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3 to 2 prong adapter?

Discussion in 'HP & Compaq' started by communisthunter, Aug 26, 2008.

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  1. communisthunter

    communisthunter Notebook Enthusiast

    Aug 4, 2008
    Is it safe to use? I have an older house, so we only have 2 prongs around the house. Ive been using it for years, but am i making some sort of fire risk by doing so?
  2. Thaenatos

    Thaenatos Zero Cool

    May 1, 2006
    I wouldn't risk it. Personally I hate AC voltage as it scares the crap out of me...DC on the other hand is fine.
  3. Apollo13

    Apollo13 Vista Downgrader

    May 31, 2007
    The risk by not having a ground line (third prong) is that if something shorts out (due to deterioration, lightning strike, etc.) it is more likely to be fried. And yes, the third prong slightly reduces the risk of an electrical fire. The third prong gives you a bit of extra safety not only for your dwelling, but for you electronics as well.

    However, it isn't like it's unsafe to use two-pronged stuff or sockets with only two prongs. Just think of all the toasters and lamps that only have two prongs. Even my notebook charger only has two prongs for that matter, and it's vintage 2007. Provided you can find a three-to-two adaptor, you should be just fine using a two-pronged cord and two-pronged socket.

    The two-pronged house does mean that your electrical system is kind of old and doesn't have all the recent safety features build in, and likely can't handle quite as much load as a new house of similar build could. But so long as you haven't noticed any unusual electrical occurency (frequent shorts for example) there's no need to rush out and redo the wiring. If it was well-built when it was made it may well still do just fine - my grandparents' house, for example, built in the 1920's, still has no electrical problems despite the two-pronged approach.
  4. JoeCHecht

    JoeCHecht Notebook Consultant

    Jul 9, 2007
    You are probably fine. You may want to look to see if there is a ground wire attached to the box that holds the plugs. If so, most of the "2 to 3" prong connectors have a little connector that fits under the screw to the switchplate (the screw connects the ground).

    If not, and you really want to have some warm fuzzies, get a grounding rod, hammer it into the ground, and run a ground wire to your favorite socket. I just did this yesterday for the inverters on our aux power system.

  5. AKAJohnDoe

    AKAJohnDoe Mime with Tourette's

    May 17, 2007
    Plug your device into a quality surge protector/power strip, plus the power strip into the two prong adapter, plug the two prong adpater into your wall.

    There is usually either a little wire with a spade lug or a fixed in position spade lug on the two prong adapter. attach that to the screw that holds the faceplate on the wall outlet. While the chances that that is not grounded are high in an older house, it may give you some peace of mind.

    Another alternative, one I used in an older house myself once, is to attach the grounding wire from the two prong adapter to a grounding strap I firmly attached to an adjacent copper pipe.

    I actually have a grounding rod on the floor of my garage at this very moment. I once had intentions to use it, but did not. Be aware that they are eight or ten feet long and are pounded into the ground so that only four or six inches are above ground. Be darn certain what is below before doing that as it would be messy to pound it through the natural gas pipeline.
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