3 prong adaptor safety


Old 02-03-06, 05:41 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2006
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3 prong adaptor safety

Simple question. Is it safe to use a 2 prong to 3 prong adaptor for a refrigerator? thanks
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Old 02-03-06, 06:01 PM
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I'm sure you know that the third prong is a ground. Two prong outlets do not have a ground socket, but many do still provide a ground. The metal electrical box is sometimes grounded (most really old wiring does not have a separate ground) even though there is no third hole in the outlet.

Most three prong adaptors have either a metal tab with a hole or a piece of wire with a metal eye on the end. You should run the screw that secures the outlet faceplate through the metal tab or wire. This provides a ground to the three prong adaptor (but only if the outlet is grounded).

An electrician can test the outlet and tell you if a ground is present. Yes, your fridge will operate off the two prong outlet even if the ground is not connected and will still be safe 99% of the time. Having the fridge properly grounded does give you added protection if something in the fridge shorts out.
Old 02-03-06, 06:46 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: PA
Posts: 1,909
Originally Posted by Marla50
Is it safe to use a 2-prong to 3-prong adapter for a refrigerator?
No simple answer.

Install the adapter according to the manufacturer's instructions which say it must be used only in an outlet that provides grounding.

But if the outlet had grounding, why does it have only a two-prong receptacle in it? It could be changed to a three-prong by the same electrician who checks to see whether a ground is available.

Is it safe to ride in a car without a seatbelt?
Sure it is, so long as nothing goes wrong. You're safe 99.9% of the time.

The correct solution is a dedicated 15A appliance circuit with proper grounding - no adapter.
Old 02-03-06, 08:23 PM
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 18,497
Use of these adaptors is almost always wrong.

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