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My whole room is ungrounded

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I couldn't determine where to place this thread, but basically, half of my house is from the 50's and half is new, my room is in the old portion and every electrical outlet is an ungrounded source. touching metal porotions delivers an electrical shock as powerful as a prank pen, perhaps a bit more. i have monitors, a pc, a laptop, an xbox 360 all hooked up in here and have never had any problems. is there anything i should really be worried about?


edit: examples of what will shock to the touch include headphone outlets, case screws on the pc, all outlets on the pc, attached audio and video cable tips, etc.
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post #2 of 10
i had the same problem and actually fried my video card when i attempted to hook up my television to it because of the lack of ground. Grounding isn't too hard, you can run a cable to some pipes and it will ground everything. Definitely get an experienced electrician to help you because there may be some nuances that i am unaware of specific to your situation...
post #3 of 10
static electricity maybe? I could be talking rubbish though!

You might want to look in to getting it grounded.
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post #4 of 10
Ground that as soon as possible, and try to avoid touching any parts of your system that are metal, don't connect ANYTHING without shutting down and unplugging.
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post #5 of 10
usually you shut down touch a piece of metal not computer parts or anything like a side door or something destatic yourself. if your scared something like that might happen wear gloves the rest of your life.
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post #6 of 10
When I've lived in such locations as this, what I found is that the "polarity" of the socket is reversed, meaning that fat blade in a typical plug ends up on the wrong side. For many AC devices this is of no consequence, but not so much for computers.

The "shock" is because the ground state of the device is raised above true ground, and it causes various circuits in power supplies and other devices to fail. Certain protection circuits have invalid references and may not even fire when needed to protect your rig.

This CAN even cause DC bias offset to be present in audio outputs which may be damaging to headphones or speakers, long term. This is dependent on many factors, and it doesn't damage things immediately.

All of this also makes the equipment less immune to noise influences, like radio interference from cell phones, because shielding doesn't work as designed.

The "shock" you describe is limited by your own resistance to ground, and there are conditions of humidity or actual moisture which could make the effect more profound and unpleasant.

UPS devices may not kick in appropriately (as in...quickly enough) in some cases.

On each occasion that heavy loads cause voltage variances, the "floating ground" jumps, which can crash a computer that otherwise wouldn't have a problem, and cause large DC offsets momentarily that damage equipment which wouldn't happen if the ground and polarity were correct.

It isn't advisable to continue without taking steps to arrange for a ground, which can be as simple as running a wire to a cold water pipe, or outside to a grounding rod driven into the ground.

Some care to verify the "polarity" of the plug should be taken, too.

Some may remark that the concept of polarity on an AC outlet is nonsensical, but it's not DC polarity in this case...it's phase relationship relative to ground, the very reason the 3 prong design is intended to insert in only one way.
post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 
i had my old boss, an electrician, come in to take a look while he was doing some work in my neighborhood and was unable to detect any problems, and that day i couldnt notice it either. some days it is worse than others, but as of late it has been rather consistent. i did have a power surge kick out my power and my UPS failed to click on in time, whereas other days it worked perfectly. i will have to get him to come back. thanks for the tips!
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post #8 of 10
All symptoms I'd expect. Have him check both the polarity of the outlets (relative to a modern 3 pronged plug), and consider a ground wire, even if just improvised for your UPS, or the power strip that feeds the UPS and possibly other devices peripheral to your computer not covered by the UPS.
post #9 of 10
lol
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post #10 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by civilian_pr0ject View Post
i had my old boss, an electrician, come in to take a look while he was doing some work in my neighborhood and was unable to detect any problems, and that day i couldnt notice it either. some days it is worse than others, but as of late it has been rather consistent. i did have a power surge kick out my power and my UPS failed to click on in time, whereas other days it worked perfectly. i will have to get him to come back. thanks for the tips!
Get him to come on a really dry day - humidity stops the static from building up.
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