Electrical issues...old house

Discussion in 'Growing Marijuana Indoors' started by OneDayJD, Mar 19, 2012.

  1. I'm getting geared up to start my first grow. The house we live in is a very old house and the majority of the electrical sockets only accept the two prong plugs. Ergo, anything we need to plug in that has a three prong plug (e.g., laptops, surge bars, etc) has to plug into a three-to-two prong plug converter thingy. I'm doing a grow box and most everything will be powered with three prong cords or a three prong surge bar. I have no problem buying another converter, I just want to make sure these things won't hurt my wattage or amps or, most importantly, cause any fire or safety hazards. I don't want to burn my house down. Thanks for any advice.
     
  2. Buy an extension cord with a surge protector ( you don't need the ones for a computer, just something that'll switch off if you short it). Plug the cord into a converter and plug that into the wall. Plug a power strip into the extension cord. If you need to add in a timer put it between the power strip and the extension cord using another converter. You shouldn't lose any amps or volts because the third prong doesn't carry current, it only acts as a ground for more powerful appliances. If your converters or cords get hot after a while stop using them, growing weed isn't worth a house fire, especially in an old house. Good luck bro.
     
  3. Thanks for the good advice. Just so I'm clear, what's the difference between a power strip and a surge protector? I guess I always used the terms interchangeably. I guess I've just never heard of an extension cord with a surge protector. Just want to make sure I'm getting the right thing. Now I just need to make sure I wire my cfl fixtures correctly.
     
  4. Hire an electrician and convert your outlets, at least some of them. That "converter" you are talking about isn't really a converter it's more of a bypass of a safety feature. Do not try to run your grow off a two-prong outlet.
     
  5. A surge suppressor has to have a ground to shunt a surge to ground, otherwise there is no need for a surge suppressor at all it won't work!, smart surge suppressors will notify you if there is no ground too. A surge suppressor is used to eliminate surges of power, as in too much voltage because of a lightning strike or other reason, it is not for power over load protection at all. Some also truly shut down upon all surges even low voltage surges too. A surge is a change in voltage level from one state to another level.

    Surge suppressors or power strips (usually had multiple receptacles, easy to confuse the two) sometimes have breakers that trip if a certain amount of current is exceeded, this only works if the trip point is lower than the fuse/breaker at the electrical panel or possibly but not gauranteeably if the trip point is the same.

    You can add a ground wire to a copper ground rod deep into the ground (like 6 feet or more) You might have one of these already outside or to an incoming copper water pipe. The current should normally "flow" between the "hot" lead and the grounded neutral. The ground wire is used in case any device becomes "live" or rather the "hot" lead somehow has contact with a "case" such as in a fan. The point of grounded the case is to allow the current to flow to ground rapidly and blow the fuse/breaker rather than flowing through you, so you do not become the path of least resistance to ground.

    I personally "float" all my equipment so even if the case becomes live it is not attached or touching another device, such as a lamp housing. Keep in mind doing this and keeping this true, no chain from any other device ever touches another.

    Why am I floating my equipment? because I have no ground either. I could easily add a ground wire too and that would make things safer. Maybe someday...
     
  6. Not an option. Rental property.
     
  7. I am going with toastybiz and replace the outlets. You dont need an electrician to replace them yourselves. You can go online or a hardware or talk to someone there. It will be easy to determine which outlet belong to which fuse by plugging in a light and see when it turns off. Get the same color outlet and you apt manager won't know. If your still unsure you can do it yourself or afraid the apt manager will find out then you tell him/her that it's a fire hazard (which is true) and have a few replaced
     
  8. By replacing the outlets with 3 prong units, in most states this is against electrical code and can be dangerous! Especially as I bet there is no ground wire in the 2 prong outlets I did a little research and this is what I am going to do and I recommend you do the same!

    Install a ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI). It's there to protect people from electrical shock, so it is completely different from a fuse. It senses the current returning to the circuit via the "grounded neutral wire" matches the "hot" lead, if there is a difference, it opens the circuit and everyone is safe and THIS IS CODE LEGAL!!! and resettable Just need to mark the outlet with a note that states "No Equipment Ground"!!!!! -Legal legit and safe!!!! do it!
     
  9. I thought about replacing the outlets in the proposed room where the growbox will be. I've installed outlets in a building before and have no problems. However, with it being an old house and most outlets being two prong, I worry that there is no ground wire to connect to a new three prong outlet as yall mentioned. This is a pain in my ass. I'm gonna think about my options today. I know there has to be a ground somewhere as there are at least two three prong plugs in the house. I may just have to run an extension from one of those. Just not very stealthy.
     
  10. Onedayjd u from sc bro?
     
  11. Just cause there are some 3 prong outlets in the house does not mean they were installed properly. Old houses and growing don't mix well.
     
  12. do not use a surge suppressor is will only protect against surge currents (voltages higher than the mains supply voltage). you need an earth conductor to protect against fault currents otherwise your equipment could become live. you could run some more wire from your switch board earth bus-bar back to the power point. or the easier option would be to use an isolation transformer. just dont overload it.
     
  13. Just thinking about your small obstacle. There are ways to test to see if the ground wire is good. Perhaps switch the adapter out and test it with a meter. There is plenty of web pages that discuss testing the ground wire. Not able to post a precise solution atm
     
  14. Are you?
     
  15. [quote name='"OneDayJD"']Thanks for the good advice. Just so I'm clear, what's the difference between a power strip and a surge protector? I guess I always used the terms interchangeably. I guess I've just never heard of an extension cord with a surge protector. Just want to make sure I'm getting the right thing. Now I just need to make sure I wire my cfl fixtures correctly.[/quote]

    A power strip just has a bunch of outlets to plug shit into, a surge protector is a safety device to protect against sudden changes in voltage. If you have the adapters I say go for it, just keep an eye on things.
     

  16. Yep unfortunately ;)
     
  17. Is there a washer or dryer in unit
     
  18. Did you read this? or don't agree?
    "Install a ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI). It's there to protect people from electrical shock, so it is completely different from a fuse. It senses the current returning to the circuit via the "grounded neutral wire" matches the "hot" lead, if there is a difference, it opens the circuit and everyone is safe and THIS IS CODE LEGAL!!! and resettable Just need to mark the outlet with a note that states "No Equipment Ground"!!!!! -Legal legit and safe!!!! do it! "
     
  19. Gfi outlets and fluorescents aren't a good mix. I don't understand why you can't hire an electrician just cuz it's a rental? You do live there and pay rent?
     

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