How do you tell if the outlets in your home are “grounded” or not, and why is that important? In very, very, simple layman’s terms, first, – it’s easy to tell the difference between grounded and ungrounded outlets: grounded outlets have three prongs, ungrounded outlets have two, and it’s important to have a grounded outlet because it’s an issue of safety. If a surge of electricity comes into your home through, say – a lightening strike, it will travel through your wires to every outlet in your home, and everything plugged into those outlets will get the “surge” of electricity. If everything in your home is plugged into a grounded outlet – a three-pronged outlet – that surge is no problem, because the ground will – well – “ground” the electricity, which will trip the breaker on your electrical system and shut it down, rather than having it continue on it’s way to fry your computer along with every other digital device in your home!
So, if you’re looking to buy or remodel a home, and it has those quaint, cute, old-fashioned outlets, it’s a good idea to talk to an electrical contractor before you sign anything, so you can get an idea of what it may cost to upgrade your power grid when you want to light up your life.