Power Supply URGENT/DANGEROUS Shocked by Chassis

zovc

King of Cable Management
Original poster
Jan 5, 2017
852
603
Here's a summary of the developments:

I verified with the landlord that none of the outlets I tested were grounded. It wasn't until then that he explained that he had replaced all the two-prong outlets in the house with three prong outlets, himself.

So, he had an 'electrician' friend of his come out who, upon having the situation explained to him, "didn't think it sounded like a grounding problem." Once he got out there, he looked around and concluded this house was built before people grounded their electronics (~40+ years ago?) and that there are only two wires going to every outlet in the home, we'd need to do an entire re-wire of the house. Guy quoted $5,000 to $6,000.

Landlord says that's too much, and that we should just be able to put down rugs and not have any problems--we should "only have problems if we're bare-footed on the concrete/brick floors." Such a nice guy, he offered to put down carpet if we wanted... :confused:

So, I'm definitely open to suggestions for working around not having any grounded outlets in my house...

And, @guryhwa, I've tested the system at my workplace (rather than at home), and haven't been having any problems. I'm pretty sure your two power supplies are just fine! I'm going to send you a message about the DC-ATX unit, because I think I'd like to re-do some of the wires to have a better fit around my components.
 
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Biowarejak

Maker of Awesome | User 1615
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Mar 6, 2017
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Here's a summary of the developments:

I verified with the landlord that none of the outlets I tested were grounded. It wasn't until then that he explained that he had replaced all the two-prong outlets in the house with three prong outlets, himself.

So, he had an 'electrician' friend of his come out who, upon having the situation explained to him, "didn't think it sounded like a grounding problem." Once he got out there, he looked around and concluded this house was built before people grounded their electronics (~40+ years ago?) and that there are only two wires going to every outlet in the home, we'd need to do an entire re-wire of the house. Guy quoted $5,000 to $6,000.

Landlord says that's too much, and that we should just be able to put down rugs and not have any problems--we should "only have problems if we're bare-footed on the concrete/brick floors." Such a nice guy, he offered to put down carpet if we wanted... :confused:

So, I'm definitely open to suggestions for working around not having any grounded outlets in my house...

And, @guryhwa, I've tested the system at my workplace (rather than at home), and haven't been having any problems. I'm pretty sure your two power supplies are just fine! I'm going to send you a message about the DC-ATX unit, because I think I'd like to re-do some of the wires to have a better fit around my components.
Sounds like grounds for a lawsuit IMO. Any local regulatory agencies you can contact about a landlord who refuses to bring the building up to code?
 

zovc

King of Cable Management
Original poster
Jan 5, 2017
852
603
I don't know, but suing the person who owns the house I live in seems like a pretty bold move that could have a lot of bad consequences. I don't have the time or money to navigate that and then deal with them trying to do everything in their power to hose me (like re-negotiating rent much higher or whatever else).
 
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guryhwa

Cable-Tie Ninja
G-Unique
Dec 23, 2016
164
962
Here's a summary of the developments:

I verified with the landlord that none of the outlets I tested were grounded. It wasn't until then that he explained that he had replaced all the two-prong outlets in the house with three prong outlets, himself.

So, he had an 'electrician' friend of his come out who, upon having the situation explained to him, "didn't think it sounded like a grounding problem." Once he got out there, he looked around and concluded this house was built before people grounded their electronics (~40+ years ago?) and that there are only two wires going to every outlet in the home, we'd need to do an entire re-wire of the house. Guy quoted $5,000 to $6,000.

Landlord says that's too much, and that we should just be able to put down rugs and not have any problems--we should "only have problems if we're bare-footed on the concrete/brick floors." Such a nice guy, he offered to put down carpet if we wanted... :confused:

So, I'm definitely open to suggestions for working around not having any grounded outlets in my house...

And, @guryhwa, I've tested the system at my workplace (rather than at home), and haven't been having any problems. I'm pretty sure your two power supplies are just fine! I'm going to send you a message about the DC-ATX unit, because I think I'd like to re-do some of the wires to have a better fit around my components.

maybe you should DIY a gounded cable for your case~
 

Biowarejak

Maker of Awesome | User 1615
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Mar 6, 2017
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I mean, it probably isn't smart to actually sue them. I'm just saying that they have a legal obligation to make sure the house is in proper working order and completely up to code. They can get in some serious shit if it isn't. That's all :) $6000 to rewire a house is probably much less steep than the fines they would receive. Isn't even a bad deal tbh.
 
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jØrd

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sudocide.dev
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Jul 19, 2015
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I don't know, but suing the person who owns the house I live in seems like a pretty bold move that could have a lot of bad consequences. I don't have the time or money to navigate that and then deal with them trying to do everything in their power to hose me (like re-negotiating rent much higher or whatever else).

Chances are that if you dig up whatever tenancy act / code / laws are in place in your area then there will be something in there to the affect of "once the land lord knows a premises isnt up to code their legally obligated to fix it or stop leasing the house", if you google around for it you can probably go to your landlord armed w/ that document. That being said having a hostile relationship w/ your landlord (who obviously has no intention of fixing it if he can possible avoid doing so) is a less that fantastic situation to be in. Your best bet might be to move house if its something your concerned about.
 

Biowarejak

Maker of Awesome | User 1615
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Mar 6, 2017
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Exactly what @jØrd said :) It's all in how you approach it. Once you have the legal document just be like, "Hey, I found this, I really need you to fix this issue or else I really need to take my business elsewhere" or something to that effect. At the end of the day you're in a business arrangement with this individual and in this particular situation they have to be compliant.
 

Choidebu

"Banned"
Aug 16, 2017
1,199
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Can't you just paint your case and be done with it? I believe it won't matter much as far as electronics' shelf life is concerned. I'm from SE Asia. Nothing there is grounded. In higher elevation areas we just put up lightning rod and ground it several meters deep - that's what 'ground' means to us.
 

Biowarejak

Maker of Awesome | User 1615
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Mar 6, 2017
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While technically a solution, a great many appliances in the typical stateside house operate at very high wattages and could easily pose a hazard if inadequately grounded. Like fires and such. Some older homes here are grounded into the water supply for some stupid reason, and people have died because of it. So it's a non trivial issue.
 

Aichon

Average Stuffer
Oct 16, 2017
85
232
So, I read this thread earlier today and did some Google sleuthing to see what the potential remedies were (also, first post here, so hi, all), but the results weren’t particularly great.

More or less, most states require that the landlord provide electricity, annnnnd...not much beyond that. So long as the wiring matches up with the code in use at the time that the building was constructed, they get grandfathered in and don’t have to pay for upgrades like grounded outlets. The big exception is if there’s a real danger from the outdated wiring (e.g. most states require GFCI wherever water will be present, regardless of when the apartment was built), but from what I could gather, a lack of grounding is not considered a danger in and of itself (though the shocks are certainly not fun). You’d have to point to something more than that. As such, you wouldn’t have any legal grounds to break your contract and he wouldn’t necessarily have an obligation to do anything about it.

The one wrinkle in all of this is that your landlord replaced the outlets with grounded outlets. I’m not a lawyer, but it seems to me that in upgrading them like he did he likely broke your local building codes, which may put him on the hook to remedy the problem. That said, for all I know he may be able to “remedy” it by simply replacing them with ungrounded outlets again, leaving you no better off than you are now.

Instead of going the legal route, however, why not ask about grounding just some of the outlets? An electrician doesn’t have to rewire the whole place to ground a particular outlet, after all. They can run ground wires to individual outlets for a fraction of the cost, which may be a reasonable compromise that’d keep you happy without breaking the bank for your landlord, especially if the problem has gone unnoticed until now and is only noticeable at a particular outlet. And even if he’s unilling to pay for that, it’s likely cheap enough that you could just hire an electrician yourself to do it on your behalf (with your landlord’s consent, of course).

If you do decide to get hostile, however, which I’d advise against, definitely consult your local building codes and housing regulations, since the specifics vary quite a bit from state to state.
 

Biowarejak

Maker of Awesome | User 1615
Platinum Supporter
Mar 6, 2017
1,744
2,262
So, I read this thread earlier today and did some Google sleuthing to see what the potential remedies were (also, first post here, so hi, all), but the results weren’t particularly great.

More or less, most states require that the landlord provide electricity, annnnnd...not much beyond that. So long as the wiring matches up with the code in use at the time that the building was constructed, they get grandfathered in and don’t have to pay for upgrades like grounded outlets. The big exception is if there’s a real danger from the outdated wiring (e.g. most states require GFCI wherever water will be present, regardless of when the apartment was built), but from what I could gather, a lack of grounding is not considered a danger in and of itself (though the shocks are certainly not fun). You’d have to point to something more than that. As such, you wouldn’t have any legal grounds to break your contract and he wouldn’t necessarily have an obligation to do anything about it.

The one wrinkle in all of this is that your landlord replaced the outlets with grounded outlets. I’m not a lawyer, but it seems to me that in upgrading them like he did he likely broke your local building codes, which may put him on the hook to remedy the problem. That said, for all I know he may be able to “remedy” it by simply replacing them with ungrounded outlets again, leaving you no better off than you are now.

Instead of going the legal route, however, why not ask about grounding just some of the outlets? An electrician doesn’t have to rewire the whole place to ground a particular outlet, after all. They can run ground wires to individual outlets for a fraction of the cost, which may be a reasonable compromise that’d keep you happy without breaking the bank for your landlord, especially if the problem has gone unnoticed until now and is only noticeable at a particular outlet. And even if he’s unilling to pay for that, it’s likely cheap enough that you could just hire an electrician yourself to do it on your behalf (with your landlord’s consent, of course).

If you do decide to get hostile, however, which I’d advise against, definitely consult your local building codes and housing regulations, since the specifics vary quite a bit from state to state.
Welcome! Good sleuthing :)
 

robbee

King of Cable Management
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Bronze Supporter
Sep 24, 2016
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Here in Belgium, grounding sockets isn't required in old houses (built before 1981). The only rule is that if there's a grounding pin present, the socket should be grounded.

Best check your local rules and laws on the subject if you're planning to force the landlord to something.
 
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VegetableStu

Shrink Ray Wielder
Aug 18, 2016
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bury an iron rod or iron pot deep in the earth and tie it with a wire to your case~
I... seriously?!
My brief adventures with hobby electronics have been filled with "yes it is this obvious you're sweating it too much" moments, but seriously?!

*google*

Crap you weren't kidding O_O how does that even work?!

*google x2*

okay I get it now ._.

apparently for my entire life I wasn't told that there's a separate ground receiver also in earth that goes back up to the transformer ,_, I thought the ground electricity just goes towards the core of the Earth, but even that somehow doesn't make sense
 

Choidebu

"Banned"
Aug 16, 2017
1,199
1,205
Idk a thing about transformer ground, but yeah ground means ground. Earth can be thought as a big capacitor so ground voltage is the same with everyone. It kinda needs to be deep, like several meters.
I did my college in comp engineering with a little electrical and soldering stuff mixed in
 

rahl07

Caliper Novice
Nov 28, 2017
33
24
A lot of people are correct, here. In Texas at least, the electrical has to be correct to code for when the structure was built. However, if you open a wall or change a plug to a grounded-style in a rent house, you must then update those electrical components upstream - no open grounds in the house are allowed once you've changed to grounded-style plugs.

For 6 dollars, every one of us hooligans should own a receptacle tester, I prefer Klein:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01AKX3AYE/?tag=theminutiae-20

Or for 3 bucks more it'll do a GFCI too. But it'll diagnose your plugs for you by simply plugging it in. It outputs a light code that you match up to the table on the housing, and away you go. Totally worth it.

The ground rod thing is based on potential, there's not a hard-and-fast rule for how big the ground rod needs to be. For a 110V system of which you're not even getting the full voltage/amperage, you could probably get away with a 1m steel rod, a ground lug, and some copper wire to tie between your case and the ground lug. 14g should be plenty for the ground wire diameter.

For grounding an industrial building where I have 4160V, I have a 1" cross-sectional wire tied to a rod that was put in with a pile driver. Just depends on what you're dealing with.