In some cases you should replace your two prongs quickly it is especially when:

Solutions are simple:

a) Replace them with a new two prong receptacle

b) Replace it with three prong plug after verifying that you have ground path

2. You do not have a ground, but you want a 3 prong plug?

The best solution is to use a GFI to protect the circuit. It can be done with a breaker or receptacle. There is possibility that a single GFI outlet protects the whole circuit that feeds off of it.

Why this is legal?

GFI receptacle can detect minute levels of leakage current and open the circuit and it does it a lot faster than the breaker would. This is why mostly they are placed near sources of water or outside.With a GFI you wouldn’t feel a tingle in case of any accident. It would instantly shut off power.

In most cases you will need electrician to figure out if you can put in standard plugs or you need a GFI.

If you choose a GFI or it is necessary solution you will need the wires placed correctly and in the right location. At this point you can put a little sticker on each plug with a sign: “no equipment ground” it will be legal. It will keep home inspectors away.

This investment is a very good deal if you want to sell your house in future.

3. Knob and tube wiring – why should I remove it?

This is the first type of household wiring that was installed from about 1880s to the 1930s.

There is no ground conductor in it. There are two wires per circuit. First very important point: IF you have it, you do not have to remove old knob and tube wiring as long as:

Reasons why to replace it with a latest solution:

IF you want to use three prong receptacle on your Knob and Tube wiring there are two ways; add up bonding conductor or install GFCI receptacle. I also have to mention at this point that your surge protection bar for your electronic devices like computer, entertainment equipment will not work, because it needs ground as a reference. GFCI does not provide it.

What can I do?

Contact us we are specialists in such works. Sometimes the installation seems to be hard to put in but due to our 40 years experience in electric works in Canada.

We know what we do.You will be sleeping well and safety knowing that your household wiring is not a danger anymore for your family and your kids are safe when using devices at home.

5. Aluminum wiring

According to Electrical Safety Authority (May 1, 2009 Supersedes FLASH 06-03-FL Aluminum wiring in residential installations)

“Issues with aluminum wiring”

Since January of 2003 the Electrical Safety Authority has received an increasing number of questions about the safety of aluminum wiring. In particular, purchasers or owners of homes built from the mid 1960’s until the late 1970’s with aluminum wiring are finding that many insurers will not provide or renew insurance coverage on such properties unless the wiring is inspected and repaired or replaced as necessary and this work is inspected by ESA and a copy of the certificate of inspection is provided to the insurer. In some cases the insurer may require replacement of the aluminum wiring with copper wiring.

heck with your insurance company for their requirements. Some homes may have a mixture of aluminum and copper wiring. Reported problems with aluminum wiring have been related to the overheating and failure of aluminum wiring terminations. This is due to aluminums tendency to oxidize and its incompatibility with devices designed for use with copper wiring. Warm cover plates or discolouration of switches or receptacles, flickering lights, or the smell of hot plastic insulation may evidence these problems. Each home will be different and must be assessed on its own. It is highly recommended the homeowner hire a licensed electrical contractor who is knowledgeable in the special techniques required for working with and repairing aluminum wiring. The contractor should do an assessment, make the necessary repairs, and have the work inspected by ESA. The homeowner should obtain a copy of the Certificate of Inspection for their records and for their insurance company (if requested).

As mentioned above, where problems exist with aluminum wiring they are usually found at termination points. This necessitates the opening of all outlets (receptacles, switches, fixtures, appliance connections, and in the panelboard) and visually inspecting terminations for signs of failure and overheating without removing or disturbing the devices or wiring. There should be no signs of overheating such as darkened or discoloured connections, melted insulation, etc.

Where problems are found the damaged aluminum conductor should be cut back to remove the damaged portion and then the necessary repairs made”

6. Fuse Panel or a breaker

In case you have a old fuse box in your house that looks like the one on the Picture on the bottom. I would recommend you an upgrade to a breaker box due to following reasons:

1. I can guarantee it is overloaded – nowadays houses require a lot more circuits than the fuses boxes can hold

2. It is old and due to this it may not work properly with your modern appliances It increases a value on house – in case you would like to sell it.

3. It increases a value on house – in case you would like to sell it.

4. Insurance companies raise rates or can cancel your policy for home insurance.

5. It brings a fire hazard to your place – mostly people oversize the fuses and the wires get very hot while not blowing the fuse.

6. It may be difficult to tell whether fuse is blown comparing to a breaker.

7. You can’t have any more circuits (you may have less than 12), while a new panel can have 32 breakers and up.

8. When a breaker trips, you don’t have to go to the store to get a new one.

9. When you look at the face of the fuse panel, it is hard to tell if it has a proper fuse size – you may need to take the cover off to determine wire size.

10. When you change fuses be careful! It be can occasionally hazardous – some people have been shocked when they were inserting a fuse because it was wired backwards.

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