I'm in China (hot, dry area) for the summer and am a guest in an old (1980s**) single family home. Because I am working all summer, I brought my desktop HP computer with me. After switching the desktop power supply from 115 to 230, I plugged it in and it works fine. Because the power drops /browns at least a few times per week, I have a UPS providing backup, allowing me to save my work and shut down in an orderly fashion.
After a week or so, I noticed that I got a shock from the casing of my Desktop. I did some tests and notices that after plugging my pc after being unplugged for 8+ hours, it seems like:
- Before I turn it on in the morning, there is no static charge
- After 5+ hours, the charge is there but weak
- After a few days, the charge is stronger.
After some trouble shooting, I found that while the outlet has 3 prongs, as does all my equipment, the outlet ground is not connected to anything. Further, I went to the "fuse box" and saw that there was no grounded there either. So essentially the whole house is ungrounded.
I found this article to have a good summary of the problem, but the only work-around he suggested was to connect the chassis to the water supply. This won't work for me for two reasons, 1) The water is somewhat far away from where I work and 2) there is plenty of plastic pipes in the water system.
I have a GFI on the way, but I don't think this will resolve the problem.
Right now, I am unplugging the computer when I sleep and at meal times, but this is a pain in the neck. Is there a work around besides connecting to plumbing?
For example, can I connect the chassis to a 5 gallon bucket (~ 20 L) filled with salt water? or filled with damp soil?
** While most of the big cities in China with modern construction will follow some sort of electrical safety code, this house was built before the big boom, so it is a "3rd world" sorta house. And because I am a guest, it wouldn't be polite for me to re-wire the whole house (or neighborhood, for that matter).