Hi there! First, that is a really good extension cord you have and it already has the grounding prong (the rounded thing). All you need is an outlet that can accept a 3-pronged plug. But, then you knew that didn't you? OK - Here are several ways to solve the problem; 1. - easy, safe and ok without changing the outlet - buy an adapter plug that can accept 3-prongs on the female side (with the holes) and has 2 prongs on the other side or male side (with things sticking out) (BTY-i did not make up theses gender-biased terms and I think they are politically unsensitive but that ss what they are called)
Solution 2 - harder and costs a bit more if you do it yourself OR could be expensive if you hire an electrician. ALWAYS hire the electrician to be safe, within local code laws and if you are not big-time handy like me (short for poor but learned a lot by reading codes and restoring 7 old houses with ALL older, non-grounded outlets!)
OK - here's how you "Do-it-Yourself" - step by step (gee. maybe there is a video on youtube for this or should be or I will make one...)
1. SHUT OFF THE ELECTRICITY TO THE WHOLE HOUSE or
find the circuit for the outlet you are changing and flip the circuit breaker switch in the electrical panel in the garage or basement - use a helper to find it by having them plug in a light to the outlet while you flip the circuit breaker switch. When the light goes out, mark or label the circuit breaker to find it next time!. When you are sure the power is off,
2. unscrew the wall cover (one small screw),
3. look at the box holding the old outlet, it is probably metal, see how it is attached to the wall, remove the screws or nails holding it in place, NOTE: if this looks scary or is full of many wires, dust, spiders, and confusing stuff - STOP AND CALL AN ELECTRICIAN
if it looks like you can handle it, use a pair of long-nosed pliers and pull the old outlet (not the metal box) out of the box, along with all wires going into it, (there may be up to four wires going to this outlet:
a. - 2 wires; one positive, black wire ad one negative, white wire, there MAY be a third, bare wire that someone cut off or it may only be the 2 wires,
b. - 4 wires; 2 like above going IN to the box and 2 going out to another outlet somewhere down the line,
4. Unscrew and detach all wires and label them to remember where they came from (brass screws are positive and white ones are negative),
5. Put the old outlet aside to throw away later (in case you chicken out or freak out and decide that this is a bad idea or not as much fun as you thought it would be :) )
6. Now, pick up the new outlet you just bought at Home Depot and you will see it looks like this:
Face of Outlet --------------Neg & Ground side---------Positive side
Image 1----------------------------Image 2 --------------------Image 3
See the small lower screw on Image 2? THAT is where the ground wire goes and it is the bare wire I talked about earlier. Maybe we should talk a little about electrical wire here if you are still with me:
New wire for homes comes in many sizes with weird numbers but don't worry, all you need to know is two sizes; 12 and 14 - 12 wire is for 15 or 20 amp circuits and 14 wire is for 15 amp circuits. Size 14 wire is easier to handle but should only be used for lighting and small appliances or TVs and radios. Size 12 wire is the best one to use for everything because you do not have to worry about the things you plug in....(I wonder who sits around, staring at their outlets and worrying about them...? not me, I use 12 for everything)
Back to the wire! - You need 12-2 WG wire, it should be labeled like this:
see the numbers 12/2 and letter W/G ? that's what you want to see OR use if you have to use new wire. OK time for a break here and a special note - DO NOT TRY TO CHANGE THE WIRES IN THE WALL. GET AN ELECTRICIAN!
If you are still reading this far you have too much time on your hands, are bored, or just bought an old house and can not afford an electrician OR resent how much they charge by the hour.
7. Attach the existing wires to the NEW outlet like this:
a. - Black wire to a brass colored screw - Image 3 above
b.- White wire to a white screw - Image 2 above
c.- Bare wire to the lowest or GREEN screw - Image 2 above
(this is if you have one big wire going to the outlet, meaning this id the end of the line or run or last outlet in the room...IF you have TWO big wires going in and then out of the outlet, do this:
d. - INCOMING black wire to TOP brass screw,
e.- OUTGOING black wire to LOWER brass screw,
f.- INCOMING white wire to TOP white screw
g.- OUTGOING white wire to BOTTOM white screw
f. - BOTH bare wires, in and out, to the lowest or GREEN screw
( note - this is a big pain because the wire is stiff and it is hard to attach all THREE bare wires to the green or ground screw - YES, I said THREE bare wires - Another wire has to go from the green screw to the metal box to ensure a proper ground)
At this point you are almost done! - However, now you have to:
8. stuff all these wires BACK into that little, teeny metal box along with the new outlet and make sure that none of the screws or wires, except the bare ones, touch the inside of the metal box...
9. Replace the outlet cover and bingo, you are done.
10. Turn on the power again an check the outlet for proper grounding. WHAT? How do I do that you ask? Go buy this thing:
Stick it in your new outlet, cross your fingers and hope you get TWO green lights! You win! If any other combination of lights or no lights show up...CALL THE ELECTRICIAN !
good luck from: Tom Crowley, Man of Action!