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I live in an very very old house, recently I purchase a surge protector (APC P5B-GR) and it came with "grounded" light indicator, when I plug the surge protector into my house wall outlet, the grounded light indicator does not turn on.

Does that mean my house is not properly grounded? How do I check? Is there any risk if your house is not properly grounded?

The surge protector says "This product must be connected to earth ground" in the back. So is it safe to use even if my house is not properly grounded?

Here's a pictures of my house main electrical outlet.

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Here's a picture of my wall outlet.

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Here's a pictures of my surge protector

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  • Where on this planet are you? – ThreePhaseEel Jan 7 '17 at 15:08
  • @ThreePhaseEel: I'm sorry? – warheat1990 Jan 7 '17 at 16:05
  • what country do you live in? – ThreePhaseEel Jan 7 '17 at 16:16
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Based on the model of the surge protector, I'm going to guess those are German outlets.

Does that mean my house is not properly grounded? How do I check? Is there any risk if your house is not properly grounded?

Something like a socket tester can tell you the status of an outlet These can be found at most hardware stores or online:

socket tester

https://www.amazon.de/Schwabe-Steckdosen-Tester-Null-Leiter-Anschluss-Prüfstecker-Schuko/dp/B01I3IPV1I

This will tell you whether or not your outlets are properly grounded. The surge protector has a version of this tester built-in, and it's showing that the outlet you have it plugged in to is not grounded.

The surge protector says "This product must be connected to earth ground" in the back. So is it safe to use even if my house is not properly grounded?

Without grounding, the surge protector becomes a power strip. The surge protection is designed to redirect "surges" of electricity to ground, instead of to the outlet where equipment could be harmed. So the harm is that you might think your equipment is protected when it might not be.

  • Most surge suppressors absorb a good chunk of the surge energy – ThreePhaseEel Jan 7 '17 at 16:41
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Most surge suppressor are made with MOV's Metal Oxide Varistors. Theye work by dumping voltages above there listed value to ground. If there is no ground connection there is no return (to earth) path for the voltage spike to go to. Your service may be grounded but the outlet you are connected to may not be and that could be why the light is not lit. If you own this home I would recommend a whole house surge protector that is installed at the service, if the home has a ground at the service connecting to that will protect everything not just 1 power strip. If the home doesn't have a ground or the ground was connected to metal pipes (quite common in older homes) that have been replaced with plastic a new ground rod needs to be added and a #6 copper conductor run back to the service.

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Some advanced socket testers are able to perform an earth loop impedance test which provides more information about the state of the ground (earth) wiring.

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This is a UK version, I expect there are equivalent products for other countries/locales available locally.

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