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eathing problem

Posted on 2001-09-10
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Last Modified: 2012-06-21
i dont have earthing at my home so if i install a computer will it work properly or get damaged
will ups prevent damage
plz suggest wether have or continue
thanks
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Question by:tarun209
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by:jhance
ID: 6470714
Where do you live? In the USA the NEC (National Electrical Code) requires EARTH GROUND.  I suspect that most other places that have electrical codes require the same thing.

Call an electrician and get this problem fixed as it's quite dangrous to operate 3-prong equipment with the ground lead ungrounded (i.e. un-earthed).
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by:svdamme
ID: 6470808
earthing is required for most desktop pc's ( not for portables) pc's WILL work without them but that't not safe for the hardware OR for you..
as jhance said > call an electrician
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by:pbessman
ID: 6471320
"In the USA the NEC (National Electrical Code) requires EARTH GROUND."  I am living in a house that was built in the 40s and my girlfriend had to get some grounded outlets installed, before I moved here.  All of her wiring runs through metal conduit.  The electrician that installed her outlets said it is a nice setup, but that due to the fact that wiring was so old and the even though the conduit was actually grounded in order to get a true ground to the outlets he had to fish new 3 wire type cabling.  I am not an electrician or an electrical engineer so I don't know the name, but it seems to be standard type used in homes these days.  Depending on how many outlets you have, you may consider having an electrician set you up with some new outlets.  They aren't cheap.  At least 100.00 for one but if you get the whole house redone it becomes cheaper per outlet.  Depending where it is they may be able to run a four outlet box to the place you use your computers.  They aren't too attractive, but very functional and cheaper than having wires fished through the walls.

I was told you can use adapters, but if you do invest in a 5-10 dollar outlet checker to make sure that you are set up correctly.  You need to have good grounded power outlets for the UPS to work properly.  Many will beep incessantly if the power is not set up correctly.  Common things are Open Grounds,Hot-Neutral Reversals,Hot-Ground Reversals,Open Neutrals,Open Hots.  I bought mine at Home Depot for 7.00.  It is worth the piece of mind knowing you have proper power configurations or you could waste hundreds of dollars in electrical failure related expenses.
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by:dbrunton
ID: 6471722
Or use an isolating transformer  (For your own safety).  A computer will work off an isolating transformer quite happily and safely.
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by:jbrucejr
ID: 6472814
tarun209

pbessman is correct about the fault conditions that are common.  It can be very expensive to have new wire run, and depending on the type of construction in the house it can be very difficult - which means very-very expensive.

If the wiring in your house is correct you should be ok. It is a good idea to have a protective ground at your  outlets -- Third prong - the round one.

The ground wire and the "Neutral" wires are all hooked to the same point in the Entrance box (breaker box), but the difference is in the intended use of each.  The neutral is actually a ground that is the return path and it carries current, the protective ground is there as a alternate return path in the case of some type of fault in the device that is plugged in.

A good UPS should work with out a ground, but it is better to have one.

JOhn
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by:d_hall
ID: 6472891
Also bear in mind that without a proper earth static will build up in the case, both from your touching it and from the disc drives.  Will nuke your parts sooner or later.
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by:pbessman
ID: 6473105
Also bear in mind that without a proper earth static will build up in the case.>>  Have you tried using a drier sheet to reduce the static?  If you get those little blue foam ones they also will filter some of the dust from getting in there in the first place.  During intense gaming sessions it will even smell better near your computer. HAHAHA
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by:rid
ID: 6473363
1) The absence of protective earth will not damage the computer. If you use it in a place where there are grounded installations, such as water pipes, sinks etc, you may damage yourself if the internal insulation in the computer power supply breaks down. The case may then carry power line potential; touching the case and a grounded object at the same time is not healthy in that event.

2) A real UPS (uninterruptable power supply) includes a circuit that should insulate the computer (or other appliance) from the mains. The idea is that incoming mains power is rectified and used to charge the backup batteries and also to drive an inverter that gives 230(or whatever voltage you may have)V on the output. If mains fails, the batteries drive the inverter without interruption.
Regards
/RID
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by:1175089
ID: 6474110
I live and work in BG and here we use only 2 wires (phase and Zero) and Zero is grounded.(Ground is connected to Zero in the wall outlet).And my PC works ...
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by:NickLo
ID: 6475367
There are many comments added without a repply from tarum209.  In Scandinavia for example the electrical supply is three-phase supplying single-phase loads connected across any two of the lines (The neutral wire is not used).  The pre 1999 electrical regulations required only the bathroom and the kitchen to be fully earthed.  
For safety the computer must be earthed so that the circuit will be interrupted automatically when an earth fault occurs.  In the house there must be a green/yellow wire with one end connected to the fuse box and the armour of the incoming cable, and the other end connected to the metal pipes and the new regulations require the earth wire to be also connected to an earth electrode (which is a long brass rod(at least 2 m long) burried in the ground outside the house.  The expensive way will be to call an electrician to install an earthed socket.  The cheapest way is to buy yourself some earth wire and connect one end to the frame of your computer to the other end to the nearest cold water pipe.  If the water pipes are plastic then use an earth electrode - A 12mm copper pipe with an iron rod inside the pipe for reenforcement can be used.  Just hammer it in the ground to a depth of about two metres.
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by:jhance
ID: 6475378
>>Scandinavia for example the electrical supply is three-
>>phase supplying single-phase loads connected across any
>>two of the lines

No, you are incorrect.  The correct term for this kind of power is "split-phase" and in the USA it is often called 220V.  A true 3 phase service is typically only run to commercial/industrial locations and has 3 HOT wires with their voltages 120 degrees out of phase.

Split-phase takes ONE of these 3 phases, references it to ground in one of 2 common ways (called DELTA and "Y") and provides a SINGLE PHASE residential service.
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by:d_hall
ID: 6475487
Here's what I had in mind about static - IBM hard drives failing due to static when not earthed to the case.  If the case is not grounded, where will the static go?

http://www.7volts.com/quietgrommet.htm#static
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by:rid
ID: 6475854
For the sake of safety - a 400V three-phase system (as used in continental europe an scandinavia) gives 230V *between zero (neutral) and any one phase lead*. Between phase leads you'll have 400V. Any normal appliance will be destroyed if so connected.

As for static electricity - If you shuffle along your synthetic carpet with woolen socks you may well collect a charge of several tens of kV, which will give a nice spark when you touch any other object at another potential. If this other object is an earthed computer case, you still get this discharge. If the first object you touch is the hard drive circuit board or a RAM module, you may perhaps be able to imagine that some damage will occur. This will not be prevented by protective earth being connected to your computer. The thing to do, is first to touch the computer case (earthed or not), before touching any internal components. The static charge will leak away from you, through the PSU insulation and out into mains power leads (as long as power plug is still in the socket), and to ground. Mains is at "ground potential" compared to the multi-kilovolt static charge.
Regards
/RID
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by:d_hall
ID: 6475985
Rid - the link talks about static being generated _in_ the hard disk by the movement of the platters, and eventually messing up the hard disk when it had nowhere to go.
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by:rid
ID: 6476048
Well, I was really commenting the description of scandinavian power systems, and sort of derailed into static electricity. However, my comment is still valid (in my opinion, that is). Static electricity cannot act any other way than ordinary electricity. There has to be two poles before a discharge can occur. Excess electrons on/in the HD must correspond to a lack of electrons somewhere else, just as an example. These charges must be separated by an insulating layer. I don't see this layer anywhere. I assume all metal parts of a HD assembly are interconnected in some way, with the possible exception of the heads, but they are connected to the electronics through the signal leads and, from a static charge viewpoint, thus connected to the frame/metal parts. The frame, in turn, is connected to -5/-12V from power supply. I cannot see how the HD could assume a potential different from the rest of the computer parts. This might be an issue, if NO other device will connect -5/-12V to the case, but I doubt it. I may still be proven wrong of course...

/RID
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by:NickLo
ID: 6476050
jhance, I have just rewired a house in Norway.  The supply is 230V line voltage.  They try to change the system but not yet.  400V supply is also available.  I had to study the Norwegian regulations before I started.  The house I rewired is now fully earthed.
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by:rid
ID: 6476094
d_hall - to answer your Q: From a static charge viewpoint, the computer can be seen as connected to earth anyway. The insulation isn't good enough to keep a static charge for any period of time. It will leak away into PSU - power cord and mains supply = "ground".
/RID
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by:jhance
ID: 6476325
>>The supply is 230V line voltage

Yes, I know that but 230V is not equal to "3 phase".  These are unrelated concepts.
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by:kiranghag
ID: 6476645
i have used a pc for some time without earthing, it used to give me mild shock if touched any metal casing part, especially at the corners. but DO GET EARTHING DONE. you may have serious problems if you plan to use printers or external peripherals.    
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by:pbessman
ID: 6476735
When speaking of quality UPS systems, wouldn't a decent UPS give some annoying indictaion that the power supplied to it is incorrect?  Most of the UPS systems I have seen would beep if the power configurations were off.  The problems I listed previously usually will cause some alarm to be sounded.  

Isn't the static charge put into the ground rather than into the power lines as seem to be indicated by RID,"The static charge will leak away from you, through the PSU insulation and out
into mains power leads (as long as power plug is still in the socket), and to ground. Mains is at "ground
potential" compared to the multi-kilovolt static charge."???

What I was saying before, if the cost to ground the outlets(in the US we use 3Prong)is too high you may be able to get an adapter that will add the third prong(ground) to the outlet.  However, you will need to check this adapted outlet to be sure that indeed you established a ground and secondly, that the proper current flow is established.

Jhance, correct me if I am wrong, but can't these adapters be plugged in that some of the problems associated with Hot-Neutral Reversals,Hot-Ground Reversals,Open Neutrals,Open Hots can be created if you have plugged adapter in incorrectly?  I remember testing some peoples outlets who had used these adapters and we were able to overcome some reversal problems by using the top plug rather than the bottom one to attach the adapter to.  I think it was simply the Hot-neutral reversal.  Am I correct in my recollection?
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by:jhance
ID: 6476766
pbessman,

If you are referring to the "grounded plug" to "ungrounded outlet" adapter, these are often misused.

They are designed with a small metal tab that is to connect to the wallplate screw that HOPEFULLY is connected to ground.  This is not always the case and people don't always  connect the tab.  This has the same dangerous effect of just cutting the ground lead off the plug.

I just cannot overemphasize how dangerous this is.  "3-prong" equipment is designed so that if HOT contacts the case that the grounded case will conduct the current safely to ground and most likely blow the fuse or circuit breaker in the panel.

If the case becomes "hot" in the absence of an earth ground, and your body contacts it, your body can become a conductor to ground and you become dead.
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NickLo earned 50 total points
ID: 6476780
Perhaps my reply was not clear enough.  The supply to the house I rewired recently with special permision from the Norwegian electricity board(Viken) was 230 volts supplied by two of the lines of the three-phase system.  The third line was taped inside the distribution board and not used.  Again with special permission I had connected the third line as well, had the meter changed from single-phase to three-phase and reconnected the loads so that the system is reasonably balanced.  The voltage across any two lines is known as the line voltage and it is 230 volts.  The system is star connected but the neutral wire is earthed at the sub-station and is not available in the distribution board inside the house.  In the United Kingdom where I live, Line voltage is a term used for the voltage across any two lines of a three phase system.  Phase voltage is the voltage across one phase which in case of a star connected system, it is the voltage across any one line and the neutral (Line voltage = 1.732 * Phase voltage = 1.732*230= 400V near enough).  The Neutral is earthed at the sub-stations, but a separate earth conductor is still required to provide a low resistance path for the earth fault current.  For delta or mesh connected three-phase systems (not applicable in this case) the phase voltage is the same as the line voltage.
I have been teaching electrical and electronic subjects for the last 31 years, and I know that I am correct in this case.  

Anyway, just to join the debate, The computer box is made of a metal in order to screen the electronic devices and thus protect them from external magnetic fields and electrostatics.  For the same reason, HD are also screened.  I am not so sure however if enough electrostatic charge will be generated by the HD as to make it very dangerous if the casing is not earthed.
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by:rid
ID: 6476785
I feel I need to modify my comment on UPS:s:
1) Only some UPS units work on the principle I described.
2) Yes, pbessman, they will scream if no protective earth is present. Some will not even work without it. I had forgotten this.

Regards
/RID
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by:rid
ID: 6476835
If I get your description right, NickLo, you have no neutral lead, but use the phase leads only? In that case I must go back on my original comment; I wouldn't want to recommend any sort of appliance connected without having PE wired to all sockets. I think this was used in some places in Sweden as well, called a "two-phase" system. The idea being that the hot lead - to earth potential should not exceed 110 (now 115)V, which was considered less lethal. (of course, you instead had two hot leads...) I don't think this is used in new construction any more.

/RID
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by:pbessman
ID: 6476943
tarun209??? Are you with us still?
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by:tarun209
ID: 6484397
indian plz help where earthing is  a problem
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by:Moondancer
ID: 6784194
tarun209-->  You've asked 15 questions, only closed 9 of them.  Some very old.  Please return to update/finalize them all.  If you have questions regarding this, please check the Member Agreement and Guidelines as well as the Question/Answer link available from the HELP DESK on the left.

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by:Moondancer
ID: 6786093
Thanks for returning and finalizing this question.

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