so I have just bought all the parts for a new PC, but am weary to build and use it because I noticed I don't have a grounded outlet at all in my room/house. I have been using a computer on this outlet for the last 3 years without problem by way of an adapter like the one below, and then a sure protector/power strip plugged into that.


But I'm worried this might cause damage down the road because there is no ground that I know of. Could static build up on the computer and eventually damage components? Could I jury rig a wire to the radiator in my room as a ground?


Those adapters are no longer used because it became obvious that even with the center screw used many boxes were still not properly grounded. In such cases if there is a fault to ground dangerous current could flow on exposed metallic parts, or flow through high resistance connections causing heat to build up causing fires.

NO! You cannot simply use an old water pipe, or especially a radiator for a valid and proper electrical ground.

You really need to have a new circuit run. It is possible to find a valid proper ground for an old circuit, but to do so, and do so compliantly, is likely harder than simply running a new circuit.

  • 1
    Replacing a 2-prong outlet with a 3-prong GFCI outlet is also acceptable, as long as it's stickered as not having a ground. – SomeoneSomewhereSupportsMonica Apr 8 '16 at 6:32
  • 1
    @SomeoneSomewhere, that is a legal safety practice, but it does not provide a valid equipment ground that the OP was looking for for his computer equipment. A UPS or high end surge suppressor will still show an "open ground" alarm. – Speedy Petey Apr 8 '16 at 11:29

Not a problem at all for the electronics...as you previously discovered. However, screw that tab on the adapter into the outlet cover plate's screw. You might luck out that it's grounded or sporadically grounded to help protect you. Don't do the radiator idea, it would endanger others.

  • 1
    Running a "ground" wire to a ground rod will do absolutely NOTHING. The dirt outside and an electrode, ARE NOT the same as an equipment ground. It says clearly in the NEC: "The earth shall not be used as a path for fault current". – Speedy Petey Mar 8 '16 at 18:36
  • Thanks. You're right, it's not worth clarification so I'll take it out. – Iggy Mar 8 '16 at 21:52
  • If the faceplate (and box) isn't earthed, running a ground wire to it is just going to make you feel good without improving anything. I'd suggest at least making sure that it is grounded, and even then probably no. – SomeoneSomewhereSupportsMonica Apr 8 '16 at 6:30
  • What's the difference? Take a gamble is, "apparently", the only option. I tried the GFCI outlet thing before & was ridiculously hammered for that "idiocy". Speedy, the "Pro", says "a ground" won't do anything. You have to answer absurdly. Like Speedy says, you NEED TO hire an Electrician to re-wire the whole building. Today's Code deems everything before it as a Crime Against Humanity. See, me answering the very "specific question" of potential electronics damage & jerry-rigging a ground were perfectly correct answers, though I should've given a Salesman's non-answer like Speedy to "fit in". – Iggy Apr 9 '16 at 23:43

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.