Grounded vs Ungrounded Power Outlets
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rickfri

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I just moved into a new house in the last couple of weeks, but a new house for me is a 50 year old ranch. All the power outlets are of the ungrounded (two prong) type. I would like to ask a couple of questions about this

1. Sonicly - should I get an electrician in to ground the outlets?
2. Safety - should I get an electrician in to ground the outlets?

Maybe the two questions should be reversed, but everybody has their own priorities.

Thanks in advance.
 
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Magic77

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#1: SAFETY is definitely most important!! Especially for major appliances. The GROUND is also very important with today's home electronics; TV's, Stereo systems, Computers, etc....
 
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Old Pa

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I'm not God's gift to electrical projects, but have managed to ground out my house's conduit and install grounded and GFI outlets that test out. People manage to electrocute themselves at home regularly. Not only is outlet grounding code, but it has been code for thirty years. If something you plug in has a grounding plug, then something about it rquires a working ground. Get yourself a basic wiring guide at Home Depot, check to see if your wiring is in groudable conduit or other form, and have at it making sure you get good mechanical connections that test out properly polarized and grounded. It can't help but improve your sound if you don't have to listen to your music over your own screaming.
 
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ServinginEcuador

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Grounding can provide safety and sonic boosts. Many good noise rejecting power units will divert noise over from one line to ground to get rid of it and keep it from affecting sound quality. If you don't use three prong plugs in the wall is may also be harder to hook up some of your units as some come with three prong plugs and using those adapters is not fun and they they sometimes don't like to stay plugged in for very long. But remember that not all stereo components use a three prong plug. Many CDPs only use a two prong system, so grounding won't help those units at all.
 
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Tuberoller

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This is not a difficult job to do but I would offer that you shouyld at least read up on how to do it properly.I would also highly recommend an Earth ground.Most books decribe how to acomplish this.
 
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rickfri

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Thanks for all the good advice. I had an electrician out yesterday to give me an estimate and some advice. He said it would be cheaper to put in new services where I needed them than to try to rewire the old ones. We decided on putting in five new services in areas where I use grounded equipment.
I would like to go the DIY route and ground the whole house, but right now I just don't have the time. The first day I got here I had a formal letter from the post office saying I needed to put in a mailbox. It seems that as new people move in they stop delivering to mail receptacles inside carports and require mailboxes. Bought one at Lowe's that was 'some assembly required'. After spending about eight hours assembling it and trying to drive a stake into the ground level (it came out at about a 30 degree angle), I spent the next day buying a post hole digger, concrete, and a four by four to put the mail box in right.
Then I had to find, assemble, and install shelving in a linen closet in the hall. Fifty year old ranch houses are not known for their storage and you have to maximize everything you can.
Between these DIY projects and sitting in government office waiting lines (drivers license, car registration, registering to vote, new bank accounts) Lowe's and the Court House have become my second home.
All my books, cds, dvds, and computer stuff, and everything else is thrown on shelves to get them out of shipping boxes and I really want to get it into some kind of order.
To top it off, the person I bought the house from was a yard fanatic and spent all his waking free hours working on the yard. The neighbors have already asked me if I'm going to continue this. They're already looking at me strangely because I haven't raked the leaves. My idea of yard work is concreting over as much of the yard as possible.
This is why I'm not going the DIY route on grounding out my house at the present time. Maybe when things calm down I'll try grounding some of the rest of the house, but right now I'll settle for five grounded outlets.
Sorry for the long post but I'm sitting here drinking some coffee, relaxing, waiting for it to warm up a little, before I go out and rake those stinking leaves.
 
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bootman

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Rick, I feel your pain.
Welcome to home ownership.
 
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CaptBubba

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Its better to stay away from wiring if you don't know what you are doing. There is the possibility that there actually is a ground wire run to the outlet and is used to ground the box it is contained in. If this is the case you may be able to switch over to three prong outlets with little trouble. Of course, the safest way is to get it rewired.

Those post-hole diggers are real nice aren't they? They save so much effort when you compare them to digging with a shovel.
 
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