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Grounding of electrical receptacles (which some laypeople refer to as outlets) is an important safety feature that has been required in new construction since 1962, as it minimizes the risk of electric shock and protects electrical equipment from damage.

Modern, grounded 120-volt receptacles in the United States have a small, round ground slot centered below two vertical hot and neutral slots, and it provides an alternate path for electricity that may stray from an appliance.

These have only two wires running through them: a hot wire and a neutral wire.

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Do you have any old two prong outlets in your home?Today I’ll give a brief explanation of what the third prong is for, and I’ll discuss a few ways to convert to a three prong outlet.I didn’t consult an attorney before writing this article, so I feel like I should add a disclaimer before giving any electrical how-to advice: Don’t do any of this work if you’re not qualified – you could start a fire or get electrocuted.All outlets in your kitchen, for example, should be three prong outlets.If your home has an older 2 wire electrical system, it most likely is not grounded properly.