Updating 2 prong to 3 prong outlets

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You can do this with a continuity tester, checking the continuity between the box and a known ground.

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Finding that point may be next to impossible, and an alternative is running a ground wire from the grounding screw on the outlet box back to known ground.

By the way, you shouldn’t assume that the copper water pipe in your house is a good grounding point.

Because of the wide use of plastic piping for the water-supply line into a house, the national code no longer allows the connection of a ground wire to a metal water pipe unless it’s within 5 ft. Connecting the grounding wire to the grounding stake at the main electrical panel is the safest bet if you choose to travel this route, but this installation procedure is probably best undertaken by a licensed electrician.

Another replacement solution can be found in a special exception granted by the National Electric Code in section 210-7D of the 1993 codebook.

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