Need electrical advice.... Help!!

Discussion in 'Computers' started by Jeremy:L, Apr 8, 2003.

  1. Jeremy:L

    Jeremy:L Agent

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    Lately when I touch the back of my computer I can feel a tingling sensation. It doesn't shock me like a static discharge would, but it's just a steady tingle. I just replaced a bad motherboard, that I suspect may have been damaged by this. Yesterday my computer locked up and when I felt the back, the current felt stronger than normal. I unplugged the power supply and it was reduced, but I could still feel it. I unplugged the monitor and it was reduced some more (but I could also feel electricity if I touched the unplugged monitor cable which was not connected to the computer). I unplugged the printer cable and it finally went away. Could the problem be in the power strip? Somehow that doesn't seem right...

    I thought it was a bad power supply (the unit in the computer), but then how come I could feel it in the monitor cable? I thought maybe we had too much voltage coming into the house (we've been losing lightbulbs fairly often), but there is another computer plugged into the same extension cord as the computer with the problem and it is fine so far. It is using a different power strip though. I'm at a total loss and I'm afraid to try and start it back up for fear of losing a brand new motherboard that I can't afford to replace again. Anyone have any ideas? TIA!
     
  2. Kevin P

    Kevin P Screenwriter

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    Are the two computers plugged into different outlets? I'd guess it's a grounding problem. You can get an outlet tester at Home Depot or Radio Shack which you can plug in to verify that the outlet is (or isn't) wired properly.

    If you plug the tingling computer into the same strip as the other computer, do you still feel the tingling?

    KJP
     
  3. Jeremy:L

    Jeremy:L Agent

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    The computers each have their own strip, but the strips are plugged into the same extension cord...
     
  4. Tekara

    Tekara Supporting Actor

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    yes, it is a definate grounding problem. . . my best guess is that there is some metal in contact with one of the components in the computer. I would suggest removing everything from the computer and replacing it all very carfully. Make sure your stadoff (the pieces that hold the motherboard up) are aligned with the proper holes (the ones with a metal ring).

    basically, there is something in your computer that is using your case as the ground (set up like this for protection against shorts) you need to recheck all your grounds.

    if you are feeling it in your monitor cable that can be a good indication that there is a frayed wire in there. . . since the monitor sounds like it is still functioning, it would be possible for the negative wire to fray and the monitor is using ground as a negetive (they both have a 0V potential, so no worries).

    before doing anything in my list, you should get a voltage meter and test the voltage comming out of your wall outlet. components will draw (take) current not accept it. BUT, they will accept voltage as oppose to drawing it (it gets forced into them). sounds confusing? just think of it like so, you can't control the pressure, but you can control the amount.
     
  5. Jeremy:L

    Jeremy:L Agent

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    There may be some metal contact between the MB and the case where the ports go thru the holes in the back of the case. Does that make sense? It seems like it would be awful tough for there not to be some contact there...

    Thanks for the suggestions, I'll double check that the screws are in the right holes.
     
  6. Jeremy:L

    Jeremy:L Agent

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    Alright, get this. The knucklehead that wired the garage (now the office/smoking room) reversed the hot and neutral on this outlet AND he never connected the ground wire to the garage!![​IMG] He also said something about the neutral on the light switch being jumped to the neutral on the outlet. And it only cost me a new motherboard/cpu to figure out there was a problem.[​IMG]

    Luckily my BIL is an apprentice electrician and was able to figure this out. He rewired the outlet and connected the ground wire (it was already there, it was just disconnected ). Everything works perfectly now!
     
  7. Tekara

    Tekara Supporting Actor

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    wow, that sucks. . . good to hear you figured out the problem though. Something like that has great potential for screwing up a whole house.
     

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