Isolated ground receptacles

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  #1  
Old 01-30-02, 12:51 PM
hotarc
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Isolated ground receptacles

Is it really necessary to use one those isolated ground receptacles, which always seem to be orange, with a computer and peripherals?

Do the isolated ground recptacles actually protect against power surges?
 
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Old 01-30-02, 01:34 PM
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Isolated grounds are used to reduce noise usually caused by dirty power, in commercal and industral applications this can cause a great deal of problems in the home not so much to worry about. Noise is a result of harmonic distortion usually from transformers. Many electrical engineers and designers are finding oversizing the neutral is helping reduce the interfearance so IG's are not as neccessary as they once were. The newer tranformers do not have the problem as often as the older ones.
As for the orange receptacle IG's also come in white and Ivory with a small orange triangle on the receptcale much more attractive.
Surge protection is actually a different thing you can buy serge protectors or you can even buy receptacles with both the capabilities as an IG and a surge protector In this case I believe these receptacles have an orange triangle and a green one.
If this computer is going into your home I'd sudjest going to Radio Shack and buy a serge protector and call it quits
 
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Old 01-30-02, 04:19 PM
hotarc
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Thanks for all the info, I will just stick to the surge protected power strip. I have a buddy who installed one at his computer desk and insists it's the only way to protect your equipment. He works at a hospital and he got a few of the old receptacles, which were orange, when they were remodeling. He has offered to replace the one my computer is connected to but I don't see any reason for it.
 
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Old 01-30-02, 05:14 PM
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The receptacle itself is like any other on the market it does no good it is coloured to identify the circuit that has an Isolated ground and they must be run special from the panel. Your friend isn't any better off with one you on the other hand with a surge surpresser power bar will be the safer.
 
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Old 01-30-02, 06:08 PM
Wgoodrich
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I agree with what Gard had to say in the previous posts. However there is one point that I disagree with his statement and also felt a little more info supporting another point that he said may be of help.

An Isolated receptacle is actually different from a normal receptacle in the fact that the mounting yoke is grounded to the metal box and in contact with the normal equipment grounding system of the structure by contact with that metal conduit box, while the green screw of the isolated receptacle is actually isolated even from the mounting yoke of that isolated receptacle.

Now to give a little more detail in support of what Gard was saying about isolated receptacles in a dwelling using Romex and plastic boxes.

If you install a dedicated circuit from the main service panel in your home directly to the normal receptacle installed in a plastic device box and serving the computer system only, then you have all the makings of an isolated receptacle and meet the definition of an isolated receptacle circuit. There is no other contact with that normal receptacle to any part of the structures equipment grounding system except in the main service rated panel where you are supposed to connect a commercial isolated ground.

The only difference is in a commercial isolated grounding conductor you have a green insulated isolated grounding conductor. In a dwelling grounding system with a dedicated branch circuit you still have the isolated equipment grounding conductor but that isolated grounding conductor is covered by the Romex cable but not insulated with green insulation. ONly difference mechanically.

Gard is right, install a dedicated branch circuit to serve you computer system and use a surge protector and you can do nothing more to better the wiring design.

Hope this helps

Wg
 
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Old 01-30-02, 07:38 PM
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I have heard of people thinking that they were providing extra protection for themselves by installing an isolated ground receptacle on an existing circuit, and relying on the yolk connection to a metal box for ground. Of course, if the metal box was grounded that makes the yolk grounded, but..... no connection to the ground screw makes the third prong ungrounded. Thus making the situation worse, because the cord connected equipment has no ground path. The ground screw and yolk are isolated from each other.
 
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Old 01-30-02, 07:53 PM
hotarc
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From what I gather it seems an isolated ground receptacle is only of any real advantage in an industrial setting. If I were building or remodeling I would opt for a dedicated computer circuit, with only one receptacle, like Wg mentioned, but unfortunately I am not remodeling and don't have that capability. For right now I am stuck with my 20 A family room circuit I've been using for years and have not had any problems. Moreover, if what I gather is correct, you can not install any other receptacles or equipment on the same circuit as the isolated grounding receptacle. If that is so, it would not be of any use in my application, as the receptacle outlet in question feeds other outlets.
 
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