First of all, many many homes do not have grounded outlets.
Second, I've seen other people attach a wire and run it out the window to
Third many people attach the wire to a cold water pipe.
So I'm looking for solutions, not sarcasm.
I won't live in a place like that.
But as long as you know it, wrapping is not enough, you need a clamp
type ground connector. Sure the radiator is grounded?
Must be VERY old building. Ever heard of ground loop which may create
more problem than not having ground at all.
As long as you know.
Safety always first.
What would you do though if you were looking at houses to rent? Pull out a
receptacle at each one you visit to see if it is grounded?
I am not sure, that is why I was asking. If I get ambitious I will simply
run a ground wire form the receptacle to the neutral bus bar on the panel.
But I do not want to do something where it takes too much time since it is
not my house and it would only be a temporary set up (there is no way I
would improve the house and then just leave it after I move out). If I
happen to add another circuit or two for my office, I could just add the
ground wires then.
To get an earth ground, you must pound a ten foot copper coated ground
rod into the ground and clamp a wire to it. For a 20 amp circuit, the
ground wire should be 12 gauge. In a building as old as yours, you
could also attach the ground wire to the metal water pipe where it
enters the building. Make sure you sand off any paint or corrosion,
you must ground to bare metal. Use a clamp, don't just wrap the wire
around the pipe.
Pay no attention to Matt. That is just his idea of humor, making
trouble for other people. He likes to belittle people who call him
nasty names, but there are no nice names for Matt. The more I hear
from him, the more I am convinced of that.
what you propose is pointless. 'ground' is relative. without your
electrical service being 'grounded' to the same ground as the coathanger its
just a floating ground. same as if you just used a pair of snippers and cut
the third prong off the plug.
This is actually a pretty good point. A makeshift ground may do more
harm than good; in the extreme worse case, suppose you "ground" to a
water pipe which is not itself grounded (suppose the water service has
never been upgraded and is still lead, or has been upgraded recently
with plastic). Then a fault on your grounded computer energizes all the
plumbing in the house. A wire out the window to a coathanger is not a
ground, it's an antenna, and it's anyone's guess what that'll do for
What you can consider, which is code-compliant in the US and Canada and
a safety benefit, is to have the ungrounded outlets replaced with GFCI
receptacles. This does not provide ground but will protect against a
lot of what can go wrong. GFCI's come with stickers that say "no
equipment ground" that you put on the faceplace when you do this.
If the "site wiring fault" light on your surge suppressor bothers you,
put tape over it.
They can, yes. And that's bad, if you don't catch the problem soon enough.
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
Nobody ever left footprints in the sands of time by sitting on his butt.
And who wants to leave buttprints in the sands of time?
A GFCI on a refrigerator is actually considered a human
safety threat. Not from electricity. Threat to humans is
from food poisoning. The human might not know how long or
when the electricity had tripped off.
Bedrooms now must use a different type of GFCI on all wall
receptacles. This because fires from things like extension
cords have proven to be a more serious threat. My personal
recommendation is to put an AFGI on the outlet that lights any
live Christmas tree. Others have demonstrated how a Christmas
tree fire leaves the occupants less than five minutes to get
The downside to GFCIs is nuisance tripping due to electrical
appliances that have internal failures - voltage leakages.
For example, the 12 volt DC light was isolated from AC mains
by a transformer. But the chipmunks exposed one of the 12
volt wires to earth. Periodically the GFCI would trip only
because leakage across the transformer was periodically enough
to trip that GFCI. Periodic nuisance tripping because the low
voltage circuit had a problem that was safe but unacceptable.
I see nothing 'bold' here. What do you have a problem
with? Are you telling us that live Christmas tree fires are
not that dangerous? Are you suggesting a GFCI on the
refrigerator is acceptable? Are you saying AGFIs are not
required on bedroom circuits? Are you saying chipmunks
chewing into a 12 VDC wire did not cause those intermittent
GFCI trips? What, in very specific detail, do you have a
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