Electrical Specialist Requested - Ungrounded outlet question

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Chris VP, Mar 13, 2001.

  1. Chris VP

    Chris VP Auditioning

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    Me and a buddy just moved into a house that was built in 1939. A lot of the outlets have been upgraded to the grounded 3 prong outlets. All of the outlets in the living room are of the old school two prong variety and that's where we decided to hook up my HT.
    We bought a new 3 prong outlet and decided to give it a shot. So obviously there was no ground connection to the outlet so we had to improvise. We were told that if the interior of the outlet was metallic and the conduit ran all the way back to the breaker box, we could just attach the ground wire to the metallic outlet box and the conduit would ground everything?
    So once everything was installed we plugged in a lamp and it worked. We plugged in a heavy duty vacuum and it worked. So I set up all my gear finally after weeks of just waiting...looking at it sit in the corner of the basement all boxed up :) Everything was set up. So I then plugged in my surge protector and...... Line Error lights up?? WTF? The power was making it to the protector but the Line Ok light wasn't lit up and the Line Error button was? So I new the power was going to it, so I hooked everything up. To my amazement everything worked fine. No equipment errors or anything. I have my whole system going to that outlet, TV, receiver, and sub.
    So my questions are: Is my equipment in any danger?
    And what can I do to make the surge protector happy?
    Sorry my knowledge of electricity and plugs n such is quite limited.
     
  2. Deane Johnson

    Deane Johnson Supporting Actor

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    Perhaps an overly simple question, but did you run a wire from the green ground terminal on your new socket to the metal box. If not, the socket you are using may or may not be getting a ground even if the conduit were well grounded.
    I think most sockets would automatically get the ground when it was mounted to the metal box, but perhaps not all.
    The little $5 circuit tester Wayne mentioned is an absolute must for this kind of stuff. They have three neon glow lights on them and light up in different combinations to show you exactly what you've got at any socket.
    Deane
     
  3. Timmy

    Timmy Stunt Coordinator

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    In your electrical breaker panel; the white and ground are connected together.
    But, a surge supressor strip relies on the ground to siphon off spikes that occur together on the hot and neutral. Without an effective ground, your surge supressors capability is greatly diminished.
    Best to run a dedicated circuit to your HT. That way you are sure it is properely grounded (and nothing else in the house is sharing this specific circuits power).
     
  4. Gene Severn

    Gene Severn Stunt Coordinator

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    A silly question, but it thought I'd ask anyway... When you replaced the outlet, did you remember to connect the white wire to the silver screw and the black wire to the brass screw? Also, a wire from the green (ground) to the outlet box is required. There is a tapped hole (10-32) on the back of the box for this purpose.
     
  5. Chris VP

    Chris VP Auditioning

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    Deane - Yes, that's exactly what we did. I don't know what else to do??
    Gene - Yes, we also did that as well?
    Guess I'm SOL [​IMG]
    Thanks for the help guys.
     

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