[ale] OT: Running computers in an older home (read oldercircuitry)
danlambert at bellsouth.net
Thu Feb 19 13:42:00 EST 2004
PS: I'm a Certified Journeyman Electrician with over 20 years of field
experience besides my electronics time.
It's not worth the risk to cut corners.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: ale-bounces at ale.org [mailto:ale-bounces at ale.org]On Behalf Of Dan
> Sent: Thursday, February 19, 2004 1:34 PM
> To: freemyer-ml at NorcrossGroup.com; Atlanta Linux Enthusiasts
> Subject: RE: [ale] OT: Running computers in an older home (read
> If you do this, Greg, you can create a current loop that can create all
> kinds of grief for sensitive electronics. Truly enough, the ground and
> neutral are tied together at the service entrance or at the main circuit
> breaker panel, but this is the only place they should be common.
> In fact to
> do otherwise violates the NEC, and if a fire were to occur, the insurance
> company could void their coverage and refuse to pay the claim.
> Dan Lambert
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: ale-bounces at ale.org [mailto:ale-bounces at ale.org]On Behalf Of Greg
> > Freemyer
> > Sent: Thursday, February 19, 2004 12:29 PM
> > To: ale at ale.org
> > Subject: Re: [ale] OT: Running computers in an older home (read
> > oldercircuitry)
> > On Thu, 2004-02-19 at 11:36, John Wells wrote:
> > > Guys,
> > >
> > > My wife and I have found a house here in Greensboro we really
> > like, but I have a few concerns. The house is approx. 54 years
> > old, with an addition on the back that's approx. 15-20 years old.
> > The addition has grounded, three prong outlets, but the front
> > portion of the house, where my "office" would be, have the older
> > two pronged, non-grounded outlets.
> > >
> > > On a given day, I run a 120 mhz firewall/router, a 900 mhz
> > Athlon, a 2200XP+ Athlon (1800mhz) with a lot of components, and
> > a 2.0 Ghz laptop pretty much 24/7.
> > >
> > > What are the concerns with going into a house like this with my
> > power usage? I do know that it's on a circuit breaker
> > system...not fuse box. And I plan on having an electrician come
> > in a replace one outlet with a grounded, dedicated circuit so my
> > computers will all plug into this outlet.
> > >
> > > Anything I'm missing or not considering? I've never purchased
> > a home with old wiring so I'm a little wary, but we're probably
> > putting an offer in today. I know that grounding all outlets in
> > the house will probably be pretty darned expensive, so if I don't
> > have to, I don't want to!
> > >
> > > Let me know asap if you have any comments/suggestions. Thanks guys!
> > >
> > > John
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> > I don't know how much you know about electrical outlets, but it should
> > not be that bad.
> > On a normal 3-prong outlet you have hot, neutral, and ground.
> > Believe it or not, neutral and ground are normally tied together at the
> > circuit panel box, So they are really the same thing, although they may
> > vary by a couple of volts in a new house.
> > ie. If you have current flowing thru the neutral conductor, the
> > resistence of the wire itself will give it a little voltage. Since the
> > ground conductor does not have any current flowing, it will be at true
> > ground voltage.
> > I would replace all of your 2-prong outlets with 3-prong throughout the
> > house.. Then connect your neutral wire (should be white) to both the
> > neutral and the ground prongs.
> > I have forgotten which prong is hot, and which is nuetral. You can
> > google for it. I think it is also on the outlet instructions.
> > The most important thing is to buy a $10 outlet tester from Radio
> > Shack. It will tell you if you (or the electrician) have screwed up.
> > You simply plug it into the outlet and it lights up if you have things
> > wrong.
> > Also, do that testing yourself before the electrician leaves.
> > Electricians often reverse the hot and neutral lines because they don't
> > realize how important it is for electronics to get it right. And in
> > this case reversing them will put 120V on what you think is the ground
> > prong.
> > Greg
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