I just moved into a dutch student house without any grounded plugs which is quite usual around here. I get the 'Macbook Tingle' after some time, which solved by nudging the Macbook to the Radiator. and now I'm about to connect more computer appliances to an extension cord.

This makes me wonder: Can I earth the entire extension cord/ power strip with a crocodile clip to the radiator? Of course securing both sides properly. Needless to say I know this is not ideal but I'm also not keen on leaving it without anything.

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This seems extremely dangerous. If the plumbing for the radiators is not grounded, and a fault occurs. You could potentially electrify the entire plumbing system.

Worst case scenario. The heating plumbing is electrically connected to the water plumbing, you electrify the plumbing, and everybody in the building dies when they wash their hands.

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    Stop holding back. Tell us what you really think. – bib Feb 13 '15 at 15:56
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    For cold water pipe grounds, etc. to properly work, you must know that the pipe has been properly bonded to ground in an area where you can definitely see and test it. And there must be NO dielectric fittings (anticorrosion) between your connection and that ground bonding. Speaking from experience as one who got zapped as a little kid because a bad element in a hot water heater energized the cold water bib outside the utility room. "Hey, it was the '60s, man, uncool!" – Fiasco Labs Feb 13 '15 at 16:01

No. There is no guarantee of good conduction between the radiator and ground. It may be too high a resistance to have any practical effect. And that can change without warning if something happens to the pipes. Better than nothing maybe, but mostly gives you a false sense of security.

If you can't get a safety ground and need protection, the recommended solution is to use a gfi/gfci, which will detect leakage and cut the power. I have a "gci in a box" extension cord I use gor that purpose when I can't replace the outlet.


A gfi/gfci will be safer, but won't allow a surge protector to protect your electronic devices without a ground.

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