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Should You Buy A House With Ungrounded Outlets?

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Should You Buy A House With Ungrounded Outlets?

Should You Buy A House With Ungrounded Outlets?

Some houses have ungrounded outlets not connected to a grounding wire. Building homes with this feature was prohibited in 1962 to curb the risk of electrocution. Authorities also made this feature illegal to mitigate the damage and destruction of electrical equipment. Therefore, only old houses constructed before that period incorporate ungrounded two-prong outlets.

Purchasing a property that includes ungrounded outlets doesn’t necessarily translate to a code breach. However, there are regulations you should follow to replace the outlets in such a home. This article provides the information you need to know before you buy a house with ungrounded outlets.

Why Do People Buy Homes with Ungrounded Outlets?

People often buy homes with ungrounded outlets because they’re cheaper than homes with grounded outlets. Some people may also prefer the look of ungrounded outlets, or they may not view the lack of grounding as an issue. However, remember that ungrounded outlets can be a safety hazard and should be replaced if possible.

Potential Perils of Ungrounded Outlets

The absence of a grounding wire can result in current instability. Current instability could be dangerous as it can cause the wiring to overheat and potentially start a fire. Surge protectors and other devices designed to protect against electrical shock and short circuits won’t work correctly without a grounding wire.

Ungrounded outlets also heighten the risk of electrocution. The repercussions could be life-threatening if an unknowing family member or guest touches or gets in contact with a shorted, ungrounded outlet. Along with that, unstable, ungrounded outlets have the potential to short any equipment you plug in, especially in electrical surges. This adds to your expenses, especially since replacing electrical gadgets or appliances can be costly.

How to Remedy the Situation

Now that you know the potential dangers of ungrounded outlets, you must know possible solutions to ensure your safety. This is especially true if you’re keen on acquiring properties with the feature. The ultimate remedy for ungrounded outlets is to rewire them.  

However, rewiring an old house can be time-consuming and costly, especially if you want to fix and flip the house. You should consider employing the help of a technician to check it out and provide a quotation on the repair costs before swinging into action.

If it’s too expensive, purchasing the property might not be a viable real estate investment. Another option would be to install circuit breakers at every individual outlet to help manage any power surges and prevent electric shorts.

Suppose you can’t replace an ungrounded outlet. In that case, you must cover the outlet with a tamper-resistant receptacle to help prevent electrical shock. Additionally, you must regularly check any appliances or electronics plugged into an ungrounded outlet and ensure they’re UL or ETL listed. These items are designed with additional safety measures to help protect against electric shock.

Should You Buy a House with Ungrounded Outlets?

Working with a licensed electrician is vital to carefully assess an older home’s circuits and wiring system and ensure you don’t endanger your family or potential buyers. These checks are necessary, especially if you want to purchase the home as an investment. If you can’t afford to get the outlets grounded, buying a house with ungrounded outlets might not be wise.

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