How to Replace Two-Prong Outlets in an Old House

How to Replace Two-Prong Outlets in an Old House


Replacing two-prong outlets in an old house with grounded three-prong outlets can greatly improve safety and allow the use of modern appliances. However, working with electrical wiring requires knowledge and caution to avoid hazards. This guide will walk through the complete process of replacing two-prong outlets with three-prong outlets in an old house.

Reasons to Upgrade to Three-Prong Outlets

There are several benefits to upgrading outlets in an old house from two-prong to three-prong:

Evaluating the Existing Electrical System

Before replacing two-prong outlets, you need to assess the existing electrical system to understand how to properly upgrade. Consider the following:

Consult an electrician if the electrical system needs significant upgrades beyond just swapping outlets.

Gathering the Right Replacement Outlets & Supplies

Make sure you have the correct materials available before starting outlet replacement:

Turning Off the Power

Before touching any electrical connections, turn off power to the circuit you're working on at the main circuit breaker panel.

Working on outlets with live power still flowing risks getting a serious shock. Always triple check the power is OFF before proceeding.

Removing the Existing Two-Prong Outlets

With the power safely disconnected, you can now remove the old outlets:

Installing New Three-Prong Outlets

Follow these steps to install each new three-prong outlet:

Take care not to overtighten wire connections or screw terminals. A loose wire can cause dangerous arcing.

Restoring Power and Testing

Once you've safely installed all the new three-prong outlets:

Turn off power again immediately if any issues are detected and recheck connections. Safety first!


While replacing two-prong outlets requires working carefully with electrical wiring, the upgrade to modern three-prong grounded outlets is absolutely worth the safety and functionality benefits. Carefully following proper precautions and procedures will ensure the process goes smoothly. Take your time and don't hesitate to consult an electrician if any concerns arise.