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Have older house with only 2 prong slots on outlets. Will an adater work ok?


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#1 of 15 OFFLINE   Todd smith

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Posted March 16 2003 - 05:38 PM

I was planning on getting an adapter to plug into my 2 prong outlet so I could plug my 3 prong monster pb1100 powerbar into the wall and then plug in my HT gear into the monster powerbar. Is there any reason I should not use this adapter and if so what are my alternatives?

#2 of 15 OFFLINE   Bill Kane

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Posted March 16 2003 - 07:11 PM

You COULD use a cheater plug and the equipment will work as usual as long as the components don't accidentally short out inside. The round prong on the surge protector acts to ground components in metal boxes. In a shorting situation, the component box itself might become "hot" to anyone touching it.

Here's an explainer HOW STUFF WORKS

If you feel confident in handling home electricity, you can cut the breaker to the outlet and remove the duplex, gently pulling it out a few inches. If the wiring inside includes a black (hot), white (neutral) and either a sheathed green or bare copper (ground), you can replace it with a new one with the round hole. Buy either a Commercial or Industrial specification.

Following instructions use the brass colored screw to attach the black wire; the nickel-silver colored screw for the white; and it should have a green screw to attach the ground wire. Needle-nose pliers are handy to adjust the bent loop in the outlet wires. Wrap the loop in a clockwise fashion around the screw, so when the screw tightens it keeps the loop from straying outside the post, it you can visualize this. Tighten firmly. and stuff the duplex back inside and reattach the two longer mounting screws to the inner box.

Then throw the breaker circuit back on and you should be good to go.

To make absolutely certain you have a ground all the way back to the main service panel, and the earth ground is working there, you'll have to buy a $9-$10 outlet tester at the hardware store. Newer ones have LEDs that indicate if the ground and polarity are OK. You can check all the other outlets in your place as well. You'd be surprised in apartments and rental homes to find how many outlets end up miswired over time.

Remember, the whole point of a surge protector is that it must have a ground path, otherwise it's worthless for this purpose and just becomes an ordinary plug-in strip.

bill

#3 of 15 OFFLINE   Todd smith

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Posted March 17 2003 - 09:24 AM

Will the other features still work in the monster power strip, like the interference reducing capabilities or does this get canceled out if I use a cheater plug as well?

#4 of 15 OFFLINE   Bill Kane

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Posted March 17 2003 - 10:22 AM

Will the AC line noise filtering still work? Most likely. oh, and Happy Birthday!

#5 of 15 OFFLINE   PaulT

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Posted March 17 2003 - 03:09 PM

Todd, if you do not have 3 wires (as Bill said) Black, White, plain Copper (or Green) into your wall box, then you have a couple of options for ground protection. The first would be to install a 3 prong GFI outlet in the box using only the white and black wires. This would give at least some form of protection (to you). The other option is to run a copper ground wire from the box (and ground on the plug) fished through the wall to earth ground. This could be either to the breaker box, or perhaps a copper water pipe that is grounded somewhere else in your house. This is a job for an Electrician should you not be confident doing it yourself. If there are only 2 wires connected to your 2 prong outlet, using an adaptor plug (some which have a ground bar to attach to the screw on the wall plate) will not safely ground your equipment, and 'could' put you in danger should a problem occur in your equipment.
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#6 of 15 OFFLINE   Chu Gai

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Posted March 17 2003 - 04:21 PM

better make sure that copper pipe doesn't have a PVC connection in there else no ground.

#7 of 15 OFFLINE   PaulT

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Posted March 18 2003 - 03:08 AM

It depends on your local electrical codes. Here ( Central BC Canada) if you have 'any' copper pipe, it will be ground strapped somewhere to the earth ground. As Chu says, you would have to make sure you are not on the wrong (ungrounded) side of any 'new' plastic piping.

The best method to assure the ground, then, would be to run the wire to the breaker box Posted Image
"One of the problems of taking things apart and seeing how they work--supposing you're trying to find out how a cat works--you take that cat apart to see how it works, what you've got in your hands is a non-working cat." -- Douglas Adams

#8 of 15 OFFLINE   Chu Gai

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Posted March 18 2003 - 03:34 AM

any reason why you can't rewire?

#9 of 15 OFFLINE   Todd smith

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Posted March 18 2003 - 04:25 AM

Thanks for all the info everybody, and for the Happy B-Day! I had a fun one. I have one more option which I dont mind doing as LONG as I will not loose any performance. On the other side of my room, I have a 3 prong outlet which has the ground. I can not put the HT equipment over there, but I can run an extension cord from here to other side of room and plug the power bar into the extension cord. Will this work without any performance loss? Dont have a WAF and dont care how it looks as long as performance is not sacrificed. What are your thoughts on this?

#10 of 15 OFFLINE   Bill Kane

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Posted March 18 2003 - 04:35 AM

You can do that, Todd, but are you looking for a workaround because you dont wanna unscrew/replace a wall duplex? Since your place house is older and has a mix of outlets, who knows if the ground is good all around? Try this, plug the PowerBar1100 into that 3-prong and see if there's an LED that reads GRD OK. You gotta make sure there's a house ground behind your poweer center and gear.

#11 of 15 OFFLINE   PaulT

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Posted March 18 2003 - 05:29 AM

Todd, open up the plate and check, you may have the ground wire in there and all it takes is to replace the outlet (a couple of bucks) if that is the case. Test the other outlet as Bill says. If you have Ground OK, then there is a really good chance your 2 prong outlet just needs to be replaced, and the ground wire hooked up to the new outlet.
"One of the problems of taking things apart and seeing how they work--supposing you're trying to find out how a cat works--you take that cat apart to see how it works, what you've got in your hands is a non-working cat." -- Douglas Adams

#12 of 15 OFFLINE   Todd smith

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Posted March 19 2003 - 10:59 AM

I looked at the outlet today and there was just a black and white wire. I then checked the other outlet across the room which is a 3 prong and it had the copper wire so I think it should be ok. I will test it anyway just to make sure. Any idea what a electrician would charge to fix the other outlet with a ground? If it is too much I will just run the extension cord or put the system on the other side of the room. Thanks for the help.

#13 of 15 OFFLINE   Bill Kane

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Posted March 19 2003 - 12:29 PM

An electrician would check the old or original house outlet to see if there is a zinc/alloy metal gangbox in the wall outlet space, which means the wiring runs thru a metal conduit back to the fuse panel. This established the ground in the olden days. Typically, the outlet grounds by screwing a 3-4inch piece of wire to the side of the duplex and to a the back of the box. The electrician wud check to see if this "old" ground still works, and if so, cud still replace the outlet with a 3-hole. I wud think you'd want to avoid pulling out the old circuits and completely rewiring, esp. if you are renting....

#14 of 15 OFFLINE   Tom Wilson

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Posted March 20 2003 - 09:01 PM

Bill Kane, That is correct and it also applies to flexible metal sheathed wiring which I have, and is how I provided a 3 prong outlet in my house.

#15 of 15 OFFLINE   John S Smith

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Posted April 08 2003 - 04:42 PM

Old code requirements in some parts of the country called for the outlet box to be grounded, not the outlet itself. Groundwire would then be stripped back and atached to OUTSIDE of the box. If this is the case you should be able to tease the ground wire through a K/O and attach a short jumper which you can then attach to your outlet. BTW wires should only be SCREWED to terminals for a good connection. Buy Commercial grade outlets from Electrical supply house rather than HD crap. Good luck! ..john
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