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Ungrounded sockets...

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I have a problem that I need fixed, and am looking for any help. My new apartment is in an old building and all the power sockets are old too. They aren't grounded. I know that there are 2-prong to 3-prong converters, but they still won't be grounded. I have a good surge-protector and am planning on getting a UPS, but will not having a ground effect my electronics equipment that has grounding plugs (basically my computers and surge protectors)? I don't know how the missing ground will effect a UPS either.

 

The converters I've seen do have a small metal loop coming out of them that comes from the grounding pin. Would tying that into something grounded be sufficient protection?

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yah the screw that holds the receptacle plate the receptacle itself should be sufficient if its a metal box, if it is plastic than you have to be more creative.

if you are reasonably competant with electrical work you can also run new 12/2 wire to the box and put a proper receptacle in, if its a relativley straight shot you can use the old wire to pull the new.

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Let me see if I have this straight. If the box is metal, just screwing the face-plate screw throuh the loop would ground it?

 

I would consider myself reasonably competant at electrical work, but I'm not going to be doing anything with my apartments wiring. One, I doubt my landlord would let me do it. Two, She certainly wouldn't re-imburse me for the improvements made. I suppose I could talk to her about getting an electrician in to do it.

 

If for some reason either of those two options are out, is there something that might be grounded that I could run a wire to? Radiators from the boiler?

 

yah the screw that holds the receptacle plate the receptacle itself should be sufficient if its a metal box, if it is plastic than you have to be more creative.

if you are reasonably competant with electrical work you can also run new 12/2 wire to the box and put a proper receptacle in, if its a relativley straight shot you can use the old wire to pull the new.

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Just because the box is metal doesn't mean it is ground. A proper ground runs to a copper pipe that runs through the building, and it runs to a stake outside that is drove in the ground 8ft by code (residential). You NEED a ground. The UPS will even say "Ground Faulty" or something similar if there isn't one present.

 

What I would do is talk to the owner of the appartment to have new 12/2 wire ran and new outlets installed. The building is out of code now. You can report it and she can be fined. If that's what needs to be done, then so be it. Ungrounded outlets are dangerous, especially when electrical equiptment this day and age rely on proper grounding.

 

Let me ask you this too, in the bathroom and kitchen are there GFCI outlets installed somewhere on the loop too?

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Let me see if I have this straight. If the box is metal, just screwing the face-plate screw throuh the loop would ground it?

exactly correct

grounding it to your heating systems radiator is a huge gigantic really stressed NO, 1 surge electrifies all the water which = alot of discomfort for anyone unlucky enough to be in the current, bottom line never ever ground to anything that water runs through

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Just because the box is metal doesn't mean it is ground. A proper ground runs to a copper pipe that runs through the building, and it runs to a stake outside that is drove in the ground 8ft by code (residential). You NEED a ground. The UPS will even say "Ground Faulty" or something similar if there isn't one present.

 

What I would do is talk to the owner of the appartment to have new 12/2 wire ran and new outlets installed. The building is out of code now. You can report it and she can be fined. If that's what needs to be done, then so be it. Ungrounded outlets are dangerous, especially when electrical equiptment this day and age rely on proper grounding.

 

Let me ask you this too, in the bathroom and kitchen are there GFCI outlets installed somewhere on the loop too?

actually he cant, thats why you sign wavers when you rent/lease. and its an exisiting structure, it has to meet codes that were enforced when the building was constructed. my father is a general contractor and owns a construction company, grounding to the plate screw is 9/10 times grounded, especially if its a metal box. and for corrections sake code is different in every county in the country. for instance your "drove into the ground 8 feet" doesnt apply here in maine, it is an 8 foot rod drove into the ground a minimum of 7 feet.

if you threaten your land lord with a law suit and she has any brains on her shoulders she'll laugh at you and tell you to go ahead.

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Older construction used a metal box with Romex wire. The old 2/12 Romex actually has a cloth insulator around the individual wires that are insulated by paper.

 

Even if the entire electrical system is run in conduit to metal boxes, there's no telling if there is a break in the circuit. By using the metal box as a ground you could electrocute someone else in the building.

 

Odds are that the entire building has the same exact wiring so nothing you do will improve your situation.

 

I think in your situation you have two choices. Go with what you have or move.

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Exactly what I've been trying to explain. Thx :)

 

He could run a wire from the box to a ground stake (GEC) outside. That would ground the box, thus the screw on the faceplate would be grounded so the converter would work just fine :P

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Exactly what I've been trying to explain. Thx :)

 

He could run a wire from the box to a ground stake (GEC) outside. That would ground the box, thus the screw on the faceplate would be grounded so the converter would work just fine :P

That would only work if the socket he's plugged into is the only one on the circuit. Otherwise the current could get dumped back down the neutral and hurt someone.

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Exactly what I've been trying to explain. Thx :)

 

He could run a wire from the box to a ground stake (GEC) outside. That would ground the box, thus the screw on the faceplate would be grounded so the converter would work just fine :P

Man, this is getting scary. Playing electrician with someone else's property without written approval and the proper permits is not a good idea. In the event of any mishap, they can trace it back to you and prosecute/sue for damages.

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Well, I'm not going to do anything without talking to my landlord and an electrician. I was pretty much looking for a quick easy fix for it.

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