No equipment ground and surge protector


Old 12-26-13, 08:18 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Bloomington, IN
Posts: 10
No equipment ground and surge protector

So I have a whole home surge protector installed on my main electrical panel.

My wife wants to move the tv in the bedroom to an area where I have no 3 prong outlet and no easy way to run new wire for a normal grounded outlet.

I know I can replace the 2 prong with a gfi labelled no equipment ground, however is there any issue with plugging a surge protector into this new gfi?

I need to plug in more than 2 devices and occasionally her hair dryer. Seems like it would work, but also seems bizarre for reason. The surge protector plugged in would basically just be a fancy extension cord right? Am I just over thinking it?
Sponsored Links
Old 12-26-13, 08:49 PM
pcboss's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Maryland
Posts: 14,587
Surge protectors shunt excess voltage to ground. Without a ground there is no place for the excess voltage to go to.
Old 12-26-13, 09:00 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Bloomington, IN
Posts: 10
Yes, I'm not looking for surge protection out of the the surge protector that's plugged in though. The surge protection would be provided via the whole home at the panel right? Just trying to get a three prong outlet in a spot I can't get to to run new wire and need to plug in a few items, so I need more than two plugs and happen to have a surge protector that's unused and new.

I think I'm over complicating my question but just don't want to do anything stupid
Old 12-26-13, 09:26 PM
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 3,096
Nothing wrong with using a power strip with a built in surge protector as if it were an ordinary extension cord.

A ground wire for an existing ungrounded circuit can be added at any time and need not follow the exact route of the circuit cable or conductors. It needs to run to the panel where the breaker for the circuit is, except if it should first reach a fat ground wire going from the main panel to a ground rod or water pipe, it can end there.
Old 12-26-13, 09:39 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Bloomington, IN
Posts: 10
Thanks Allan, my vocabulary is off...what is a "fat ground wire?" I was always told ground wires had to follow the same path.
Old 12-27-13, 08:25 AM
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 138
what is a "fat ground wire?"
#6 or larger. It must be within five feet of the panel.
I was always told ground wires had to follow the same path.
Current carrying conductors to the same load must be in the same raceway but that doesn't apply to grounds because they don't carry current except during a fault.
Old 12-27-13, 10:27 AM
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 1,024
Most surge strips have a MOV between hot and neutral as well as hot and ground so would add some protection in your situation. The wiring alert LED would be on though.
Old 12-30-13, 11:07 PM
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: usa
Posts: 102
An equipment ground is about human safety. Being too far from earth ground and bundled with other wires, it does almost nothing for surge protection.

To connect a three prong power strip (protector or non-protector type) to a two wire electrical circuit (no equipment ground) means power must come from a GFCI. Either one in a receptacle or one in the circuit breaker.

Typically 6 AWG wire is an earth ground wire - not equipment (safety) ground. Essential so that a 'whole house' protector can protect even that power strip. That solid copper wire must connect the breaker box to earth by another electrode even if also connected to a water pipe. Since a water pipe earth ground is insufficient even according to code.

Earth ground is irrelevant to the question. Safety ground prong on a power strip means that two wire circuit must include a GFCI. Also critical is the strip's 15 amp circuit breaker.

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes