2-prong outlet, 3-prong power strip

I'm trying to help a neighbor set up a computer and printer that her out-of-state son shipped to her.
My neighbor's house was build in the 1960s and only has two-prong outlets. In the past, whenever she wanted to use a 3-prong plug device, she just used an adapter.
I'm wondering if it would be okay to plug in the surge protector/power strip her son sent into a 3-prong adapter and then plug that into the 2-prong wall outlet. There would be three devices plugged into the power strip/surge protector: a CPU, monitor, and printer.
Specifically, I want to make sure we're not risking starting an electrical fire (or some other calamity).
If she does need to get an outlet turned into a 3-prong outlet, what elements would the electrician take into account in his price (e.g., distance from switch box) and what's your best guess on what that might cost?
Thanks in advance for any advice you can provide.
Surf
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The first thing I would do is be sure if there is a ground present in the box. A lot of older houses used a grounded system but installed 2 prong outlets. If so the adapter works as long as you connect the ground tab to the center screw. With that connected try a 3 light tester. Better is to use a self grounding recptacle ... all assuming a ground is actually present in the box. If there is no ground present she really should try to get a circuit pulled in for the PC. Surge protectors are not very good without a ground.
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A surge protector does not have a discharge path without a ground.
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Surge protectors discharge most of the surge as heat in the MOVs. You will have no neutral to ground protection tho.
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In the time it took you to type your message, you could have replaced the outlet with a 3 prong one. They cost about One Dollar. Just be sure the outlet (green screw) is grounded to the box with a short piece of green or bare wire. A home built in the 60's should have a ground in the box. Just be sure you follow the same wiring that was used. The black or red wires go to the BRASS colored screws, the White wires go to the SILVER colored screws, and the green screw is the ground. Not too dificult to do. Be sure to shut off the power when you do the job.
On 17 Nov 2004 20:36:52 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (Surfwospam) wrote:

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On Wed, 17 Nov 2004 18:37:05 -0600, snipped-for-privacy@UNLISTED.com wrote:

Around here many homes built in the early 60's do not have grounds in the box. The last two houses I have owned have not had a ground, and they were built in '60 and '62. They use the cloth covered 2 wire romex. All of the early '60s houses I looked at were the same, but one built in '69 did have 3 wire romex.
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wrote:

It looks like the states varied quite a bit back then. The city I was from had strict codes. Everything exposed had to be in conduit, such as in the basement. Where I went thru walls, it was all steel encased BX. This was code long before the 60's. My parents home for example, was built in 1951, and had all of this. In fact, if it were not for the 2-prong outlets and plug fuses, those were probably the most durable electrical systems ever used in homes. ALL the houses in that area were like that. I even put conduit and BX in my own home that I built in 79, just because that is how I had always seen things wired, and although romex w/ground was allowed, I refused to use it back then. In the 50's and early 60's, Romex was not allowed at all in the city, but I would see that cloth covered stuff on farms and in rural areas.
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snipped-for-privacy@UNLISTED.com wrote:

Don't just bet on the box being grounded! Grounding recepts were just being phased in during the mid 60's. And not every section of this great land adopted grounding simultaneously. The box ground path needs to be checked and verified before replacing any 2-prong recept.
Jim

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The real trick was having a house built to "GI Bill" or FHA standards (common around Washington DC). Our 1951 house in Md had 3 wire Romex even though the receptacles were 2 prong. We retrofitted them to 3 prong in the early 60s.
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Speedy Jim Wrote:

NEC says you can simply change rec to gfci marked as no equiptmen groun
-- Rich123
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On Sat, 27 Nov 2004 04:24:31 +0000, Rich123

The NEC does allow that, but a surge supressor won't function reliably without an equipment ground. To properly protect the computer equipment a properly grounded outlet should be installed.
Dan
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