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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I live in New Orleans and I have finally moved into a bigger place which will allow me to have a dedicated home theater room. The big move took place over the last two days and while moving I noticed something in my new place. The outlets have no ground!! I use isotel and panamax surge protectors for my equipment. I could use one of those little plastic adapters which will allow me to use a ground to no ground connection but the problems associated with no ground terrify me.


Is this a real problem to worry about? If I have quality surge protectors in-line is a ground really necessary? I have invested all my money in this equipment and would hate to see problems due to something as simply as no ground.


Could someone please enlighten me here.
 

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Yes, you do have problem. Surge protectors rely on a ground path to operate and divert surge energy. I would suggest that you find a suitable ground point near your HT room. The best thing would be to actually drive a ground rod (ask the local utility what the recommended depth is for your area). You then should use all copper connections to the rod and up to the HT area. I would use a #10AWG or better depending on the length of the run. An ideal ground would be less than 1 ohm from your HT wiring to the rod. You could then make a Jbox with 3 wire outlets using your ground wire and the L1, L2 feeds from your existing outlets.


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It will be interesting to see what local code dictates for grounds since the water table is so hight in NO.


It should only cost you a few hundred dollars to have a ground put in for one of your outlets. If you bought the place and will be doing a little remodeling, a rewire of the house may be in order.


Kelly
 

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That's really unfortunate. That issue should have turned up in a pre-purchase inspection. Have a qualified electrician (or two) give you a quote. The ground should return to the mains (breaker box) and then go outside. Many older homes were wired with dual wire and lack the ground wire. This would require pulling new 2+1 wire in the house (truely a PITA!). Some homes may also have fuse boxes instead of a breaker box (my Mom's house was built this way in the 50's and just reworked about 5 years ago). Depending upon what is there, and what you are required to do by code, the estimates will vary wildly.

Good luck!



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Good point Don. Thanks for the correction.



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You may want to remove the receptacle cover and see if your cable has a bare ground wire. Before 3 prong receptacles were available, the ground wires were fastened to the metal box, but not to the oldstyle receptacle. You may just need to replace your receptacle, which is a $3.00 do it yourself job.


Jon
 

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Good topic. My house has no ground except for the Kitchen. I got one of those 3 prong to 2 prong adapters and hooked up my whole system to the surge protector that way. This includes the pc, server, projector, amp, receiver, and cd player.


I noticed when I plugged the coax TV cable into the back of the PC (I have a tv tuner card) the ground light lit up on the surge protector. Which means my whole room is grounded through the TV cable. http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/frown.gif


It's a rental, so I have no desire to plunk a lot of dough into it.
 

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You need to determine what type of wire is running in the wall at present. If it is BX cable (metal jacket) there is usually a way to accomplish this without pulling new wire.


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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for all the great suggestions. In case anyone is curious I went ahead and made a phone call to the electrician who worked on the kitchen. It appears he ran those grounds in the kitchen straight to the box. What he suggested I do for the home theater is change 4 outlets over to having a dedicated ground in my home theater room. These would all go to an isolated ground rod. I would think this is what you really want for a home theater....correct? All my equipment would be connected with surge protectors all going to one common ground. Shouldn't this avoid all audio and video ground problems (i.e. 60Hz hum and video hum bars)? Also, he said this kind of install should only cost around $200...sound acceptable?


Thanks again.
 

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John Paul,


I didn't have ground to my outlets either. I connected the outlets in the room which houses my PC and HT equipment to a ground wire tied to my plumbing.

This caused a ground loop that created a hum in my audio equipment. I also was measuring voltage on that ground wire. I told my next door neighbor who had done the same thing. We put a meter on his ground wire and discovered he had voltage in the ground wire too.

We both then went to Home Depot and bought 8' copper ground rods, drove them into the ground and reconnected the outlet ground to that. No more audio hums and no more voltage on the ground wire.


Bob


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Gentlemen,


While driving ground rods usually does the trick, these ground rods should also be connected to the house service ground with #10 solid wire. This ground is usually below the meter base or depending on the type of foundation and age of service, below the fuse/breaker box.


Brian


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