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InfiniteTape 06-05-2014 08:14 PM

Stuck Plastic Prong in Outlet
My wife put some tight fitting safety plugs into our kitchen island outlets (the kid could remove the normal ones without any trouble). So, not long after, one of the prongs breaks off inside an outlet while she tried to pry one of these things out. It's deep enough that my normal needle-nose can't reach.

Now, normally I'd just toss the whole outlet. Unfortunately, these outlets are in strips that run along the sides of the island. There's no way to remove or access the backs of the strips without removing the counter, sink, etc. Even if I could get to the strip, it would be practically impossible to find a replacement strip that fits.

Any ideas on how I might get the prong out without damaging the socket? Otherwise I may just have to use epoxy to permanently close the whole outlet.

nealtw 06-05-2014 08:19 PM

Can you post a few photos.

CallMeVilla 06-05-2014 09:59 PM

First, can we stop being so freaking paranoid about kids getting into receptacles? Those of us over 50 managed to survive without safety devices on outlets ... so can your kids.

Second, you might go to Harbor Freight of HD and buy some very thin pliers. OF COURSE, you would turn off the power first but then you could extract the silly prong. Be careful not to drive it deeper.

Wuzzat? 06-06-2014 08:24 AM

Another option:

Numbered drill bits come in pretty small diameters.
You could drill a small hole in the prong, withdraw the bit, coat it with epoxy, reinsert, let it cure and then extract the prong.
You may need a pin vise to spin the drill bit.


Originally Posted by CallMeVilla (Post 106120)
First, can we stop being so freaking paranoid about kids getting into receptacles?

Not as long as there is a profit to be made.

havasu 06-06-2014 09:23 AM

You could try dipping a toothpick in superglue, push it into the socket until it touches the plastic, letting it adhere, then pulling both the toothpick and plastic out of the socket.

Wuzzat? 06-06-2014 10:53 AM

You kinda' want small pliers with parallel jaws.
Tweezers have parallel jaws and their gripping power could be increased by squeezing them closed with needle nose pliers (non-parallel jaws).

I'd first use a toothpick as a socket depth gauge to decide if the prong can be pushed too far into the socket or it will hit a backstop first. You'll be less tense if there is less riding on you doing all the right moves.

bud16415 06-06-2014 11:22 AM

Reading this thread for some reason reminds me of the kids game “Operation” and removing the funny bone. :)

Wuzzat? 06-06-2014 06:51 PM


Originally Posted by bud16415 (Post 106153)
for some reason reminds me of

There are some ink blots you should be looking at:hide:

nealtw 06-08-2014 11:35 PM

I still think you should be able to get into thing to change an outlet.

JoeD 06-11-2014 06:35 AM

Power off. Take a paper clip. Straighten it out. Bend a loop in one end to fit your finger and leave the other end sticking out. On the sticking out end put a small hook. try to push the end in along the prong and hook it from the back. Pull out.

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