Grounded outlet

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Does it realy matter if I run a computer, printer, HD etc on a non grounded outlet.
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m Ransley wrote:

There are a number of potentially issues. Safety being one. There are also operational issues.
I would say most of the time there will be no noticeable difference. The one really noticeable differences would be if there were a short and the case became live. You may become not live.
--
Joseph Meehan

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Im only worried about the equipment for things like static charge and surges, so what can happen.
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m Ransley wrote:

grounding helps prevent static charge damage, computers are highly sensitive to this.
walk across room in dry weather on say carpet, touch computer feel shock....
ungrounded shock can and will damage computer. maybe not stop it just slow its operations permanetely. besides the hazard if the case gets electrically hot that can kill.
ground the computer properly
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I'm not saying that you shouldn't ground your computer, but, most of the times static causes a problem, grounding probably wouldn't help. When you get all charged up with static electricity, you typically touch the mouse, keyboard and those, in today's plastic age, do not have grounded (metal) cases. This could destroy the keyboard or mouse itself, but can also destroy the ports on the motherboard.
snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

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m Ransley wrote:

m R:
You can avoid shock hazards with a GFCI receptacle, even if no ground is available. However, if you do this, you might as well leave out the surge protector and plug the equipment right into the wall. Surge protectors use varistors to short high-voltage surges and spikes to ground. No ground, no short, no surge protection. This is why some have a 'grounded' light. Without a functioning ground, they're useless except as a multi-outlet strip.
Cordially yours: G P
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m Ransley wrote:

I once worked in a large big name retail chain. With over a hundred computer cash registers static was a big problem. It knocked out more than one during the day. All kinds of solutions were tried. As it ended up two worked. First was my suggestion of anti-static spray, renewed twice a week (turned out that ended up being my job) and about two generations later the equipment become less sensitive.
When working for a State agency, they had one employee who knocked out printers, computers and anything electronic. This time it took both anti-static pads (grounding pads) and spray both.
In short, I would suggest you get them grounded for what you are worried about, and for what you are not worried about and should. Machines are easier to replace than people.
--
Joseph Meehan

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Similar situation.
I made all my female employees show me their panties, privately, before work to guarantee they weren't wearing nylon!
After implementing this plan, static discharges stopped.
I also sprayed the floor, before anyone else got to the shop, with my own mixture of 2 tbls fabric softener to 1 pint of water, but I don't think that had anything to do with the static electricity. No, I'm quite convinced it was my panty-diligence that did the trick. Heck, in cases where there was some doubt, I had the ladies LEAVE their panties in my office during their shift!
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m Ransley wrote:

Grounding addresses numerous issues. Same wire may perform different functions. Others have noted an obvious and first reason for third prong ground wire - human safety. If using only two wire receptacles, then a GFCI can be installed as a kludge and legal alternative to missing safety ground in wall receptacle. GFCI installed either in receptacle or in breaker box.
Safety ground wire also is part of protection to interconnected equipment - data lines. Even if equipment does not connect to building safety ground, still, all should interconnect their third prongs to a common point. A $3 power strip will interconnect equipment ground prongs. This grounding function is especially useful for devices that use common mode signaling such as RS-232 serial ports and Centronics type printer interfaces. Common point grounding performed to protection interface drivers AND to reduce failure do to signally noise.
Third function: static electricity involves a completely different circuit. Safety ground is not relevant. Items in a room not normally considered electrical conductors are good conductors for static electricity. In a simplest example, static electricity current flows out via fingers, through electronics, down table into rug, and then back to your shoes. A complete circuit necessary for electric current flow. Safety ground need not be part of this circuit. Furthermore, better manufacturers conductively 'paint' inside of cases and keyboards so that a static discharge gets into that floor without passing through electronics. IOW, if that common AC electric ground device (ie power strip) is metal and in contact with the floor (or an anti-static floor mat), then equipment ground (third prong) wire would conduct a static electric discharge direct to floor (and shoes) without passing destructively through any electronic circuits.
A static discharge mat in front of keyboard that discharges to floor (even through table) might discharge hands before touching a keyboard. Again, this type grounding is about discharging back to floor and shoes - a different type of grounding that may or may not use equipment ground wire. That internal conductive paint made more effective when it somehow connects to floor.
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Oh come on! The odds of dying from touching a computer with a short are about the same as the odds of dying on the way to the Supermarket.
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I service office machines for a living and such line to case shorts do occur. the cause no power, blown machine or main breaker troubles.
ungrounded they cause no trouble till you touch the case, ZAP
the reason you dont hear of it happening is because the vast majority of devices today are grounded.........
frankly I would rather avoid getting shocked altogether and want my computes to run well.
both of these arent supported by a ungrounded outlet:(
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Not so "vast" in the majority anymore.
Neither of my "ink jet" printers has a ground. The laser printer does as do the monitors and main computers. Most stuff that's powered from a "wall wart" isn't hard grounded. (All these might have a deliberate "leakage" to the power conductors.)
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actually, dying on the way to the supermarket would be much greater... I've never heard of a power supply shorting to the case of a computer, although, if it did... and you were able to complete the circuit somehow (assuming it didn't blow it's internal fuse, or your breaker) you would die as the amperage is definitely enough to stop your heart.... but you are definitely more likely to get run over, struck by lightening or stoned to death by angry union workers walking to the market.
Back to your original question, I have run all kinds of computer equipment on non-grounded outlets...In fact, I had to rip the third prong off my old APC surge protector about 5 years ago when I moved into a rental with only two prong outlets, so technically all my equipment was un-grounded until I recently bought a surge protector from walmart for $25 (sales are great)
Speaking of that $25 surge protector, it has a "grounded" indicator... that obviously isn't glowing "ON" as my outlets aren't grounded (I'm lazy, and my insurance is paid up). I have no idea how a ground indicator works, but I guess surge protectors are starting to be smart enough to know when their owners are cheating them out of an earth ground for their precious little circuits.
Grounding my outlets (I own quite a bit of electronic equipment, btw) is on the bottom of my to-do list. And, as far as static is concerned... I've been in IT for years, around a lot of delicate computer chips and servers....and not once have I experienced any sort of problem with static, and I've never cared to use a wrist strap or any of those other gizmos. But this is my experience and as soon as I burn out a stick of memory by rubbing my feet on the carpet I'll listen to yours. ;-)
Jason Kelly Valley Center, KS
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote: And, as far as static is

I have had problems with static electricity. I had a laptop that I kept drawing an arc from when I touched it. And the arc was returning to ground through the LAN cable. It burned out the port on the router. Fortunately there was a spare port on the router, but it was not a good thing.
After that I rigged up a ground wire that I connected to the laptop to make sure the case was grounded.
Bill Gill
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Toller wrote:

The odds are low because most cases are grounded and therefore protected. All legal non-grounded cases are double insulated and there for protected in a different manor. If a computer or other equipment has a grounded cord, it is not smart to think that it would have double insulation.
--
Joseph Meehan

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I have gotten 120V shocks before. It's not something I'd want to happen, but far from something that could be fatal. Of course, I didn't stand in a bathtub full of salt water and stick a hot wire in my mouth.
Actually, I described the experience as like having a thousand hyperactive ants just under the skin.
The fatal effect may come from a response to the unexpected sensation, such as falling off a high roof onto concrete. Try to avoid doing electrical work while standing in a precarious position.
--
45 days until the winter solstice celebration

Mark Lloyd
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Mark Lloyd wrote:

ML:
It could indeed be fatal. It's all a matter of how long, how good a ground, and where it goes through you. Anything 50v or more should be treated with respect, and favorable situations for electrocution are not as uncommon as it seems.
http://www.codecheck.com/images/ElectrocutionBen450px.gif
Cordially yours: G P
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Im not worried about myself but thought a major surge or lightning would have nowhere to go without a ground, I would think my surge supressor forces any spike to ground . Static is another reason to use a ground I guess.
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m Ransley wrote:

Ground for static electricity is not same ground for lightning. Conductive paint inside a computer's plastic case connected to floor - a ground for static electricity - would mean that electrical current does not flow destructively through electronics.
Lightning needs a different ground - earth. Wire is not a perfect conductor. For example, a wall receptacle safety ground may measure less than 0.2 ohms resistance to the earth ground rod. But same 50 foot wire connected to breaker box might be 130 ohms impedance. Electrical characteristics of that transient are important. A trivial 100 amp lightning transient might see (less than) 12000 volts between wall receptacle and breaker box. Where is the protection? 12,000 volts would then find other (and destructive) paths to earth because it was permitted near to electronics. Again, the word for this transient is 'impedance' - and why lightning must be earthed where it enters a building.
Grounding for lightning is where utility wires enter a building. Effective lightning protectors ground to earth. Grounding for static electricity means an electrical connection from hand to floor and shoes that does not pass through electronics. That ground is somewhere in that 'hand to floor' circuit.
Electrical switch specifications often claim protection from up to 20,000 volts. That means no static electricity passes from hand into switch electrical contacts. What is not always obvious? That 20,000 volt protection does not exist if the switch body is not properly connected to chassis ground. Again, what is the discharge path? If electricity comes out of finger, then what is other side of that 'battery' or 'charged capacitor' that is being discharged? Only relevant ground is a point in that circuit. For static electricity, earth ground is not part of the circuit - not relevant.
For different types of destructive transients, first define the complete electrical circuit. Only then is one point is that circuit called 'ground'.
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w_tom wrote:

The IEEE guide to surges and protection at: http://www.mikeholt.com/files/PDF/LightningGuide_FINALpublishedversion_May051.pdf describes plug-in suppressors as clamping the voltage on all wires (signal and power) to the common ground at the suppressor. Earthing is not the primary mode of protection.
-- bud--
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