Question Question about situation with ungrounded outlets, gfci, Zero Surge protector, pc, and UPS

caesiumx133

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Oct 10, 2020
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Recently bought a house and later found out that most the outlets aside from a couple in the kitchen are ungrounded, and there's no non-bank-breaking way to get them grounded without haven't some professional asbestos removal done. Managed to find a surge protector that doesn't rely on ground (Zero Surge) to at least add some protection for my pc I built that way, and am having gfci outlets put in to off more protection for us humans living here. Was also planning on getting a Cyberpower UPS to help for power outages.

I was reading this topic
.

This post in particular concerned me

"This is the correct answer, and I really suggest you take it seriously. If you plug the PC into an ungrounded outlet and there's any sort of current leakage in your components, that charge which would normally go to ground will instead build up in your case. Basically your case will turn into a giant capacitor. And when you reach over to turn off the computer, that capacitor will discharge through you possibly electrocuting you. "

Someone later in the thread asked if the gfci outlet would help protect a person from that, but the question was never answered. Can someone give an answer to that question?

If I have gfci outlet, with the Zero Surge surge protector plugged into it, the UPS into the surge protector, and then pc, monitors, etc. plugged into the UPS should things most likely be fine? Is that too much of a chain of stuff? Starting to wonder about the trade off the UPS benefit vs another thing downstream of the surge protection that could have an issue.

Hopefully this plan is at least better then nothing since selling the house several months out of purchase isn't an option due to selling fees, but also want to make sure nothing in this plan isn't going to leave me worse off somehow. And if it is enough to be decently safe, would be nice to know to easy my mind, as I have been quite stressed out about the whole situation.
 

Darkbreeze

Retired Mod
That's BS. Complete and total BS. Whoever said that is a moron.

The risk with an ungrounded outlet has nothing to do with any device building charge, and everything to do with this:

If you look around your house, what you will find is that just about every appliance with a metal case has a three-prong outlet. This may also include some things, like your computer, that have a metal-encased power supply inside even if the device itself comes in a plastic case. The idea behind grounding is to protect the people who use metal-encased appliances from electric shock. The casing is connected directly to the ground prong.

Let's say that a wire comes loose inside an ungrounded metal case, and the loose wire touches the metal case. If the loose wire is hot, then the metal case is now hot, and anyone who touches it will get a potentially fatal shock. With the case grounded, the electricity from the hot wire flows straight to ground, and this trips the breaker in the breaker box. Now the appliance won't work, but it won't kill you either.
So it is a very good idea that you have fully grounded outlets, and that is purely for YOUR safety, but it has nothing at all to do with anything building charge like a capacitor and everything to do with potentially destructive and dangerous short circuits.

Also, there isn't much point really in a UPS for this problem. It's not going to fix the lack of a ground line in the circuit. UPS is not specifically for protection, for you or your device, and while many of them do have some surge protection (Even very good in some cases) built into them, they are primarily about saving data during a power loss. If you want ACTUAL protection, then making sure your breaker box is fully earthed/grounded is the first place to start, making sure there is a whole house breaker that is between the individual breaker switches and the rest of the grid is a good second place to start and then buying ACTUAL HIGH QUALITY surge protection is the endgame.

Years of experience using PC systems and having to diagnose bushels full of issues where a high number of them ended up being faults with the circuitry inside the power strips. Primarily, cheap box store models but also a good number of supposedly premium power strip "surge protectors" that don't actually protect you from anything other than your own fear of what might happen if you actually end up needing a surge protector. A false sense of security.


Most people buy and use power strips because they THINK that the fact it says surge protector means something. Usually, it doesn't. This is one of my favorite quotes on the subject from an electrical engineer and residential/commercial electrical journeyman I know.


Buy a good one, but understand expensive OFTEN does not equal good.


"Monster" brand are the low end junk that are sold for a premium price. Look for what us professionals use. Tripp-lite is one of my go to absolute favorites as they have a price to quality mix that is exceptional. The Belkin brand is junk as far as I am concerned as they focus on how it looks and not how it works. APC is also another one that I will trust , but they mostly cater to data centers and Corporate customers when it comes to their quality units and they DO sell some lower end products that slot into the budget market that are not the same unquestionable quality as what they sell for professional and enterprise use.


Lastly, if you really care about your electronics, get a Whole house surge suppressor installed in your electrical panel. Only a few hundred bucks and it protects everything including the overpriced LED lightbulbs that is all the rage these days.

Units you want to consider will be those sold by APC, Tripp-Lite, Eaton, Leviton, General Electric, Polyphaser, Ditek, Siemens, ABB, Square D, Intermatic, Cutler-Hammer (Eaton), and Syscom, these are the brands you can trust to have high quality internal electronics if you MUST use a power strip but even so you STILL will want to ask around about specific models OR look to professional reviews as even these big boys occasionally have a product with some glaring flaw that makes it's way into the final product and might best be avoided compared to other available models.

Do not however use a power strip thinking that it offers significant protection, because even the best of them does not, not really. Whole house protection is the only real protection from surges.


Monster and Belkin, and a few others that are commonly used, almost unilaterally use the same protections in their 45 dollar surge protector strips as what you would find in an 8 dollar Amazon or Walmart branded model. And if you ever take one of these, or any cheap box store, dollar store (Even worse than these others usually BUT occasionally about the same) or Harbor Freight power strip apart you are likely to find frayed wires, poorly soldered connections with blobs of solder nearly touching crucial and potential short circuit points, super low quality MOVs, and a ton of other indicators that no real integrity was involved in the design or manufacturer of these units.


Another factor to keep in mind is that even with some of these high quality units, any protection that MIGHT be afforded, is usually the end of that product after one shot. This, directly from the Tripp-Lite manual for the #1 selling surge protection power strip in the world.


All models feature an internal protection that will disconnect the surge-protective component at the end of its useful life but will maintain power to the load now unprotected.

I believe many models from APC and a couple of the others I listed have now incorporated designs that permanently disengage any ability of the device to deliver power once a surge or short of significant enough caliber to incur the protection has occured. That basically means once there has been a surge or short, throw the device away. Even for high end models. Only whole house protection and properly earthed circuits offer any true protection from a serious surge or direct strike from lightning somewhere close enough to affect your segment of the grid.


And whatever you do, don't EVER buy any kind of extension cord, power strip or other electronic device with slip rings.


 
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punkncat

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Yikes!

I am rather surprised that this would have gotten by inspection.

Adding a ground rod to a specific location shouldn't be too hard, depending of course on your construction. If you have a basement you could just strap to a cold water pipe or run a ground rod on the outlet you will be using for the PC. I would suggest similar for any major appliance.

I lived in an old turn of the century home with plaster walls and the old black case two wire electrical. The previous owner had some jackleg come in and change over the screw in fuse panel to a modern breaker system, and ran newer Romex everywhere that could be seen. Additionally, they changed all the outlets to three prong, so everything LOOKED on the up and up to the inspector. We had a very hard time with this house in reference to what could be on at the same time and interference/noise with other components and appliances.

As @Darkbreeze has pointed out above, grounding offers an easier path to ground in the instance that something shorted and such that the breaker would blow instead of running through you to ground.
 

Paperdoc

Polypheme
Ambassador
Lots of misinformation in OP's post.

First, OP is right to understand that he's dealing with a house full of no-Ground power outlets, irrespective of the actual wall receptacles. Unless all of the cables from fuse (or breaker) box through the walls to outlets and switches have a bare Ground (Bonding) wire connected through, there are no Grounds.

Why are Grounds good? First item is user safety. As Darkbreeze says, any appliance (electrical device) plugged into a proper 3-prong socket has the Ground lead of the power cable connected to the external (usually metal) case. IF ever there is damage to wires inside or to any component there could be some leakage of current out of the intended circuit to the case exterior where a person could contact it. When the case is Grounded, any small leakage will be carried back to the main panel (which IS Grounded securely) and safely to Ground. The bare copper Bonding wire should NEVER be part of the power circuits, so it normally has NO current flowing through it. Thus a small current in an abnormal condition will result in only a miniscule Voltage at the appliance surface. A large leakage current (e.g. from a direct short) will cause current flow to Ground from the power Hot line that trips the breaker (or blows the fuse) and stops all power to the entire circuit in the wall.

There is a second feature very useful for many electronic devices, including computer systems and entertainment equipment. Many of the signal cables in such devices are shielded with metallic foil on the outside so that external electrical field "noise" is stopped from reaching the signal lines inside, and this shield works MUCH better if it is actually connected to a true Ground. So all such shields ARE connected to the device's main chassis and hence to the Ground line from the power cord. However, if there is no such Ground via the power cord, those shields are less effective and noise signals are more likely to disrupt device operations. This part is NOT a safety feature for people - these noise signals are VERY small currents and voltages - but they are important for device functions.

Now look at house electrical wiring systems. The common systems in North America (and many other part of the world with differences in Voltages) supply to the home via 3 wires a single-phase 120 / 240 VAC Grounded Neutral system. The two HOT power lines from the transformer into the house are fed from the two ends of a transformer secondary coil that deliver 240 VAC between them. The transformer secondary coil also has a tap in the centre of that winding that is the Neutral third wire coming in, so between it and either Hot wire is 120 VAC. At the transformer, and again at the house breaker box, the Neutral line is connected to a secure true Ground - in a house, often that source is the water supply pipe coming up from the ground. In this way the Neutral line becomes the true Ground (Zero voltage) reference point for the entire supply system. Note, however, that because the wires in all cables have small but finite resistance, at power use points (at a wall receptacle) there may be a small but non-zero Voltage on the Neutral wire - the Neutral is truly at Zero Volts ONLY at the breaker panel where it is connected solidly to true Ground.

Separately from that, there is a fourth wire - usually bare copper - connected to a Ground bus in the breaker panel and the same water pipe (or other) true ground. ONLY the bare copper Bonding lines in every distribution cable in the house is attached to this Ground Bus, and there should NEVER be any power flowing in those Bonding wires under normal circumstances. Thus those wires are always also at ZERO Voltage compared to true Ground, and a safe place to re-route abnormal current flow AND to redirect very small noise signals to Ground.

There is a rigidly-followed standard way to connect power to an electrical outlet with three holes. If the receptacle is viewed from the front and oriented so the round hole is at the bottom of the triangle, the round bottom hole is Ground. The vertical Slot on the RIGHT is the Hot line. The vertical left slot is Neutral. NOTE also that the slot sizes are different - the Hot slot is smaller.

A hundred years ago and even more recently house wiring did NOT have that separate Ground (Bonding) wire system in cables. The same 3-wire 120 / 240 VAC system with grounded Neutral was in place up to the house fuse box - just no Bonding wires from there outwards. Thus there were only two wires on all distribution cables. And therein lies another potential problem with older houses. The 2-slot receptacles used did NOT have slots of different sizes, and the wires in the cables both came with black insulation, so it was NOT easy to know which line in a cable was Hot and which was Neutral. So one can NOT rely on the current rule that Left is Neutral and Right is Hot! MANY older outlets are reversed!

So, how to deal with such older house wiring that has no Grounds included? First, there is no way to "Fake" a Ground. One can actually install new added wires from the breaker (or fuse) box to each outlet box and replace the old 2-hole outlet fixture with 3-hole ones using the proper connections. (That includes identifying the Hot and Neutral wires at each fixture.) A lot of work and expensive! One could even replace all the actual cable runs with new cable - even more work and expense! Some people have skipped all that and merely replaced the FIXTURES (outlet devices) with new 3-hole ones but with NO Ground connections possible! This is Dangerous - users rely on the safety design of the system, but that is NOT there! The only thing that accomplishes is that you can plug in any 3-prong device and it works.

The best alternative if you do NOT re-wire fully with Grounded cables and outlets is to replace the outlets with GFCI's. A Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter can be bought that fits into a normal wall outlet box and has three-hole outlets on the front. There is a significant difference in how these can provide protection to people. A true Grounded Outlet with correct cable back to the breaker box allows very small leakage to be carried away safely and larger current to be so large it trips the breaker or fuse and stops all power. A GFCI device constantly compares the current flowing from the Hot line to the current flowing back through the Neutral line. They should always match! If there is a difference of more than 5 milliamps (mA), the GFCI trips and stops all power. That condition is treated as a potential severe hazard to living things because a current over 5 mA flowing through the chest of a person may be sufficient to disrupt normal heart function and cause tachycardia or fluttering of the heart - fatal if not treated quickly! So this substitution of a GFCI device as an outlet fixture can provide reasonable protection to people from abnormal electrical current leakage, although it does NOT provide any Ground. Thus the noise elimination function for sensitive electronic circuits is not available with this substitute.

There is another potential problem in using older 2-wire house systems. The original systems like that used outlets with two identical vertical slots so you could plug into them a 2-prong plug (with 2 identical blades) either way - right side up or upside down. It made NO difference to the function of the appliance. Later in the last century this was changed so that the two slots were different (as they are now in 3-hole outlets) and plugs on cords also were different so they could only plug in one way. That system rigidly used the system that the SMALLER prong was HOT, and the WIDER prong was Neutral. This became important in many designs of electronic appliances because SOME were built so that the power supply NEUTRAL line (supposed to be Grounded back at the fuse panel, remember) was connected directly to the metal chassis of the appliance, and the circuits in the appliance used that chassis as part of the current-carrying functions. Thus it was vital that Hot and Neutral be kept clearly identified and used only in the correct manner. BUT that is a terribly risky design because it is always possible to misuse such devices with altered plugs or mixed-up connections in extension cords, leaving the exposed chassis metal connected to the Hot line!

This last point is how that weird story OP cited came about - the idea that you could charge up a chassis like a capacitor with a 2-slot outlet. No, that cannot happen. BUT this CAN happen. Most computers and peripherals have designs that keep the power supply line isolated from the chassis, and often even from the active "innards". But there still are SOME smaller accessories that MAY use that bad design of connecting the Neutral side of the power supply cord to chassis as a Ground. Many of these devices have signal cables that connect to the central system and those cables use the chassis as the connection of "Ground" to the SHIELDS in the signal cable between devices. IF any such badly-designed device is plugged in "backwards", its SHIELD becomes Hot and feeds that back to other devices in the system. THAT is when you get reports of mysterious shocks from the case of the computer. When I hear those reports, my first advice it to disconnect everything and then re-connect one at a time, watching for the shocks to re-appear. That spots the faulty device connected backwards.

Focusing back on OP's questions, using GFCI's to replace old 2-slot outlets will provide people with protection against electrical shocks due to equipment failures. It will not provide any help for noise signal reduction in your computer system. IF you happen to have any poorly-designed peripherals with 2-prong plugs with the SAME blade widths and NO obvious transformer or power "bricks" for isolation, it is possible that you MIGHT experience small shocks on contact with parts of your system. That would indicate one such device is plugged in "upside down".

Surge protectors and UPS units will have no impact on this. Surge protectors are ONLY to reduce the magnitude of high voltage spikes in the power supplied to your system from the wall. And MOST (except VERY expensive designs) use sacrificial components that are destroyed in the act of protecting, but still allow normal operation to continue afterwards even though there is no longer any protection. A UPS, on the other hand, is primarily to maintain normal power levels for a short period when the source power is cut off. This is enough to allow you to shut down normally rather than in an uncontrolled "crash". VERY few (and certainly more expensive) systems are used to maintain full function over long time periods. It is common to include simple surge protection in many UPS units just because it is cheap to add and looks good.
 
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Karadjgne

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Gfci doesn't do anything for a pc or other equipment as far as static or other voltages coming from the case. It's still a non-equipment ground situation. The only thing a gfci without ground is good for is human safety in event of shorts, it'll trip where a breaker usually won't.

Houses went 3prong in 1969, and will need to be brought upto code upon sale. But you can still find houses that have 2prong outlets today.

Panel is already grounded. Electric company will not hook up power without a grounded system in place and all 240v wiring used a ground connection for 3prong outlets like the dryer, water heater, range etc.

Getting a ground to an outlet in a single story house isn't all that difficult and usually doesn't require drywall damage.

Unless the house was built between 1930-1950, chances of asbestos are pretty slim, and guaranteed zero if built after 1977. Most of the insulation used in walls for years is SAB, spray applied blanket, which is nothing more than paper mixed with dry Elmer's glue and a fire retardant and water added on application. Kinda dusty and when it's old, nasty, but harmless.

Many times, because of wiring techniques, the light box in the ceiling is the homerun and most likely has a ground, if so, you could surface mount some Wiremold and run wire to a dedicated pc outlet that'll now have 3 prongs.

There's a lot of 'ifs' and 'ands' that depend entirely on the construction of the house, such as many northern houses use emt inwall, so metal boxes themselves are often a ground, whether the wiring or plugs might not be.
 

faalin

Judicious
Houses went 3prong in 1969, and will need to be brought upto code upon sale. But you can still find houses that have 2prong outlets today.
Depending on where you live this could be untrue, you dont have to bring the house up to code when selling, only if you add on to an existing branch would you then have to bring that branch up to code.

Its kind of a if you dont touch it you dont have to fix it. Only when you are doing major remodels or if bringing a branch up to code and the panel/ sub panel is not to code would you have to bring it up to code.
 

Paperdoc

Polypheme
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I live on Ontario, Canada. We just sold an older house with 2-wire wiring in the walls. etc. There is NO regulation here that wiring must be brought up to current code before selling. BUT the good advice from a Real Estate person was that INSURANCE companies will not offer to insure such a house. So we had a good contractor do kind of the minimal upgrade for insurability purposes. The main fuse panel (60 A service) was replaced with a new service entrance mast outside and a 100 A service breaker panel to which all existing branch circuits were re-conected - no changes in the installed cabling. Two new outlets were added to the kitchen counter area. All existing outlets were converted to using GFCI devices at the head of each branch circuit to provide short-circuit fault protection. A very poor feed line for the detatched garage was replaced with a short buried Teck Cable and a new smaller breaker panel in the garage, so this allowed connection of real Ground wiring in the garage. Total bill for that upgrade was about $5,000.
 

Darkbreeze

Retired Mod
I live on Ontario, Canada. We just sold an older house with 2-wire wiring in the walls. etc. There is NO regulation here that wiring must be brought up to current code before selling. BUT the good advice from a Real Estate person was that INSURANCE companies will not offer to insure such a house. So we had a good contractor do kind of the minimal upgrade for insurability purposes. The main fuse panel (60 A service) was replaced with a new service entrance mast outside and a 100 A service breaker panel to which all existing branch circuits were re-conected - no changes in the installed cabling. Two new outlets were added to the kitchen counter area. All existing outlets were converted to using GFCI devices at the head of each branch circuit to provide short-circuit fault protection. A very poor feed line for the detatched garage was replaced with a short buried Teck Cable and a new smaller breaker panel in the garage, so this allowed connection of real Ground wiring in the garage. Total bill for that upgrade was about $5,000.
Right. And this is just the right thing to do anyhow, because although none of us want to spend the money, most of us also want anything our name is attached to to at least be semi-right. And, sure makes it a lot easier to sell if the incoming buyer doesn't have to immediately have to worry about doing this themselves simply to get an insurer in place. But anyhow, I think we are sort of leaning towards being off topic in regard to the OP.
 
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caesiumx133

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@Darkbreeze Thanks for the ticks on power strips, I'll remember that when buying in the future. Right now I have the Zero Surge one because it was one of the few things I could find design to work without ground and be non sacrificial. So hopefully that works fine.

"The best alternative if you do NOT re-wire fully with Grounded cables and outlets is to replace the outlets with GFCI's. A Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter can be bought that fits into a normal wall outlet box and has three-hole outlets on the front. There is a significant difference in how these can provide protection to people. A true Grounded Outlet with correct cable back to the breaker box allows very small leakage to be carried away safely and larger current to be so large it trips the breaker or fuse and stops all power. "
This is what we are doing, or working on doing. Right now having any outlets near water or that we actually need to plug 3 pronged things into done, but want to add then to the rest of the house as money can allow.

@Paperdoc
" Most computers and peripherals have designs that keep the power supply line isolated from the chassis, and often even from the active "innards". But there still are SOME smaller accessories that MAY use that bad design of connecting the Neutral side of the power supply cord to chassis as a Ground. Many of these devices have signal cables that connect to the central system and those cables use the chassis as the connection of "Ground" to the SHIELDS in the signal cable between devices. IF any such badly-designed device is plugged in "backwards", its SHIELD becomes Hot and feeds that back to other devices in the system. THAT is when you get reports of mysterious shocks from the case of the computer. When I hear those reports, my first advice it to disconnect everything and then re-connect one at a time, watching for the shocks to re-appear. That spots the faulty device connected backwards."
Thanks, good to know, will keep that in mind.

Surge protectors and UPS units will have no impact on this
I knew it at least wouldn't have any positive effect aside from battery back up, but just wanted to through it out there to make sure there wasn't somehow some extra negative to adding that into the chain of stuff, and to give full detail on my setup and what I was trying todo to make the best of the situation, as little as there is.


@Karadjgne
Gfci doesn't do anything for a pc or other equipment as far as static or other voltages coming from the case. It's still a non-equipment ground situation. The only thing a gfci without ground is good for is human safety in event of shorts, it'll trip where a breaker usually won't.

Houses went 3prong in 1969, and will need to be brought up to code upon sale. But you can still find houses that have 2prong outlets today.

Panel is already grounded. Electric company will not hook up power without a grounded system in place and all 240v wiring used a ground connection for 3prong outlets like the dryer, water heater, range etc.

Getting a ground to an outlet in a single story house isn't all that difficult and usually doesn't require drywall damage.

Unless the house was built between 1930-1950, chances of asbestos are pretty slim, and guaranteed zero if built after 1977. Most of the insulation used in walls for years is SAB, spray applied blanket, which is nothing more than paper mixed with dry Elmer's glue and a fire retardant and water added on application. Kinda dusty and when it's old, nasty, but harmless.

Many times, because of wiring techniques, the light box in the ceiling is the homerun and most likely has a ground, if so, you could surface mount some Wiremold and run wire to a dedicated pc outlet that'll now have 3 prongs.

There's a lot of 'ifs' and 'ands' that depend entirely on the construction of the house, such as many northern houses use emt in wall, so metal boxes themselves are often a ground, whether the wiring or plugs might not be.
I know the GFCI is just going to be a protect people thing. That was my thought in getting the GFCI outlets to protect the human end and then the Zero Surge to have something at least for surge protection for the PC since most standard surge protectors I see make use of the ground which I don't have. The house is 1956, but the asbestos has been confirmed to be right in the way the cords going up out of the electric panel up through the basement ceiling. The one electrician at least that we brought in had very few ideas and nothing not super expensive that I can't afford.

"Many times, because of wiring techniques, the light box in the ceiling is the homerun and most likely has a ground, if so, you could surface mount some Wiremold and run wire to a dedicated pc outlet that'll now have 3 prongs."
Hmm worth a check. What logic is there to having had it in there but not elsewhere?
 

Karadjgne

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Back in the day, there simply wasn't a need for outlets, there weren't radios or pc's or tvs or anything of entertainment value or even overhead lights on switches, you had a floor lamp and that was it.

Once things started picking up, that plug got filled, quick, and like a kitchen it was easier to just add a light, central to the room. Dining rooms had chandeliers etc. Power originally was knob and tube, you had a live hot wire on ceramic casters running central down the attic, and a neutral wire a foot away. To add a branch you just clipped onto each buss wire as needed, so it was easier to run power to a ceiling mounted box for the light and run a couple of wires down a tube to the switch. Adding plugs was the same.

It wasn't until the advent of romex type wiring that electricians figured out a daisy chain system was easier, no need for tubing, and you could run the homerun to whatever was closest to the panel and go from there instead of aiming for the light box, which was now packed to capacity with junctions.

56 puts your house after knob and tube, but before romex proper, so you'll have a bunch of now brittle snakeskin wiring, but also kinda before the bigger demand for multiple outlets. So your home runs will be in the light box in the ceiling mostly, switches will be backfed, and outlets fed from the light box. If the home run has a ground, it'll be a tiny sliver of a ground, closer to 16ga or 18ga wire and in the ceiling. It's only purpose was the fastest way to blow a fuse, a dead short, which the neutral couldn't always provide.

When electrical companies get wire in such long lengths, it was easier just to get a single wire type, with a ground included, that could be used for any circuit, didn't need to carry wires without grounds since you needed kitchen and bath circuits with grounds. One wire covered either as needed.
 
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caesiumx133

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@Karadjgne
so you'll have a bunch of now brittle snakeskin wiring
That sounds "fun"....

"If the home run has a ground, it'll be a tiny sliver of a ground, closer to 16ga or 18ga wire and in the ceiling. "
That mean just less optimal or likely not useable? All of the rooms have ceiling fans, but sure for that time period that would give any indication that that would have more likely been grounded or not... We have an electrician coming Tues to put in some of the GFCI outlets, so I'll question that possibility with them then.
 
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Recently bought a house and later found out that most the outlets aside from a couple in the kitchen are ungrounded, and there's no non-bank-breaking way to get them grounded without haven't some professional asbestos removal done. Managed to find a surge protector that doesn't rely on ground (Zero Surge) to at least add some protection for my pc I built that way, and am having gfci outlets put in to off more protection for us humans living here. Was also planning on getting a Cyberpower UPS to help for power outages.

I was reading this topic
.

This post in particular concerned me

"This is the correct answer, and I really suggest you take it seriously. If you plug the PC into an ungrounded outlet and there's any sort of current leakage in your components, that charge which would normally go to ground will instead build up in your case. Basically your case will turn into a giant capacitor. And when you reach over to turn off the computer, that capacitor will discharge through you possibly electrocuting you. "

Someone later in the thread asked if the gfci outlet would help protect a person from that, but the question was never answered. Can someone give an answer to that question?

If I have gfci outlet, with the Zero Surge surge protector plugged into it, the UPS into the surge protector, and then pc, monitors, etc. plugged into the UPS should things most likely be fine? Is that too much of a chain of stuff? Starting to wonder about the trade off the UPS benefit vs another thing downstream of the surge protection that could have an issue.

Hopefully this plan is at least better then nothing since selling the house several months out of purchase isn't an option due to selling fees, but also want to make sure nothing in this plan isn't going to leave me worse off somehow. And if it is enough to be decently safe, would be nice to know to easy my mind, as I have been quite stressed out about the whole situation.
Just for yuks.
Take the cover plate off one of these ungrounded outlets.
Is the power feed coming in 2 wire or 3 wire?
 

Darkbreeze

Retired Mod
@Paperdoc Cheese and Rice my man, that post needed a TL;DR fo sho. I am a low voltage electrician by trade and my eyes glazed over a bit....
Yes, but it is very rare that he is wrong. And he usually tries to keep it "dumbed down" enough that even a fool like me can understand, and I'm pretty ok in this area, but still often feel "glazed over" myself when reading some of his replies. But, they are always on point and so far I have MAYBE seen one instance where he wasn't 100% on point. So, I agree, but dude is pretty astute as well.

Man, we sure as hell rather have paperdoc than Westrom, who used to drive us crazy with his nonsense.
 

caesiumx133

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Westrom... yea that person... o_O Have seen sooo much of them around while tryign to read up on stuff and get a better idea myself... always text walls too... never even less tedious short nonsense.
 

Karadjgne

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Rightly so lol. It gets to the point many times when paperdoc answers a question, I'll just throw in commentary (in English) because there's really not much more to be said without repeating what he said 🤣
 

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