I just recently moved into an older house with many two-prong outlets. I have a cheater plug available, which I could use to convert a two-prong outlet to a three-prong one, and intended to get more cheater plugs. According to an employee at Best Buy, however, they don't sell cheater plugs due to it now being illegal to manufacture them.

Is it accurate that cheater plugs are illegal to manufacture in the U.S.? And if so, is it illegal for me to use the one I already have with me?

  • 1
    By code you can replace the two-prong outlets with GFCI outlet(s) (one upstream can protect those downstream). Any surge suppressors will not work without the ground to dump the lightning strike into.
    – Jon Custer
    Aug 30, 2021 at 17:25
  • 1
    If you get electrocuted or burnt because of one of these plugs them presumably your insurance will not want to cover you.
    – user253751
    Aug 31, 2021 at 9:30

1 Answer 1


Such laws or rules most likely would be on a state-by-state basis. As an example, a rule in Minnesota (and the next part which can be accessed with the arrow in the upper right of the web page) requires that "all electrical equipment, including material, fittings, devices, apparatus, fixtures, appliances, and utilization equipment, used as part of, or in connection with, an electrical installation shall be listed and labeled by a testing laboratory."

This rule only forbids use of unlisted cheater plugs, not sale. I have not found a law or rule that forbids selling them.

Searching the usual places online, I see it is possible to find 3 prong to 2 prong adapters that are UL listed.

I will add that essentially the same skills are needed to figure out whether a cheater plug is more or less safe to use in a certain receptacle as would be needed to replace the two-prong receptacle with a three-prong one, and a properly installed three-prong receptacle is going to be safer.

  • You might want to also ask on diy.stackexchange.com as someone there can help with Electrical Code related issues (which are managed at the state and local level in the US).
    – user11421
    Aug 29, 2021 at 21:56

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