Electricity?


  #1  
Old 11-04-03, 05:39 PM
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Unhappy Electricity?

Dumb question time...

Does a computer (my computer) require a grounded plug?

I want to set up the 'old' computer in another room, but the desired location was wired in the mid 50's (hot and common wires to the receptacles only...)

I've set up the 'office' with new wiring, so all is properly wired and grounded there, but will I have to upgrade the wiring in the new location to run the old computer?

Sorry if this is in the wrong forum... please move it over if more appropriate...

Thanks in advance for any input

Howie
 
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Old 11-04-03, 05:59 PM
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It's not necessary to run the computer - since everything runs off of DC voltage anyway.

However, it is necessary to keep the computer safe - static charge is dissipated by the computer case and components through the AC ground. If the case is not grounded, you could have some serious problems - including fried CPU's, fried Mobo's, sound cards, HDD's, you name it.

I wouldn't do it. Run a drop cord if you have to. Find a water pipe running close-by that you can ground an outlet to.

Good luck!
 
  #3  
Old 11-04-03, 06:05 PM
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Smile THANX for the quick reply

Thanks Brandon

I sorta figured that the easy way wouldn't necessarily be the best way... (kinda like life, ain't it? )

...but I had to ask...

Luckily, there are water pipes directly below where I want to put the machine, so it might not be as tough as I had first thought...

Howie
 
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Old 11-04-03, 06:37 PM
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Other than the safety issue mentioned, there is another issue. If you attempt to use a printer or other peripheral device, under certain conditions the peripheral may not function properly, due to no ground reference between the computer and the peripheral.
 
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Old 11-04-03, 07:13 PM
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Cool

If it were me, I would simply run another circuit into that room from the electrical panel with a 20 amp single pole breaker and 12/2-with-ground wire, and then you KNOW it is right.
To install the breaker, turn OFF the main breaker (but remember that the two legs above the main are still HOT). Run the 12/2wg wire from the panel to a new receptacle in the room.
Snap the 20 amp breaker into a blank space on the electrical panel.
Attach the black (hot) wire to the breaker, the white (neutral) to the neutral bar, and the ground to the ground bar.
Attach the wires to the new receptacle (black wire to brass screw, white wire to silver screw and ground to green screw). If the receptacle box is metal, also connect the ground to the box green screw.
Plug all of the computer components into a backup unit plugged into the new receptacle.
Good Luck!
 
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Old 11-04-03, 07:58 PM
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I bet if you run over to the electrical forum and see what John Nelson says about running a ground wire to a pipe from an appliance outlet, you be pulling some new wire real quick.
 
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Old 11-05-03, 03:40 AM
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Thanks, All

I guess the proper way is the best (and safest...)

Peripherals wouldn't be a problem (at this point) as everything will eventually be networked to the 'office' area wirelessly, but if I do the upgrades to the electrical now, I won't have to be thinking about ramifications later. ...and there are still open slots in the breaker box, so adding a circuit won't be as tough as it could be...


Thanks again

Howie
 
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Old 11-05-03, 03:52 AM
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Cool

Right on, Chris.
Howie,
I'm not a licensed electrician, so it would be best for you to consult with someone in the Electrical forum for details.
Good Luck!
 
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Old 11-05-03, 05:10 AM
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yes, pull a new wire

Its best to pull new wire. DO NOT attach the ground to a water pipe.

First - are you sure there are only two wires coming to the outlet? If its a metal box (and it probably is), there may be a ground wire already attached to the box. Just because there's not a ground wire attached to the outlet doesn't mean there's not a ground wire that runs to the box.
 
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Old 11-05-03, 08:35 AM
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Originally posted by chfite
I bet if you run over to the electrical forum and see what John Nelson says about running a ground wire to a pipe from an appliance outlet, you be pulling some new wire real quick.
Of course, if you can pull new 12/2 - do that. Grounding to a water pipe was meant as a very last resort - if it is absolutely not possible to pull wires. It's not as good as grounding through the electrical panel - but, it's better than nothing.
 
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Old 11-05-03, 09:49 AM
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I disagree, Safewatch

Grounding to the plumbing system can be extremely dangerous. A fault could energize the plumbing system and shock someone that just touches a faucet in another part of the house.
Therefore, grounding to a water pipe is worse than nothing. Better to sacrifice a computer than a person.

I know you are thinking that its common practice. But that grounding takes place close to where the plumbing enters the house, not in a remote corner of the house. Still not the best situation, which is why many building codes are being changed to use grounding rods. One of my brothers-in-law works for a local water district. He has received more than one shock working on mains - because of builders using the plumbing for a ground.
 
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Old 11-05-03, 10:46 AM
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I was wondering why the codes were changed - I've seen a few situations here where grounding rods had to be installed.

That's good to know. You're right about it being common too
 
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Old 11-05-03, 01:17 PM
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I've seen grounds on the cold side by the water heater, a long ways from where it 1st enters the house out of the ground, being a plumber I have not been shocked at all working on water pipes.
 
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Old 11-06-03, 05:47 AM
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water heater isn't remote.

The water heaters I've seen, while in a remote corner of the basement, are still reasonably close to the cold water entrance.
Still, you've been lucky, plumber2000.
When all electrical items in a house are functioning properly, the ground has no current. Go back to one of those houses with and plug in a faulty appliance. See if you get a shock.
 
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Old 11-06-03, 09:57 AM
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If the piping system in a house is metal, then it must be grounded to the electrical system. This is usually done near the point of entry of the cold water into the house.

New electrical systems today need to have two ground sources. One of these ususually the water pipes, if they are metal and extend into the ground for some distance. The other source is usually a ground rod, and sometimes rebar installed in the foundation.

The ground connections are made to the (main) electrical panel.

Because the water pipes in the house are grounded, it is unlikely that a fault will be a danger to someone touching a faucet. Not that it can't be, and I would certinly never want to test it.
 
 

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