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Old 06-10-2009, 08:28 AM   #1
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2 wire service and laptop computers


when our potential new (first) home was inspected we learned that it has a combination of 2 wire service and updated 3 wire service. the house was built in 1917 and the wiring was updated and a breaker box was installed in '03.

during the inspection the inspector mentioned that computers dont like 2 wire service outlets. does that apply to laptops as well? i was thinking no since my power cord is not a 3 prong plug and it converts whatever power it gets over to DC to charge the battery.

am i wrong or do i need to string up a lot more 3 wire outlets? there are some in the house and we plan on adding a bunch of GFCI outlets when we move in.


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Old 06-10-2009, 09:17 AM   #2
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2 wire service and laptop computers


Most laptop external power supplys contain some sort of power conditioner in them to handle any fluctuations and spikes in power (I know my Dell does). So, you should be okay in a two pronged outlet with your two pronged power supply.

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Old 06-10-2009, 09:27 AM   #3
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2 wire service and laptop computers


If you only have 2 prongs what would the added ground wire connect to. Computers with 3 prong plugs depend on the ground for a filtering path for noise but lap tops do not. They are basically self contained and the power cord does little more than recharge the batteries.
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Old 06-10-2009, 10:07 AM   #4
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2 wire service and laptop computers


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Originally Posted by hayewe farm View Post
and the power cord does little more than recharge the batteries.
... powering the computer is more than little more.

But agreed, if the power brick has no ground connection you'll be fine.
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Old 06-10-2009, 12:24 PM   #5
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2 wire service and laptop computers


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If you only have 2 prongs what would the added ground wire connect to. Computers with 3 prong plugs depend on the ground for a filtering path for noise but lap tops do not. They are basically self contained and the power cord does little more than recharge the batteries.
that is what i was thinking. thanks. we only have laptops so we are good to go in that respect.

at one point one bedroom had the plaster ripped out and sheetrocked. however, whoever did the job didnt bother to update that room to 3 wire service.
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Old 06-10-2009, 03:37 PM   #6
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2 wire service and laptop computers


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the inspector mentioned that computers dont like 2 wire service outlets
I think it is a faulty conclusion from symptoms he saw.
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Old 06-10-2009, 03:43 PM   #7
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2 wire service and laptop computers


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Originally Posted by gregdonovan View Post

am i wrong or do i need to string up a lot more 3 wire outlets? there are some in the house and we plan on adding a bunch of GFCI outlets when we move in.
BTW, Gfci's are a good idea and provide additional personnel safety, but they do not provide a ground. They do nothing to provide protection for a computer or a device with a 3 wire grounded cord.
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Old 06-10-2009, 04:06 PM   #8
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2 wire service and laptop computers


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BTW, Gfci's are a good idea and provide additional personnel safety, but they do not provide a ground. They do nothing to provide protection for a computer or a device with a 3 wire grounded cord.
that is what i figured, thanks for the clarification. the bathroom has 3 wire but no GCFI.
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Old 06-10-2009, 10:11 PM   #9
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2 wire service and laptop computers


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that is what i figured, thanks for the clarification. the bathroom has 3 wire but no GCFI.
The GCFI could be somewhere else, and the outlets in the bathroom are downstream from the GCFI.
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Old 06-11-2009, 12:42 AM   #10
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2 wire service and laptop computers


older computers used to be much more prone to grounding problems. Newer computers it is less of an issue

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