Dangers Of No Ground Wire - Electrical - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum

Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > Home Improvement > Electrical


Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 06-20-2012, 01:53 PM   #1
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 5
Rewards Points: 10

Dangers of no Ground Wire

Thanks to this forum, one problem has been solved last night (discussed in my other thread). But a new problem has arose.

There is no ground wire in the house, as far as I know.

My intention was to replace the 2 receptacles in one bedroom. One of the receptacles was a 2-prong (I replaced this one last night with a new 2-pronger). The other one is a 3-pronger. I was going to replace this one, but when I pulled it out, I found that there's only 2 wires in the box. One black, one white. No ground wire. The ground screw on the 3-prong receptacle is not being used.

Question 1: How bad is this for my devices? I have a brand new MacBook Pro (very expensive) and I don't feel safe plugging it into this outlet. Or should I?

Question 2: Will a surge protector help in this case? I have a Monster brand HTS700.

Question 3: What kind of cost am I looking at if I wanted an electrician to install a ground wire? It's a small 3-bedroom home in Southern California (Los Angeles county), maybe 2000 to 3000 square feet. One floor only with a crawl space under the house.


jgiannis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-20-2012, 02:27 PM   #2
joed's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Welland, Ontario
Posts: 13,278
Rewards Points: 13,352
Blog Entries: 11

Ground is a safety issue and will not affect you macbook operation. A surge protector may not work in that receptacle since most of them require the ground to shunt the overload spike.


joed is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-20-2012, 04:25 PM   #3
Semi-Pro Electro-Geek
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Arizona, USA
Posts: 3,035
Rewards Points: 2,970

As joed says, a surge protector relies on the ground wire for operation so it's not helpful, but a laptop doesn't need to be grounded. Does it even have a 3-prong plug? Most laptop power supplies I've had are ungrounded anyway. If you need to plug in 3-prong devices, you can legally install GFCI protection and 3-prong receptacles on the ungrounded circuits. This is not equivalent to actually having a ground. Adding grounding to the existing circuits is only slightly less work than rewiring the house with new circuits, so you might want to consider that. It's not an easy or cheap project but having a crawl space makes it less difficult. You would want to upgrade to a modern 200A panel at the same time.
mpoulton is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Adding a ground wire to a fixture? dkeith Electrical 2 06-01-2011 08:08 PM
Ground Location and Wire Size LHB_Texas Electrical 25 05-27-2011 09:38 AM
3 Wire Set Up . . . Neutral Wire Tied to Ground Wires irishMonster Electrical 14 10-21-2010 08:20 AM
This doesnt seem right. JoulesWinfield Electrical 27 07-26-2009 07:40 PM
hooking up dryer....bronx ny code SURFBUG Appliances 6 10-14-2008 09:41 PM

Top of Page | View New Posts


Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.1