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Computer/anything metal shocking me, but only in one room in house

Computer/anything metal shocking me, but only in one room in house

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  #1  
Old 06-04-17, 10:36 PM
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Computer/anything metal shocking me, but only in one room in house

Hi There,

I just moved a studio into a newly built room in my house. In my previous room I had a computer plugged in, and everything was fine.

Once I'd moved the computer to another room I am getting what I think is a small electric shock if I touch any metal part of the computer.

I think this means the electric supply is ungrounded, which is common where I live (Cambodia).

My query is why would this happen in one room and not another? Could it just be the plug socket is loose in the new room so the third prong is not attached properly?

Many people where I live have Ungrounded power supplies. Excluding fire risks etc how dangerous is this for my equipment? I use a UPS, though i have read these are useless if the source is not grounded, though it already has worked a couple of times.

Thanks in advance for your help, and apologies for my child like knowledge of electricity!
 
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  #2  
Old 06-04-17, 10:53 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

Actually I understand your problem completely. It is a fairly common occurrence and I have the same issue with my laptop. I have a Toshiba but it can happen to any computer, and to other electronic products, that are powered by an in-line power supply and plugged in with a two prong mains plug.

Those inline power supplies are high voltage inverter supplies. They operate at a very high frequency and voltage. That tingle comes from that high voltage following the power cord to the case of the unit. My case is black plastic and I feel it as the plastic has conductive carbon in it. It is not harmful just very annoying.

I have responded to several threads like yours and have left the following link from Dell on this problem.

Dell/notebook_tingle-sensation-what-is-going-on ?
 
  #3  
Old 06-04-17, 11:10 PM
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Thanks PJmax,

I read your link, thanks for that.

Can you suggest a solution, seeing as I did not have the problem in the old room I had my computer in? The computer/UPS is plugged into the wall via a 3 prong socket...

Thanks
 
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Old 06-04-17, 11:16 PM
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Does the computer have a 2 or 3 prong plug ?
Is this a laptop ?

If 2 prong..... the only way is to physically ground the case of the computer or try a different power supply.

A UPS shouldn't affect the problem.
 
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Old 06-05-17, 07:51 AM
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The source of the electricity could be coming from the 3rd [grounding] prong in the outlet!

Do you have 3 prong to 2 prong adapters there? That would keep your grounded plug from contacting the 3rd grounded connection on the outlet. (Not the best solution in the world, but if the electrical system is that bad, then I suppose "you have to do what you have to do!")

Of course the proper and best thing would be to properly ground your electrical system. But that might not be possible if you are renting?

Note that many computer connection wires have grounds in them... USB, DVI, Ethernet, serial connections, etc. So an electrical potential on one ground can travel to many different computer devices via those grounds.
 
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Old 06-06-17, 04:28 AM
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It is a desktop Dell XPS something something.

the plug is a 3 prong, running into a usp, then into the main socket. I suspect it maybe the ground connection in that socket might be loose and preventing contact? Is this a possibility?

My computer is safe I assume?
 
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Old 06-06-17, 06:56 AM
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The problem is with the wiring system in your HOME/BUILDING!

My advice would be to call a qualified electrician.
 
  #8  
Old 06-06-17, 06:25 PM
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You could try running it directly to a receptacle without the UPS just as a test to see if the UPS is at fault. You could also try a different receptacle as a further test.

You definitely need to address the ground issue. The problem you are experiencing is different from the problem like I had with the two prong plug.

You should not get any shock at all off a grounded component.
 
  #9  
Old 06-06-17, 07:57 PM
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If you put cardboard on the floor and on your chair, is the shock less severe?

A concrete slab floor on the dirt under the house can leak a little current in the same fashion that phantom voltage gets measured on supposedly dead wires. Dry cardboard increases the resistance so as to reduce such phantom current flow.

Do you have a known electrical ground anywhere? You need to identify a "grounded conductor" running from your home to a system of ground wires running from utility pole to utility pole on the street. This is generally one of the wires forming the incoming electrical service and also one of the two wires going to every receptacle and every light. In the U.S. this grounded conductor is also called the neutral.

Downstream of the panel or box where the first whole-house disconnect switch or breaker is located, an additional conductor (the ground wire, formally the equipment grounding conductor) may accompany the circuit wires including the neutral to all points. Neutral and ground are tied together only at the aforementioned box or panel. Also coming from that box or panel is a wire going to ground rods and/or water pipes that exit the house underground. Correctly wired, the ground rod and the fat wire connecting it via the panel to the neutral going out to the utility pole make up the known ground (formally the grounding electrode system).

Incorrect wiring of circuits, receptacles, etc. can result in exposed metal parts being energized. Under some conditions no one might notice this until he touches some unrelated object (such as a water faucet) that happens to be grounded while at the same time touching exposed metal parts of the electrical equipment that happens to be plugged into the incorrectly wired circuit.
 

Last edited by AllanJ; 06-06-17 at 08:20 PM.
  #10  
Old 06-06-17, 08:28 PM
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Uninterruptible power supplies will work correctly on ungrounded circuits. Ground fault circuit interrupters (residual current devices) will work correctly on ungrounded circuits. Surge suppressors will not work correctly on ungrounded circuits.

Equipment including computers, stereo equipment, refrigerators, etc. can be grounded via separate single conductors (daisy chained among multiple devices near each other) where the far end of each such conductor (wire) is connected to a known ground. No permission from a landlord is needed to do this.
 
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