advice seeked with ungrounded outlets

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by Ahmose, Apr 20, 2004.

  1. Ahmose

    Ahmose Extra

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    Hello and thanks in advance for any advice.
    We moved into an older house which unfortunatly has ungrounded outlets. The house itself is grounded, however the outlets are not (there is no ground wire, only live and neutral).
    Ofcourse, i don't want to do any major renovations $$, if i can avoid it. The people at the hardware store recommended that i install GFCI receptacles instead.
    My question concerns if i can use power conditioners like the Exact Power 15A and surge protectors like the Brickwall with an ungrounded outlet ?
    I suspect that i cannot use the brickwall, since i've heard that surges get routed to the ground wire. Can it work with the GFCI ? Does the ExactPower 15A work with an ungrounded outlet ?
    Or am i out of luck and have to cough up the money getting the ground wire installed ?
    thanks again or your time.
     
  2. PaulT

    PaulT Supporting Actor

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    Your best bet would be to email or call the Manufacturers of the surge protectors you are considering and get their answers.

    A GFI will protect 'you' from ungrounded outlets, which is the most important part of this problem.

    If you are only looking at installing a ground wire on one or two outlets, it may not be cost prohibitive considering the benefits and safety issues.
     
  3. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    Unless you can run a ground to your surge protector, they're useless. Bill Kane, whose postings I sorely miss, discussed this a bit here. If this doesn't answer your question, please post back.
    BTW, why not simply have a whole house surge protection device installed? It'd be located at either the breakers or the meter and would provide surge protection for your entire home at a price per protected appliance that's very cost effective.
     
  4. Ahmose

    Ahmose Extra

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    PaulT, thanks for your suggestion with regards to emailing the manufacturers. I have tried sending email to Exact Power before posting, but somehow they are over their mail quota !! so my message bounced (it's amazing to me !!).

    Chu Gai, thanks for your help. I will look into installing a whole house surge protector. That sounds like a great idea.
    I hope it's not too complicated to install.
     
  5. RogerMt

    RogerMt Extra

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    I have the Exactpower EP15-A & SP15-A. I've called the company with their 800 number to ask questions a couple of times. I don't think it's a violation to post it here? Apologies if I'm wrong, it's a publicly available # 1-800-773-7977. Give them a call, I've found them very helpful.
     
  6. Ahmose

    Ahmose Extra

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    Thanks RogetMt for the number. I gave them a call and they'll get back to me.
    With regards to the whole house surgeprotector, i found this quote:
    "Also, be aware that a whole house protector allows more voltage through than a point of use protector, this is not good for computers and home theater systems."
    This is from www.powersystemsdirect.com website.
    So i wonder if using a whole house surge protector makes sense in my case ?
     
  7. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    No one's saying to use just whole house. You'd augment it with modest units at a far better price point for those areas that have sensitive electronics. No company in their right mind would use point of use systems everywhere instead of a facility wide device. The cost would be prohibitive, the degree of protection worse due to the distance to earth ground, etc. Now your problem is that right now you don't have a ground and hence you're SOL. Please do a comprehensive search under my name "Chu Gai" and the terms "whole house" and read various posts. I'm just too lazy today to retype all this stuff.
     
  8. Allan Jayne

    Allan Jayne Cinematographer

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    You may be able to run an external ground wire that looks no worse than a speaker wire. At each wall outlet being used you would use one of those little (often gray) three prong to two- prong-plus-lug adapters and all the "lugs" are strung together with the external ground wire which then continues on to a real ground such as a radiator pipe. A ground of this kind would reduce or eliminate ground loop noise problems too.

    Video hints:
    http://members.aol.com/ajaynejr/video.htm
     
  9. Ahmose

    Ahmose Extra

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    Chu Gai,
    thanks, I will read your posts, they are very helpfull. I think I understand your point now, which is to use both approaches: whole house protector coupled with individual surge protectors.
     
  10. Ahmose

    Ahmose Extra

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    Allan Jayne,
    I really like your idea of an external ground wire. I'll certainly look into doing that.
    Thanks or your great suggestion.
     

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