A short-term option could cost you more than you think From time to time, we all ask ourselves biggie questions: Why are we here? Is there life on other planets? Which preceded-- the chicken or the egg? And why the heck do some, however not all, of my electrical cables have three prongs instead of just two? OK, OK ... maybe that's not one of your "biggie" concerns, however we're thinking it's crossed your mind a minimum of as soon as-- particularly when your plug has 3 prongs and your extension cord has only two areas. (That's so irritating!) So let's unload this mystery. Why the third prong?
The third prong on an electrical cable is the ground prong. Given that a lot of cables have only two, it might not appear awfully essential-- but it's an important security function that might save your life. Literally. So, in answer to this post's title: No. It is not safe to cut the ground prong. Ever.
Here's why: A ground prong develops an emergency situation course for electrical power to travel through if a short circuit or fault takes place within the gadget. All home appliances with plugs have other electrical elements, like wires. If one of these wires breaks or ends up being dislodged, the electrical existing will not flow correctly though the device. At finest, this ruins your gadget. At worst, the misdirected current might provide a nasty and potentially deadly shock. The 3rd prong grounds the device to prevent this concern. If there's something incorrect with your home appliance, the grounding prong creates a brand-new, low-resistance course to the main electrical panel. This trips the breaker, stopping the electrical existing and avoiding damage to your home appliance, a house fire, or an electrical shock.
Ok, so why do a few of my home appliances have only two prongs? Some electronic gadgets are constructed to prevent an electric overload without a ground prong. A device may have an internal voltage adapter so it will never put out a lethal voltage, even in the event of a fault. Other devices have plastic cases or other insulation to shield the device and prevent brief circuiting. Protecting does not secure versus water, though. Devices or appliances for outside or wet-area usage must have a ground prong to prevent electrocution. Gadgets with metal real estate-- metal you 'd touch when managing the home appliance-- will also have the third ground prong to prevent electrical shocks. Just be sure: Can I eliminate the ground prong? Certainly not. Again, the ground plug gives an alternative course for electrical power to flow if there's a concern or fault. If you eliminate that third prong, you eliminate the precaution. Sure-- many of the time, the 3rd prong does not matter at all. Your device remains in good condition and is working perfectly. But when there is a concern, it can become life or death. So, no. Extra resources Don't eliminate that ground prong! OK, fine. However my outlet only has two prongs. What now?
Many people make the mistake of cutting the ground prong so their device will be compatible with a two-prong outlet. Another-- more secure-- service is to use an adapter.
A three-prong adapter is likewise called a cheater plug. You have actually seen them before-- one side of the adapter belongs to place your three-prong cord and on the other side there are 2 prongs that plug into your outlet. What you most likely haven't seen is the little metal tab that stands out on the top.
Many individuals neglect the little tab. They just plug the device into the adapter, then the adapter into the outlet. While this is normally safer than getting rid of the ground prong completely, it still does not ground the gadget appropriately. That little tab helps to make the ground connection to the outlet, replacing the grounding work that the 3rd prong would do. To safely utilize an adapter, you should follow these steps: