Re: Grounding prong broken off in electrical outlet

"KOA" <casam33@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote in message
> In my house, none of the outlets are grounded, although they are all three
> prong. I discovered an outlet which appears to have a grounding prong
> off in it. I can't tell for sure. All I know is I can't plug in any
> three-prong plug.


Assuming that your outlet is the standard duplex outlet (two pluggy in
thingies in the one box) you can check the one that does not havre the prong
stuck in it. Even if against all odds you have he onl nn duplex socet in the
world, you can still check power status easily in at least three ways with
out any special tools.

1. Cut main breaker. Kills power towhole house. Pull grounding prong with
needle nose pliers. Energize main breaker.

2. Plug a radio or TV, turned up to the loudest sound you can, into the
socket. US TVs and radios tend to be 100 % two wire devices. Shut off
indvidual circuit breakers one at a time, If radio or TV does not go off,
re energize that circuit. Proceed breaker by breaker until you ind the one
that shuts down the radio or TV, When you find the individual breaker
that shuts off the radio or TV, you are home free. Pull the grounding
prong with needle nose pliers.

3. Use a small lamp in place of radio / tv. Test circuit by circuit until
youfind lamp shut off. Proceed as above. The lamp process works best with
a helper so that ypu dont have to walk back to the room from whereever the
panel is located to check lamp status. If you have several very long two
wire extension cords, you can run an extension cord line from the socket
over to wherever the panel is, or as close as you can get, and lug the lamp
in there. It cuts down on the walking back and forth. Obviously you can't
use 3 wire estension cords as you have a prong stuck in the socket.

And no. it is not saf to just grab the broken prong and pull it without
first killing the power.
Jim McLaughlin

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