View Full Version : [?] Surge Protectors not Grounded

08-11-06, 07:30 PM
Hey guys, I just moved to a new place. It is a pretty old house and I am noticing that the surge protectors that I am using are showing that they are not grounded.

The "Surge Protection OK" light is on however.

Is this a risk? Is it fixable? Do I even need to worry?

Thanks for any insights...

08-11-06, 08:33 PM
Without a proper ground your UPS or surge protector, will not be able to provide you with any surge protection. You will still have battery back up but no surge protection.

You need an electrician come in and fix the ground, if the house is real old and does not even carry the ground wire then your in for some very expensive electrician bill.

also remember that all the grounds, Electric, Telephone, cable TV and your water supply needs to be bonded together and properly grounded by a ground rod (Single ground rod). The water pipe needs to be bonded as well as jumped over your water meeter because if they have replace your water meeter with a modern one it has ceramic internals and does not carry the bond from one side to the other.

So to recap, UPS does not need a ground but you will not have any surge protection. A surge protector will only be a fancy plug expander and will not provide you with any surge protection as well.

Never ever ever plug a surge protector into a UPS to "get more outlets" Especially if the UPS is a square wave output UPS.

Hope this helps

PS I work for a UPS company and at one time was the claims manager who adjudicated surge claims against our products.

08-11-06, 08:39 PM
I should add, that some electricians will try and fake the ground wire by jumping the ground to the neutral wire at each outlet. This is very wrong and dangerous, even though your ground is bonded at the Neutral back at your panel. This will also turn the ground fault LED off but you will not be protected

I would check the outlet first but more then likely you don't have a ground in the house and it will be very expensive to add this.

Also DO NOT TRY AND BOND YOUR OUTLET TO THE WATERPIPE. I've seen several bad cases of electricians scamming people by incorrectly grounding. Get a qualified electrician and have the job done right.

Good luck

08-11-06, 09:08 PM
Wow, thanks for all the info. Much appreciated.

08-12-06, 06:46 AM
Anytime. I think I will put together a surge, UPS and grounding guide. It seems like lately there has been a lot of talk on this subject.

I could right a book on grounding and what to look for. Also what kind of damage to your PC can be caused by incorrect grounds and ground loops between telephone, electric, data(Cable TV) and from building to building wiring.

let me know if you have any other questions.

What use to confuse electricians, that would try to follow code , was the old IBM isolated ground section of the National Electric Code here in the states. They would want to drive a separate ground rod for a circuit with a PC on it. That was a big no-no and caused a lot of damage. The code does call for a solid ground wire to be bonded all the way back to the main panel and not jumped from outlet to outlet.

08-12-06, 11:44 AM
Yes ground have to be run directly to service panel and wondering if your are running old 60amps service instead of a 100amp you need to have these problem fix. cand cause problem and is not legal, if you ever sell house you won't be able to depend on state you live at. ( had the same problem installed new service panel change ground and rewire whole place and new server routed inside, took a lot of work can be done if you are not electrician, have one come and do the work and have afew give price before using him they do like to overcharge.