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#90363 - 04/14/05 10:07 AM no ground on electrical outlets in my apartment
ravi_singh Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 03/14/02
Posts: 1351
Loc: Montreal
i'm quite sure this is rather serious:

There are absolutely no grounded outlets in the entire building and no ground wires anywhere. they also won't put any in as it's too pricey. There are a few 3 prong outlets, however, but they are just there, not grounded.

I have an axiom home theatre, a big screen tv and a laptop that I'm quite worried about. What I have done is I have a UPS plugged into the wall, and then a power bar off the UPS. I plug everything into the power bar.

1 - Is that enough protection (UPS then power bar) ?

2 - Would there be a way for me to ground one of these outlets?

3 - What events could cause problems due to the lack of ground? Static? Electrical storms? Spikes and dips in the voltage?

thanks very much for all replies
Ravi

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#90364 - 04/14/05 10:45 AM Re: no ground on electrical outlets in my apartment
AshBoomstick Offline
aficionado

Registered: 12/01/04
Posts: 540
Loc: Richmond, VA
it's kinda odd that your place doesn't have a grounding system. I didn't even think that was up to code anymore. What you probably ought to do is get a GFCI plug like this and then plug it in between the UPS and the power bar. I'm not that familiar with the specifics in the operation of the UPS so it's should probably go "downstream" of the UPS. Since your building isn't grounded, a mismatch between the incoming and outgoing current means either your equipment is getting zapped or you are. This device will detect it and then trip itself off, stopping all current flow and keep you from riding the lightning. Now these things are designed for a ground lead but it should still work for you. I'd check with the resident electrician wherever you buy it from.
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#90365 - 04/14/05 12:12 PM Re: no ground on electrical outlets in my apartment
ravi_singh Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 03/14/02
Posts: 1351
Loc: Montreal
Ash,

thanks for the suggestion

i have done a quick look up on them online. it seems to be a good idea.

my only question is, since there is an absence of a ground, will it always trip?

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#90366 - 04/14/05 12:15 PM Re: no ground on electrical outlets in my apartment
SpockTheater Offline
local

Registered: 04/06/03
Posts: 220
Loc: Shreveport, Louisiana
WOW!! Nice to know that I'm not the only one with this same problem. The house that I just bought does not have a ground in the living room where my HT will be. Also the outlets are 2 prong so that means that I can either change out the outlets to a 3 prong (no ground of course) or use adapters.

I do have a surge protector, but would the GFCI cord be a good addition to act as a ground?

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#90367 - 04/14/05 01:27 PM Re: no ground on electrical outlets in my apartmen
Ken.C Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 18044
Loc: NoVA
I use the cheater plugs and actually screw them to the center screw (or outer screws, if necessary) on the important outlets. I thought it was law that they had to provide grounded 3 prongs in the bathrooms at least.
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#90368 - 04/14/05 01:34 PM Re: no ground on electrical outlets in my apartmen
BBIBH Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 01/10/02
Posts: 1239
Loc: Canada
That does not mean that you are grounded.

I beleive the law in Canada is any outlet near water requires GFI plugs.
Not sure about other countries like the US or Quebec. ;-P


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#90369 - 04/14/05 01:51 PM Re: no ground on electrical outlets in my apartmen
ravi_singh Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 03/14/02
Posts: 1351
Loc: Montreal
kcarlile

i don't think a cheater plug actually grounds anything. it's just meant to reverse polarity.

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#90370 - 04/14/05 01:52 PM Re: no ground on electrical outlets in my apartmen
Ken.C Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 18044
Loc: NoVA
Well, the power strips that have ground fault lights say that it's OK, and I figure it's better than nothing. (The lights do go on when they're not screwed into the outlets, so...)
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I am the Doctor, and THIS... is my SPOON!

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#90371 - 04/14/05 02:00 PM Re: no ground on electrical outlets in my apartmen
ravi_singh Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 03/14/02
Posts: 1351
Loc: Montreal
I wonder if it will actually protect

does anyone know what happens exactly if you don't have a ground? what can happen to your equipment? what events can cause a negative effect?

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#90372 - 04/14/05 03:00 PM Re: no ground on electrical outlets in my apartmen
AshBoomstick Offline
aficionado

Registered: 12/01/04
Posts: 540
Loc: Richmond, VA
basically, without a ground wire in the wall connected to the outlet, if your equipment were to short to the casing there would NOT be a complete path to ground for the electricity. this would result in the casing being as the same voltage as whatever was faulted (ex. a power supply cord shorted to case=120VAC) so if you went to touch it you get painfully tingly. also it could present a fire hazard if something flammable was touching it. now with a grounding wire installed in the plug, the flow path of electricity would be from the fault to the case, through the ground wire in the power cord (the bottom center, round conductor) through the ground wire in the outlet, to the house's common ground, and then literally to the ground. i can come up with a picture when i get home if you'd like, i'm at work now. you know, i'm glad this topic came up. i finally get to use some of my 6 years of electrical experience in the Navy!
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