Question Getting a jolt when touching anything metal on the pc (including metal frame of keyboard)

Dec 20, 2018
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Since i got a new keyboard (Hyperx alloy fps) which has a metal frame instead of a plastic frame like my old keyboard, i have gotten random jolts of electricity. Not super painful, just a bit of discomfort and getting the reaction to pull away my hand. I thought that the keyboard was broken, but i noticed, that it only happens when i touch my wall radiator (which is connected to ground). I get the same jolts, if i touch anyting metal on my case, and the radiator at the same time. I got the brilliant idea of connecting a alligator clip wire, one end to my psu grill, the other to the radiator. When i put the alligator clip to abou 2 mm from the radiator, i see a red-ish electrical spark. I measured the voltage of that cable, and i got a result fluctuating from 1.1 to 1.0 Volts AC. No, my pc is not in a grounded inlet, and i dont have access to one in my room. How to fix?
 

Eximo

Titan
Ambassador
Sounds like you have tried what I would recommend, running a wire from your radiator to the PC's chassis. You might try for a better connection than an alligator clip though. Crimp an actual ring terminal onto the wire and screw it down to the chassis. On the radiator end, if there is an exposed screw to use, try that, otherwise you will want to also scrape some paint away and try your best to get exposed copper (or aluminum) wire in contact with the metal of the radiator. Make sure your power supply is properly grounded to the case as well. Scrape some paint away if necessary.

Measuring a voltage on a long wire isn't unexpected, it will pick up radio and electric fields pretty easily without shielding.

Absolute best thing to do would be to replace the sockets in your room with grounded ones and find the ground in your electrical box and hook up to that. Pretty expensive to run a cable and replace the sockets, assuming you have permission to do so. But it is a one time expense that will help protect you and your expensive electronics.
 
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You could use a 3 to 2 cheater plug.

But i would check with your home owners insurance. It might be a violation of code and violidate your insurance.

I would say you are in a very undesirable condition right now. I would hire an electrician to install a proper ground. Usually its a 8 to 10 copper clad rod shoved into the ground with a #8 solid core copper wire leading to the outlets in question or router to a breaker box with new romex (simolex pull) fished to the outlet.
 
Dec 20, 2018
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thank you all for the replies. First of all, the alligator clip wire is about 15 cm long, and only shows voltage when connected to the PC. I did scrape off paint from the radiator to expose bare metal. I live ith my parents, and we dont have money or time for hooking up a grounded outlet to my room. So yeah, i guess im f***ed
 

TJ Hooker

Glorious
Ambassador
but i noticed, that it only happens when i touch my wall radiator (which is connected to ground)
Are you usually in contact with your radiator while using your PC? Seems like this issue wouldn't manifest itself very often...

In addition to what's been said above about grounding your PC properly, another potential way to reduce/eliminate the shocks would be to isolate your PSU from your case. You could try putting an insulation material in between the PSU and PC case anywhere they make contact. Probably wouldn't be able to have the PSU screwed in either though, as the screws would conduct between the case the PSU. Not a great option, but it is a cheap one...
 
You could use a 3 to 2 cheater plug.

But i would check with your home owners insurance. It might be a violation of code and violidate your insurance.

I would say you are in a very undesirable condition right now. I would hire an electrician to install a proper ground. Usually its a 8 to 10 copper clad rod shoved into the ground with a #8 solid core copper wire leading to the outlets in question or router to a breaker box with new romex (simolex pull) fished to the outlet.
A 3-2 cheater still won't ground the case as it needs to be.

Eximo has the right idea... ground it to a radiator, or copper water pipe. A ground rod shouldn't be necessary unless considering going all the way and upgrading residence wiring too.
 
A 3-2 cheater still won't ground the case as it needs to be.

Eximo has the right idea... ground it to a radiator, or copper water pipe. A ground rod shouldn't be necessary unless considering going all the way and upgrading residence wiring too.
I agree: A 3-2 cheater plug doesn't properly ground. Hence why I say it might violate your home owners policy.

And I was implying an upgrade to home residence wiring with a ground rod. The problem with tieing it to the radiator is it could cause reverse voltage issues, due to a floating ground. (Highly unlikely) But if he's getting enough to spark, do we know which direction the current is going? If there's a Schottky diode or transistor somehow connected to ground somewhere in the power supply, you could have issues. Some voltage source is leaking. Until you isolate the source of that spark by measuring to a proper ground, I wouldn't mess with it and hire a proper electrician.
 

TJ Hooker

Glorious
Ambassador
The problem with tieing it to the radiator is it could cause reverse voltage issues, due to a floating ground. (Highly unlikely) But if he's getting enough to spark, do we know which direction the current is going?
According to the OP, his rad is grounded: "my wall radiator (which is connected to ground)".
If there's a Schottky diode or transistor somehow connected to ground somewhere in the power supply, you could have issues.
I'm guessing the Y capacitors in the PSU, which are between live and (chassis) ground, and between neutral and ground. Hence my suggestion to try isolating the PSU from the case.
 
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