If your home only has 2-prong wall outlets, but you want to use a 3-prong power strip to connect multiple electronics, you may be tempted to remove the third prong to make it fit. But this is a very bad idea. Removing that third piece can create a host of potential problems with your home's electricity. It can also damage the electronics. Here's what could happen to your electronics if you tamper with a 3-prong power strip and why.

How Does a 3-Prong Plug Protect Your Electronics?

There's a reason some electronics require a 3-prong power strip to make them work. Big screen televisions, speakers and sound systems, and other large electronics generally require a lot of electricity to power them. Because of this, they require a power cord that protects them against power surges, which can blow up your electronics.

In order to keep from blowing up your electronics, a 3-prong power strip has three types of wires inside it:

  • Hot wire
  • Neutral wire
  • Ground wire

Hot Wire

The hot wire leads to the smallest prong on the end of the power cord's plug. It contains live electrical currents that power your electronics.

Neutral Wire

The neutral prong is longer and sits right next to the hot piece. It doesn't contain active wiring.

Ground Wire

The third and most important prong is the grounder. It contains a ground or earth wire. The plug's ground piece keeps your electronics safe by preventing power surges in the circuit breaker, your appliances, and in the wiring inside your walls and floors. It also keeps electrical currents from shocking you when you plug the power cord into the wall outlet.

If you remove the third prong, you remove the cord's ability to prevent power surges. A power surge happens when large amounts of unprotected electricity disrupt your home's electrical power. The surge can blow any fuses that your electronics have inside them. The surge can also burn out the wires and relays that help your electronics make sounds, display colors, or stay cool.

 What Should You Do Instead of Removing the Ground Prong?

Instead of risking a fire or power surge in your home and electronics, you can purchase a 2-prong adaptor. The adaptor uses two prongs to connect to a wall outlet but features a 3-prong plug opening on the housing. It's the safest way to connect a 3-prong power cord.

You can also contact your local electricians for assistance. Electricians can replace your current 2-prong wall outlets with 3-prong outlets.

Safety should always come first. If you need to connect large electronics but don't have the right wall outlets in your home, schedule residential electrical services, from a company like Dunedin Electric, for your home today.