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Old 07-08-2008, 05:31 PM
 
175 posts, read 1,294,141 times
Reputation: 169

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Hi everyone-

I only have ONE three-way plug outlet in my kitchen. Am I stuck with where I put my refridgerator and/or stove because of this? I want to move one of them to the opposite wall in my kitchen, but I only have a regular (two-prong) electric outlet there. Are there adaptors or something I can use?
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Old 07-08-2008, 06:54 PM
 
25,800 posts, read 49,685,561 times
Reputation: 19243
Quote:
Originally Posted by kitty3 View Post
Hi everyone-

I only have ONE three-way plug outlet in my kitchen. Am I stuck with where I put my refridgerator and/or stove because of this? I want to move one of them to the opposite wall in my kitchen, but I only have a regular (two-prong) electric outlet there. Are there adaptors or something I can use?
Depending on when your home was built... there's a good chance the outlet where you want to plug in the refrigerator can be upgraded to a grounded outlet.

You can also purchase an adaptor for less than $2 that will allow you to use your grounded 3 prong plug. The adaptor has a small tang that makes a ground connection through the cover plate screw if the outlet box is grounded.

The easiest way to check is to buy a $7 outlet tester... it will confirm whether a ground is available when using the adaptor.
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Old 07-08-2008, 07:13 PM
 
Location: Knoxville
4,134 posts, read 19,720,058 times
Reputation: 4727
To be safe you should have an electrician check it out for you.
Yes a cheap tester MAY tell you the box is grounded, but a lot of the times, grounding consisted of a small wire running from the box to a nearby water pipe.

Now if the water pipe is metal all the way to the meter, AND the electric panel is grounded to the water pipe, you will probably be OK.

The important thing is the ground wire really needs to be connected to the bus bar in the electric panel.

While it is not all the hard to run a ground wire from an outlet back to the panel, it is easier to just run a new outlet and circuit to the place you want. An electrician could run a couple circuits for you in pretty short time and you would get your refrigerator circuit, and you could get another circuit to have some grounded outlets in other rooms so you can run a computer, etc. It's better than trying to fish a ground wire into an existing box and run it.

This of course is assuming you are on a crawlspace or house where you have access to the under floor area to run wires.
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Old 07-08-2008, 09:23 PM
 
Location: Visitation between Wal-Mart & Home Depot
8,309 posts, read 33,322,966 times
Reputation: 7038
Quote:
Originally Posted by kitty3 View Post
Hi everyone-

I only have ONE three-way plug outlet in my kitchen. Am I stuck with where I put my refridgerator and/or stove because of this? I want to move one of them to the opposite wall in my kitchen, but I only have a regular (two-prong) electric outlet there. Are there adaptors or something I can use?
The third prong in a grounded outlet is connected to a wire that runs back to the breaker panel and to a conductive rod driven into the ground. The purpose of the third prong (the ground) is to protect you and protect your wiring. The ground prong on the plug is connected to the casing of the fridge and plugs into the ground receptacle on the plate that runs to the ground. In the event of a short circuit, a fault current goes directly to the ground that draws much more current than the breaker is rated for, causing the circuit breaker to, well, break the circuit. Any attempt to reset the breaker would result in it immediately tripping again, which should clue you in to a problem. If your fridge is running without a ground connection there shouldn't be any noticeable difference in it's operation (you may get a small shock when you touch it, similar to static) but you aren't protected from a short circuit. In the event of a short without a ground, the casing of the fridge or appliance could potentially become energized. If you were to touch it you would complete the circuit to the ground and absorb the fault current. The only thing that would stop it would be the circuit breaker, meaning you would have to absorb somewhere between 15 and 30 amps (depending on the rating of your breaker) before the current stopped. If the circuit was less than efficient, you might be able to absorb 10 amps indefinitely. I think that fifteen thousandths of an ampere can induce fibrillation, so fifteen amps would more or less cook you.

I apologize for the length of this post. I would consult an electrician for safety's sake. $250 is a small investment, really.
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Old 07-08-2008, 09:45 PM
 
Location: Houston, Texas
10,425 posts, read 43,509,537 times
Reputation: 10328
Generally today's code calls for #14g wire throughout the home. In the kitchen it requires #12g which is thicker to handle the appliances load.

In addition code calls for a dedicated line for the fridge only. Many old homes have one feed for the entire kitchen. Maybe 2, one for the fridge and one for everything else. if this is the case then you might find that you just plugged the fridge into the same line as the micro. And everytime you try to turn on the micro, if the fridge compressor is on then the breaker will trip.

If you have a fuse that blows then you have more troubles. Now we know your panel has Dinosaur foot prints on it. I would not move it in this case. A complete service panel upgrade to 100 or more amp service may run around $1500 or more. A much cheaper method is for an Electrician to install a sub panel coming off of the old panel. Now you can run a new dedicated line to the new fridge location. If you have breakers but an old panel then you can still add the sub panel and run a dedicated line if there are not enough breakers in the first panel.

For just running a new line and putting an outlet in your kitchen it should not cost but $200 or so depending on access. Does he have to cut holes in walls or does he have access from a basement. Does he have to crawl in the attic where it is 200 degrees? The price can move up real quick. But estimates are free. So get a few estimates. Not one...get a few.

Just because you can buy a 3 prong to 2 prong adapter and it works does not mean it is safe. You ever use a space heater and after a while you feel the plug and wire and it's hot to the touch? Imagine if this was happening behind your wall board and you would not even know it. Now imagine if you had an older house that used flammable insulation inside those wall cavities that are shared with those hot wires.

You could end up losing more then the few hundred dollars to an Electrician to do it right and be safe.
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Old 07-09-2008, 06:56 AM
 
Location: Sometimes Maryland, sometimes NoVA. Depends on the day of the week
1,501 posts, read 10,537,303 times
Reputation: 1091
Quote:
Originally Posted by kitty3 View Post
Hi everyone-
I only have ONE three-way plug outlet in my kitchen. Am I stuck with where I put my refridgerator and/or stove because of this? I want to move one of them to the opposite wall in my kitchen, but I only have a regular (two-prong) electric outlet there. Are there adaptors or something I can use?
DesertSun and Barking Spider have really good advice on the fridge. My concern is the stove. Is this an electric range you are thinking of moving? An electric range should be plugged into a 220v outlet and run back to a 50amp breaker, which looks completely different that a 2- or 3-pronged outlet. So no, that can't be just moved without calling in someone to move the outlet. I don't know what kind of electric a gas stove would take, but I'm guessing it would plug into a regular outlet just to run the clock and such. However, then you have a gas line to move.
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Old 07-09-2008, 04:11 PM
 
175 posts, read 1,294,141 times
Reputation: 169
The house was built in 1931. And yes, I have a basement for access, and 200 amp elect. breaker box, etc. I really don't want to spend a ton of money, I'm selling the house, just want to move the appliances to put in a few more kitchen cabinets.
The stove is electric only. I can see the plug for the stove, it appears to be a 3-pronged. I'll have to pull the refridgerator out to see what that plug looks like. (Is it possible it is a regular 2- pronged that would fit into a regular outlet?)
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Old 07-09-2008, 08:24 PM
 
Location: Houston, Texas
10,425 posts, read 43,509,537 times
Reputation: 10328
Your fridge will have a 2 or 3 prong. I discussed your options in my last post on that. Yes your electric stove has a 3 pronged crazy shapped configuration plug. It's 220. They dont make them any other way.

You have basement access and 200A service. You got it made. Assuming the distance from panel to fridge is reasonable I would say if an Electrician charges you more then $250 then keep looking. This 200A service is obviously an update within the last 20 years or so. Look in Craigslist for a LICENSED Electician looking for some side work under work wanted.

But now you just opened another can of worms. You said you want to add more cabinets. Now your talking my business. First thing I think of is you likely will not match the ones you already have. Dont even think of buying any ol brand and painting the whole kitchen one color. You said you are selling. No buyer today will walk past a painted cabinet kitchen before leaving without seeing the house. You can not paint cabinets. You can not paint cabinets. Cant do it. Well you can but everyone will point and laugh at you.

Without more info I dont have too many recomendations for you except I hope your kitchen is less then 5 years old and maybe you have a chance at matching color and door style by manufacturer. If you need help identifing the manufacturer I can help with that if you ask. With that info in hand I can send you to the local dealer near you. Keep in mind though. I said less then 5 years old because just like auto manufacturers change style every couple years, so do cabinet companies. Adding a mis-match cabinet will be fatal in a potential home buyers eyes.

Hope some of all that mumbo jumbo helps you some. Let me know if you need anything further.
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Old 07-10-2008, 06:38 PM
 
175 posts, read 1,294,141 times
Reputation: 169
You've been extremely helpful....thanks! I probably will not even add cabinets. Mine are old and not great, and you're right...they won't match anything new I'd put in. I am not spending 10K to update kitchen, my house is a smaller home. I (unfortunately) will just lower the price and let the next buyer decide if they want to re-do the kitchen or not.
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