Non-grounded "shocking" audio equipment [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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10-26-2008, 02:39 PM
I guess this is for all you electricians out there:

I am living in the Philippines. The problem here is that the standard wireing system in the house is 220 volts, and none of it is grounded. You won't find that 3rd prong (ground) on electric appliance power cords either.

Here is my problem. When I plug my 2 channel integrated amp in and turn it on, you can feel the electrical power by just running your hand along the cabinet of the amp ... You get that 'tingling' vibrating feeling in your fingers from the electricity. For that matter, all elecrtical appliances feel like this way that have metal outer cabinets ... the CD player, refrigerator, clothes dryer, etc.

My 2 questions:

1. Do you think that this is adding distortion and/or "buss" to the Hi-Fi 2 channel audio system I have since there is all that stray electricity in the amp's outer metal cabinet?

2. Any ideas as to how to ground this equipment without re-wireing the whole house?

BTW, without that 3rd ground pin in the power cord of my amp and CD player, I can't see how any of this can by grounded.


10-26-2008, 03:28 PM
I was just thinking to myself ... Do you think that maybe a small hole could be drilled through the cement floor of the house (right under the table that holds the audio system) and then maybe a 1 foot long metal rod (piece of rebar) be pounded into the ground through the hole ... and then a wire be placed from the metal cabinet of the amp to the grounding rod?

This would ground the amp just like an aircraft or fuel truck is grounded when parked (metal grounding point placed on the parking ramp or in the aircraft hanger)

10-26-2008, 03:58 PM
Bury the rod 8feet! Thats how deep a typical house ground is. You can drill a small hole in the metal cabinet and use a screw to attach the ground wire. Just make sure you catch all the metal filings. Your probably safer to remove the metal housing and drill it that way.

10-27-2008, 04:17 AM
You can do as suggested and ground try putting in your own ground or anode bet BUT.

You should check the soils first. Some soils have a higher resistivity than others and you may not get the grounding you desire or need.

You should check out how it's been done in similar homes in your area.

Make sure you use the proper grounding material for your neck of the woods. Some places need copper, some anodized aluminum, some places need almalgams or alloys.

All of this comes from my work with overhead electric lines but the basic principles are the same.

Da Worfster

10-27-2008, 05:06 AM
An earth ground is the best way to go, but you will also want to unsure the plugs on each piece of equipment have the same polarity. This should also help until you can get earth grounded. Having polarities mis-matched can cause a serious shock should you touch both units at the same time, because of the potential difference between the two.