I know that the answer is yes, I should, but outlets near the setup are not grounded (even though they look like they are) and I don’t want to have wires running though my living room.

The real question is what are potential problems ? Occasional system reboots? Permanent damage to PSU? Permanent damage to other components?

  • empireOfLove2@lemmy.dbzer0.com
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    24 days ago

    It will not affect system stability, but… Surge protectors do not work at all without a ground wire to drop excess voltage to. Any kind of line voltage disturbance could kill every device.

    Additionally, without any ground wire to pull the housings of devices to ground, the potential for a short to energize the case and then electrocute you is also high.

    additionally additionally, if you have grounded outlets that don’t actually have a ground connection running to them, that means either the wiring system is broken or it was “updated” by an unlicensed hack job who has undoubtedly made numerous more dangerous decisions elsewhere in the circuit.

    If your house is entirely ungrounded you really should have an electrician come update it ASAP. Outlet grounds have been mandatory since 1971. The chances are high that wiring predating that code is still using old cloth-wrapped wire insulation or even knob&tube, both of which are huge fire risks as the insulation is decayed badly by now. It’s expensive to have all new wire pulled but it is necessary.

    • Ebby@lemmy.ssba.com
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      24 days ago

      Can confirm. Neighbors house had an attic fire with knob & tube wiring.

      … Just like the stuff still in my place today. Eek! Landlord won’t upgrade unless there is a problem. In my house, the breakers are all 20amp and that’s a lot to run on, best guess, 70 year old wires.

      Oh, and do not assume anything is wired as expected. Test after. I’ve found a couple plugs “upgraded” to 3-prong by jumping the load and ground together. That made for a fun firework show when my metal fan touched something metal. Even the landlord was impressed by that stupidity.

      A cheaper solution is to take a copper wire and connect the ground screw of the socket to a water pipe. It does the job and is better than nothing.

        • ironhydroxide@sh.itjust.works
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          23 days ago

          Second note, the metal pipe has to be continuously metal from at minimum where it enters the house, don’t trust that if you see a metal water pipe (or drain pipe) that it’s grounded.

      • schizo@forum.uncomfortable.business
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        23 days ago

        Looks like your landlord and the people who flipped my house hired the same electrician. They did the same stupid thing jumping the load and ground so that it’d pass inspection (the little tester will show everything properly grounded).

        Unnnnfortunately, that’s also a good way to cause serious damage to things and in my case it managed to short in such a way that it melted one of the phases coming into the house and damn near burned my house down.

        Don’t do stupid shit with your outlets, kids, because uh, yeah, fire.

      • Revan343@lemmy.ca
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        20 days ago

        I’ve found a couple plugs “upgraded” to 3-prong by jumping the load and ground together. That made for a fun firework show when my metal fan touched something metal. Even the landlord was impressed by that stupidity.

        Ah, the good old reverse polarity bootleg ground.

        Fun fact: RPBG is the one fault that those plug-in outlet testers can’t recognize

        Edit: Wait, no, that would be hot bootleg ground, they should catch that. RPBG has the hot and neutral switched, and also a bootleg ground to the neutral that’s actually hot

    • Scrubbles@poptalk.scrubbles.tech
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      24 days ago

      Yeah it’s pricey, very pricey, but the risks are just too high for a home not to be properly grounded anymore. Homeowners have had 50 years to do it, it’s time to get it done.

      • tburkhol@lemmy.world
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        23 days ago

        Heh. House I rented was built before ubiquitous electricity. At some point, someone slapped a fuse box on the outside of the back wall and drilled a bunch of 1" holes in said wall to pass wiring. House was built on piers, so they just dragged wires around to places where they wanted outlets, which were mostly planted in the floor. Not a ground wire on site. I have no idea how they got away with renting that out, but it’s not like I called code enforcement, either.

        • verstra@programming.devOP
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          23 days ago

          My house was built in 1939. Initial installation of ecectric cables consisted of a wire in a sleeve filled over with concrete. That was all replaced with proper tubing and isolation, but these few outlets do not have ground.

        • empireOfLove2@lemmy.dbzer0.com
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          19 days ago

          Generally speaking most buildings can be “grandfathered in” under code such that it’s perfectly legal to rent as long as the electrical system functions and meets code for the year on which it was built or installed… shitty, but legal.

    • mojofrododojo@lemmy.world
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      22 days ago

      Additionally, without any ground wire to pull the housings of devices to ground, the potential for a short to energize the case and then electrocute you is also high.

      this will also cause resets and instability. have seen it first hand.

    • aubeynarf@lemmynsfw.com
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      23 days ago

      Surge suppressors do not drop extra voltage to ground. They selectively short out surges between whatever two conductors have a high potential between them.

      No ground conductor means there cannot be a high potential between it and anything else!

  • peregus@lemmy.world
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    23 days ago

    Permanent damage to PSU? Permanent damage to other components?

    Or worst: permanent damage to yourself.

  • MangoPenguin@lemmy.blahaj.zone
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    23 days ago

    Without a ground there is nowhere for a surge to go, permanent damage is much more likely. Surge protectors or a UPS will not protect against surges at all without a ground.

    There’s also no ground so the chassis may have enough voltage on it to cause a shock if you touch it. This could also damage components as they are not grounded and touching things can introduce high voltage from static electricity which will have nowhere to go.

    Additionally if you have ethernet connected to it the system may end up grounding itself through the ethernet cable, if the device at the other side does have a ground, which could cause issues.

    So it basically just means you have a much higher chance of damaging the parts, or injuring someone touching things.

  • Scrubbles@poptalk.scrubbles.tech
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    24 days ago

    I know that the answer is yes

    I mean, there you go, and all of the above. I’d add in a pretty large fire risk too. I hear my battery backups kick in regularly, and we’re talking about enough power to equal a large appliance (at least in my case). It’s 100% worth it to move them to a grounded outlet.

  • Matt The Horwood
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    24 days ago

    Electric shock to you? Get an electrician to check it and sign it off?

  • irotsoma@lemmy.world
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    23 days ago

    I mean it depends on the intensity of the surge, but basically you’d be making it so your PSU is unable to protect the devices from surges. The more sensitive the electronics, the more critical the ground is and CPUs are pretty darned sensitive among other things. And depending on the type of components in the PSU, “surges” also include things like inrush current. Basically, when you turn on a transformer or certain other devices, there is a surge of sometimes as much as 10 times the rated current to create the initial magnetic flux. Depending on the components, this excess energy may end up getting shunted to the ground to avoid pushing it through your electronics. So if it can’t do that, you likely will blow fuses a lot when switching the power on (hopefully there are fuses), or if you’re touching the case which is supposed to be grounded, you may end up getting that jolt.

    Anyway, without grounded outlets, and especially if your electronics are cheaply made because many expect there to be grounding and don’t build in extra components to deal with not having a ground, you are likely to significantly reduce the life of your electronics, your life, or start a fire without even considering major surges. If you have a high-end PSU, you may never have a problem until that surge happens. How stable is your power? Because even a normally small surge combined with a cheap PSU, and no ground, is pretty likely to end up in damage to electronics at the best case.

  • Krafting@lemmy.world
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    24 days ago

    Other question for anyone listening here: How can we check if an outlet is correctly grounded ? I live in a faily new appartment with good outlets, but maybe I should make sure they are OK ?

  • sj_zero@lotide.fbxl.net
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    23 days ago

    The most important risk you face is if somehow mains voltage ends up contacting somewhere you get electrocuted and die.

    There are 2 purposes of an earth ground: First it can be used as a reference for certain signals, such as microphones. Second, it can be used to protect against turning yourself into a sparker.

    There is a clear separation between mains voltage and system voltages so it’s typically not going to be a problem, but if a little wire ends up contacting the power supply case it can become energized and things start to get really bad.

    Most of the electrical code where I live focuses on grounding as “Bonding”, which is purely safety related for giving dangerous voltages a safe place to go.

  • calcopiritus@lemmy.world
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    23 days ago

    You don’t need to have wired across the room. You can put them through the wall like every other cable. If the wire tubes are not full, it isn’t very complicated. I put my Ethernet wires in the wall.

    • xyguy@startrek.website
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      24 days ago

      You are correct that this is technically in code and would protect against shock hazards in a neutral error situation but you also get the opportunity for the outlet to pop during the day when nobody is home and the battery to die.

      We had a situation in our old house where someone who was technically correct but didn’t think it through had a gfci outlet upstream of the refrigerator outlet. Thankfully it popped while someone was home and we got everything corrected before we lost everything in the fridge.

      • Possibly linux@lemmy.zip
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        23 days ago

        You food should expire that quickly. It would take at least a day or two.

        Unless your gone for a while you would notice that the lights no longer on and it doesn’t feel as cold.

      • Snot Flickerman@lemmy.blahaj.zone
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        24 days ago

        For sure, a fridge is a really bad one to be using on an actual ungrounded GFCI, exactly for the reason of risk of expired food.

        I like my homeserver but if something trips and its offline for a while it’s not gonna ruin my day.

        The battery can be recharged eventually unless it’s already be discharged many times or it’s left alone and dead long enough to kill any ability to recharge it.

  • just_another_person@lemmy.world
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    24 days ago

    Do you have money to replace everything plugged into those outlets, and sufficient home insurance that also ignores such things? Then, no, I guess.

    Just take an hour and make a ground yourself. It doesn’t take a lot of specialized knowledge to do so.

    Edit to say, I’m pretty sure any surge protector worth itself has a ground output on it already. Just run a wire from it into the literal ground if possible, or over to a place in your home that is properly grounded. You’re just trying to give something like a lightning strike a path of least resistance to discharge into. Any metal conduit in your home SHOULD be grounded, so that’s an easy option.

    • cravl@slrpnk.net
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      23 days ago

      Except in very rare configurations (i.e. not 99.9% of residential), you do not want to have multiple paths to ground within a system. All grounds should go to the tied ground/neutral bus in the main breaker panel, which then goes to earth via a ground rod or a clamp to a copper gas/water line, etc. Otherwise you can have current flowing in ways that the system isn’t designed for, which at the least can trip breakers and GFCIs, and at worst exceed the rating of the wires in a short condition and cause a fire.

    • cravl@slrpnk.net
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      23 days ago

      Except in very rare configurations (i.e. not 99.9% of residential), you do not want to have multiple paths to ground within a system. All grounds should go to the tied ground/neutral bus in the main breaker panel, which then goes to earth via a ground rod or a clamp to a copper gas/water line, etc. Otherwise you can have current flowing in ways that the system isn’t designed for, which at the least can trip breakers and GFCIs, and at worst exceed the rating of the wires in a short condition and cause a fire.