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Thread: Ungrounded outlet and PC - Safe?

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    Default Ungrounded outlet and PC - Safe?

    I have just moved to another house and noticed that my bedroom has only ungrounded wall outlets with only positive and negative connections but no ground. This bugs me so much...

    So i wonder how safe is to use PC in that room? Is it true that it can often cause damage or degradation of components using ungrounded outlets? Or will it be alright?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Makentox View Post
    I have just moved to another house and noticed that my bedroom has only ungrounded wall outlets with only positive and negative connections but no ground. This bugs me so much...

    So i wonder how safe is to use PC in that room? Is it true that it can often cause damage or degradation of components using ungrounded outlets? Or will it be alright?
    You.... noticed ?
    You mean that you weren't told about this "small" detail?
    Doesn't the house owner ought to have the house grounded? This is a matter of safety in my opinion, not something to "play with".
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    Well its old house at least over 30 years old, it has grounded outlets in bathroom and kitchen, and nowhere else. So i believe its kinda normal for its age.
    Last edited by Makentox; 12-05-2017 at 02:27 PM.

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    Are the plugs at least polarized?

    Yeah... you shouldn't use a PC on an ungrounded outlet... ever.

    You could do what they do in most of Japan and put a ground wire to the wall-plate screw, but that's assuming that the box and conduit is metal (conductive) all the way back to the panel.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jonnyGURU View Post
    Are the plugs at least polarized?

    Yeah... you shouldn't use a PC on an ungrounded outlet... ever.

    You could do what they do in most of Japan and put a ground wire to the wall-plate screw, but that's assuming that the box and conduit is metal (conductive) all the way back to the panel.
    Hey, hmm not sure what u mean but if u asking about those 2 wires that goes into bedroom's socket from the wall so yeah, 1 is + another is -

    Im not quiet sure what u told they do in japan, what do u mean by "panel" (PC case?) and "box" (like main box with circuit breakers and etc?) Notice that im from europe and my english not as good and some names may differ from what we use here.

    ***Could i also use a new external cable plugged into grounded socket in the kitchen or bathroom all the way to my room (this way i can provide ground to my computer, i guess), just i have read that u cant mix grounded and ungrounded sockets in the same room?

    Also if i try to use ungrounded sockets what could happen? Like beside lightning strike? As far as i know ground protects only from overvoltage which is caused by lightning strike or shorting something out.
    Last edited by Makentox; 12-05-2017 at 04:42 PM.

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    At my place there is no ground as well (~70years old building), wall sockets have the ground connected to the - from what I heard it's a pretty common "hack" in old buildings.
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    Quote Originally Posted by strumf666 View Post
    At my place there is no ground as well (~70years old building), wall sockets have the ground connected to the - from what I heard it's a pretty common "hack" in old buildings.
    Hmm interesting, so did u just pull out the socket and jump cable from ground to minus? Have u ever had any issues?

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    I'm using my laptop in my bedroom with a 2-prong outlet. I have to use a 3-prong to 2-prong adapter to plug it in.

    I have recently noticed that when I run unplugged, the battery is fairly degraded. It'll run for a while, but shuts off abruptly without giving me a low battery warning. Also sometimes when powering it up on battery, it won't finish booting before it shuts off. (I think HWInfo64 or HWMonitor shows about 30% degradation or so, I'm not in there to look right now.)
    The laptop is about 2 years old now, but I wonder how much my outlet I'm using is a factor...

    The house is probably about 50 years old or so. There are 3-prong outlets in other parts of the house, but a lot of them show open ground when I plug in a tester.

    I recently got a new case (Fractal Design Define R5, replacing a Rosewill Thor V2) for my desktop, but am on pause with actually moving my parts until I can determine a safe way to do it. Pretty much all the grounded outlets are in rooms with carpet, and the uncarpeted rooms (kitchen w/linoleum & a bedroom w/wood) have open ground. The bathroom with a long counter does have a grounded outlet, and the small entry room (~6x6?) w/tile has access to a grounded outlet ~10-15 feet away in the carpeted living room. Also I'm in a near desert climate, so things can get pretty dry & staticky around here. (It's been several months since I've zapped myself touching a metal object though.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Makentox View Post
    Hmm interesting, so did u just pull out the socket and jump cable from ground to minus? Have u ever had any issues?
    Only if you're 100% certain your hot and neutral are not reversed. Otherwise, you're going to energize your PC chassis.

    By panel, I meant the electrical panel. The curse box. The breaker box. In Japan they ground from the outlet to the panel via the conductive conduit. Many of their plugs look like this for use in such a set up:

    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Quote Originally Posted by Makentox View Post
    Hmm interesting, so did u just pull out the socket and jump cable from ground to minus? Have u ever had any issues?
    Yup, using a jump cable. Checking with a multimeter or a mains tester is definitely recommended so you don't energize the casing. Using an adapter pointed by Johnny is probably safer if you have a ground available, for example I have seen bare metal parts of central heating used for such (central heating should be properly grounded). I, personally, haven't had any problems that could be caused by either hack, but unequal/ised grounds can cause all sorts of buzzing/noise/ problems if you are using active speakers or amplifier/receiver/hifi as a sound output (can usually be solved by another hack, if necessary, a ground loop isolator).
    Last edited by strumf666; 12-05-2017 at 09:10 PM.
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