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HT grounding problem

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#1 of 4 OFFLINE   gpgpg



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Posted August 06 2008 - 11:44 AM

Getting a new primitive home theater up and running in an old rental home. When I say old, I mean two-prong outlet only. And since we're renting, we cannot rewire (and no cold water pipes seem to be nearby).

I do have a fairly nice power conditioner, but of course cannot connect the grounding prong. So, if I run the coax thru the conditioner, can it be an effective ground? (it does seem to be grounded outside to the house ground). Or is it pointless to use the conditioner without the grounding plug???

Ahead of time, many thanks.

#2 of 4 OFFLINE   Robert_J


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Posted August 07 2008 - 01:13 AM

My in-laws have this problem. Surge protectors are just simple power strips without proper grounding. For their "office", they did have an electrician come in and add a grounded outlet.


#3 of 4 OFFLINE   chuckg


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Posted August 07 2008 - 04:22 AM

Originally Posted by Robert_J
Surge protectors are just simple power strips without proper grounding.

That isn't quite right - most of the cheapy surge protectors have the ground wired correctly, and use varistors to dump over-voltage to ground or neutral.

Better surge protectors use inductor-capacitor filtering as well.

I would not count on the coax to provide a safety ground. Most of the AV equipment will work just fine with no ground, but this is not usually recommended. You could run a separate piece of 12 guage wire to provide a ground to a cold water pipe, or a ground rod, or straight back to the power panel.

Dirty little secret: the ground connection is electrically tied to the neutral inside your power panel. That third wire is just a safety device, and really isn't for signal ground. Many two-prong outlets from the 60s have a ground wire for the electrical box, but it is smaller than the conductor wires. If you have that ground, you can use it. Not per spec, of course, but it does work.
--ignore the man behind the curtain

#4 of 4 OFFLINE   Vin_G


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Posted August 07 2008 - 04:44 AM

Chuck, I was just going to mention the same thing about the ground be redundant with the common wire. Why not just buy a $5 2 prong to 3 prong cheater plug.

RadioShack.com - Power & Batteries: Surge protectors & power cords: Power & extension cords: 3-Prong Grounding Adapter-2-Pack