I am being polarizing; two prong outlets in older homes
Well I am like the little kid with the bobby pin running around sticking stuff into places. That is what is it seem like when I get into older home and have to check the old twp prong electrical receptacles.
As a home inspector I get paid to do this, how fun is that!
(Notice the left slot(neutral) is wider than the right)
But I started thinking… did you know that many of these older receptacles are polarized? These polarized receptacles have a hot (small slot) and neutral slot (larger slot) and no ground (that is the round hole you don’t see). Polarized receptacles were widely used in homes from the 1920’s onward but not always.
So when I am inspecting an older home I am checking to see if the receptacles (if polarized) are properly wired. And often I find them with the hot and neutral reversed. This is a safety issue.
To test this I use my handy dandy tick tester.
First you should understand how these work so you can use them properly (Tick testers and how they work). Also you will need to understand a little about phantom voltage (NEMA bulletin on phantom voltage).
When I test the neutral (big slot) and I get a reading I will usually touch the center screw on the face plate to remove the phantom voltage reading. Then I test the hot (small).
Electrical safety and all safety items should always be a priority during a home inspection.
“The art and science of asking questions is the source of all knowledge.”
NCW Home Inspections, LLC is a Licensed Washington State Home Inspection service located in Wenatchee Washington serving Chelan County, Douglas County, Kittitas County, Okanogan County and Grant County Washington and the cities of Wenatchee, Leavenworth, Cashmere, Oroville, Cle Elum, East Wenatchee, Quincy and many more…