2-Prong VS 3-Prong Electrical Outlets
Inspector Gabe (@impact552) found another defect, but this time it was on a rerun of The Simpsons.
“That outlet for the TV is not up to code,” he said as the opening credits for the show played.
The opening sequence for the longest running prime-time comedy series is one of the most significant trademarks of The Simpsons—especially for die-hard fans. Each episode typically has a different scenario (or gag) showcased through the chalkboard, the couch, the saxophone solo, and/or the billboard (post Season 19). The screenshot above was taken after the family fights for a seat on the couch.
The show may have had its first air date on December 17, 1989, but the plug outlet illustrated in the show’s credits belongs to a home from the 1960s or earlier.
If the electrical outlets look like this with the two prongs, then your inspector will most definitely classify it as a defect in the report.
Mr. Electric, the global franchise organization (owned by Waco, TX-based Dwyer Group) providing electrical installation and repair services has a simple explanation: These [outlets] have only two wires running through them: a hot wire and a neutral wire. With no ground wire, you’re left unprotected from stray currents, which can result in electrocution or a power surge through sensitive electronics, often destroying them in the process. Three prong outlets feature a third grounding wire, which gives energy surges somewhere to go other than into your body or electrical equipment.
Modern receptacles now have three slots for safety purposes. Many high-power household appliances or electronics (e.g. blow dryer, toaster oven or laptop chargers) are designed for three-prongs.
If your current home, or potentially new home, has these two-prong outlets, then we suggest contacting an electrician to see if they can be retrofitted to the three-prong outlets or if the entire house would need to be rewired. The telltale sign is if the fuse box has been grounded.
ApartmentTherapy.com has a great step-by-step article to explain what to look for and how to update these outdated two-prong outlets.
Not properly updating these outlets can create a hazardous situation. If you were to plug a faulty 3-prong device into a non-grounded outlet, it becomes a shock hazard—as electricity leaking to the casing would create an energized surface from which a person may be electrocuted … “D’oh!”