Surge protector's earth detection

  • Thread starter Man-wai Chang ToDie (33.6k)
  • Start date

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P

Paul

Man-wai Chang ToDie (33.6k) said:
Bought a Belkin MasterCube Surge Protector. It has an orange LED
for "Earthed". It's not on. Does it mean anything?

http://catalog.belkin.com/IWCatProductPage.process?Product_Id=124922#

Features:

"Illuminated LEDs indicate your devices are ground and protected"

The device has a three pronged interface. For the LED to light up,
there must be a connection to safety ground (lowest prong).

For houses which only have two prong outlets, the LED will not
light up, and the device will not work right.

Paul
 
W

w_tom

    "Illuminated LEDs indicate your devices are ground and protected"

They forget to define 'protected'. Safety ground is required so
that three wire appliances are "protected" from killing humans. That
is not earth ground AND does not claim to provide appliance
protection. "Protected" is human life.

A three prong device must provide 'safety ground'. However, a
missing safety ground can be 'corrected' by installing a GFCI. GFCI
provides human safety (as defined by code) even though the Belkin will
still say human safety is not provided.
 
J

John Doe

w_tom said:
On Apr 28, 12:24ÿpm, Paul <nos... needed.com> wrote:

They forget to define 'protected'. Safety ground is required so
that three wire appliances are "protected" from killing humans.
That is not earth ground AND does not claim to provide appliance
protection. "Protected" is human life.

Do you search the archives for "surge suppressor" at a specific time
during the day, w_tom?

I doubt that inviting lightning into the room with an "earth ground"
is a good idea. The ground required by a surge suppressor is most
likely to provide just enough current flow through the metal oxide
varistor so that it effectively clamps the voltage at your circuits
input and output terminals, not so that it attempts to shunt a
lightning bolt. Don't get confused thinking that engineers might
agree with you with respect to anything relating to grounding a
circuit, w_tom.
 
M

Man-wai Chang ToDie (33.6k)

"Illuminated LEDs indicate your devices are ground and protected"
The device has a three pronged interface. For the LED to light up,
there must be a connection to safety ground (lowest prong).
For houses which only have two prong outlets, the LED will not
light up, and the device will not work right.

My building is an old one. And there were thieves that stole
copper wires. I suspected that my building's ground line
was missing...

How could I find out whether it's my home or the building?

And how reliable is that earth detection by SurgeMaster?

--
@[email protected] Might, Courage, Vision, SINCERITY.
/ v \ Simplicity is Beauty! May the Force and Farce be with you!
/( _ )\ (Xubuntu 7.10) Linux 2.6.25
^ ^ 09:53:01 up 17:15 1 user load average: 1.07 1.08 1.03
ºî ´© (CSSA):
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P

Paul

John said:
Do you search the archives for "surge suppressor" at a specific time
during the day, w_tom?

It is worse than that. Google has an alerter service, that will tell
you when a keyword or topic is being discussed. It doesn't matter which
of hundreds of groups are discussing "surge suppressors", W_ will be
on it, thanks to Google's fine services. It is pretty bad, when you have
to warn people not to say "certain words"...

http://www.google.ca/alerts?t=8&q=pork+rind

Paul
 
P

Paul

Man-wai Chang ToDie (33.6k) said:
My building is an old one. And there were thieves that stole
copper wires. I suspected that my building's ground line
was missing...

How could I find out whether it's my home or the building?

And how reliable is that earth detection by SurgeMaster?

I would say pretty believable. The conducting path, is the same
one the protective elements use to shunt dangerous potentials
away from your equipment. If the light does not function,
then no protection is possible.

Over here, we can get these at a hardware store. This is an outlet
tester. It has three lights on one end. There is a table of values
printed on the device. You plug it in, and notice which lights
come on. The device can tell you if the safety ground is missing,
if neutral and live are switched and so on. I notice the latest
innovation on these, is a GFCI test button, for testing that a
bathroom ground fault interrupter circuit can detect leakage
current. By using this device, you may be able to confirm that
safety ground is missing. (If you don't have any GFCI circuits,
then you don't need to press the button.)

http://www.acmehowto.com/howto/homemaintenance/electrical/outlettest.php

There are several reasons to fix a missing safety ground:

1) The safety ground is there for your protection. In the event that the
live wire makes contact with the chassis of an appliance (like your
automatic washer), the safety ground will cause the circuit breaker
to trip. The idea, is to prevent you from getting a shock, by touching
an electrically "hot" chassis. By having the chassis grounded by the
safety ground, it is supposed to prevent the metal from ever becoming
"hot".

2) The safety ground is necessary to allow your surge protector to work.

3) On computers with three prong plugs, the computer deliberately places
a small amount of leakage current on the safety ground pin. It does this,
as part of the design of the EMI (interference) filter inside the ATX
power supply. If you disconnect the safety ground, then the metal on the
computer will present a weak shock hazard. It won't kill you, but it
will annoy you, every time you come in contact with metal on the computer.

The safety ground is there to protect the landlord as well. You may want
to check with your local city office, about what rules or ordinances apply
to residences with bad wiring. If the landlord refuses to act, maybe there
is some ruling that could be applied to him or her.

In some jurisdictions, it is illegal for non-trade people to do electrical
repair work. In others, a homeowner can do repair work, but must get the
work inspected. You can check with your city, to see what the rules are.
Back were I used to live, it is now illegal to do your own electrical work.
And electricians down there, will work for a bottle of rum :) Personally,
I'd rather do my own repair, while "sober as a judge".

Paul
 
W

w_tom

My building is an old one. And there were thieves that stole
copper wires. I suspected that my building's ground line
was missing...
How could I find out whether it's my home or the building?
And how reliable is that earth detection by SurgeMaster?

Again, the indicator light says nothing about an earthing wire. It
only detects a connection from that third receptacle prong to a bus
bar inside the breaker box. That is the safety ground wire which, if
stolen, means other two receptacle wires were also stolen.

It’s an old building implying that the safety ground wire was never
installed and that the wall receptacle was illegally replaced with a
three prong outlet.

That indicator light cannot report a sufficient ground connection.
Indicator light can report a possible failure; but cannot report the
safety ground connection as good. The outlet tester only does same.
Outlet tester also cannot report the safety ground is sufficient - can
only report some types of failures.

Thieves might steal copper from the outside earth ground. Earth
ground can be completely missing, and that outlet tester (and
Surgemaster light) would report safety ground as OK. Do not confuse
earth ground with safety ground. The Surgemaster is reporting a
defect in safety ground and typically will be vague about the
difference.

Inspection is the only reliable method for confirming earth ground.
That bare copper wire must connect breaker box to the same earth
ground used by all other utilities (telephone and cable). Post 1990
code requires that earthing electrode to be connected short to the
breaker box - therefore be located near that breaker box. Best is to
have earthing upgraded to post 1990 code requirements. It makes
inspection easy and earthing more effective. To protect from thieves,
that earthing wire must not be inside metallic conduit.

Earthing wire and safety ground wires are two completely different
connections. Some will intentionally confuse both in the instruction
booklet.
 
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W

w_tom

Looks like he has been doing that for years.

Replies are on topics that I know. When will John Doe post about
that indicator light? Past history suggests he does not know what
that indicator light does. Notice what this post keeps going back to -
that indicator light and the OP's post.

Confusion exists between earth ground and safety ground. That light
implies a safety ground defect. That light cannot report a safety
ground as good. That light says nothing about earth ground.

Relevant are facts that answer the OP's questions. Useful poster
discusses what that light does and does not report. John Doe again
posts without a single useful fact relevant to the OP's questions. It
is not the first time and it has resulted in emotional outbursts.
Useful posts address what that indicator light reports. Light says
nothing about earth ground. John Doe and now NB provide even less
useful information.
 
M

Man-wai Chang ToDie (33.6k)

My building is an old one. And there were thieves that stole
copper wires. I suspected that my building's ground line
was missing...
How could I find out whether it's my home or the building?

Thanks for the replies.

--
@[email protected] Might, Courage, Vision, SINCERITY.
/ v \ Simplicity is Beauty! May the Force and Farce be with you!
/( _ )\ (Xubuntu 7.10) Linux 2.6.25
^ ^ 11:46:01 up 22:32 1 user load average: 1.11 1.08 1.01
ºî ´© (CSSA):
http://www.swd.gov.hk/tc/index/site_pubsvc/page_socsecu/sub_addressesa/
 
N

NB

Who do you work for, w_tom? What is your agenda, w_tom?

Replies are on topics that I know.

On what basis do you make that claim, w_tom?
When will John Doe post about
that indicator light?
Irrelevant.

Past history suggests he does not know what
that indicator light does.

Where is the alleged "past history", w_tom?
Notice what this post keeps going back to -
that indicator light and the OP's post.

On what basis do you make that claim, w_tom?
Confusion exists between earth ground and safety ground. That light
implies a safety ground defect. That light cannot report a safety
ground as good. That light says nothing about earth ground.

On what basis do you make those claims, w_tom?

Relevant are facts that answer the OP's questions. Useful poster
discusses what that light does and does not report. John Doe again
posts without a single useful fact relevant to the OP's questions. It
is not the first time and it has resulted in emotional outbursts.
Useful posts address what that indicator light reports. Light says
nothing about earth ground. John Doe and now NB provide even less
useful information.

Classic unsubstantiated claims and presuppositions.
 
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M

Man-wai Chang ToDie (33.6k)

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