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Kevin
Kevin, Licensed Electrician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 2934
Experience:  29 years as a Licensed Electrical Contractor in Illinois, 5 year college Electrical Instructor, Former Electrical Inspector, Diploma in Digital Electronics, Former Illinois Licensed Home Inspector
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I live in an older apartment and the only outlets in my

Customer Question

Hi! I live in an older apartment and the only outlets in my bedroom are two pronged. But because I live in Washington DC, I need an AC unit to survive summer. I installed one, but to get it to the wall I ran the AC cord to a surge protector to a grounded plug. But on the surge protector, only the "protected" light is lit up, not the "grounded" light. Am I at risk?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Electrical
Expert:  Kevin replied 1 year ago.
Hello.....my name is ***** ***** I will be happy to assist you with your electrical question. My goal is to exceed your expectations on Just Answer!
1) All surge protectors require an equipment grounding conductor in order for the surge feature to work. Since your outlets are only 2 prong type, there is no ground on those receptacles. Thus, the surge protector does not indicate a ground since there is none.
2) The only way to provide a true equipment ground and use a 3 prong grounded receptacle and the surge protector is to install an equipment ground from the main electrical panel out to a 3 prong receptacle. This will involve additional wiring on the existing circuit.
3) If you are concerned about a potential shock hazard, you can de-install the existing 2 prong receptacle and replace it with a 3 prong GFCI receptacle. The GFCI receptacle will still not provide a ground since no ground exists, but will provide against any potential shock hazards.
Hope this helps………If you have any additional questions, let me know and I’ll be glad to answer them for you.
Otherwise, don’t forget to rate me before you log Off.
The next time you have an electrical question, you can also request for me at: http://www.justanswer.com/home-improvement/expert-your-electrician ……….Thanks…………..Kevin!
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Good to know. So, do you think my AC unit is okay plugged into a surge protector and then the wall, or is it liable to explode or something? It is working okay now and the cords aren't warm.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
(Posted by JustAnswer at customer's request) Hello. I would like to request the following Expert Service(s) from you: Live Phone Call. Let me know if you need more information, or send me the service offer(s) so we can proceed.
Expert:  Kevin replied 1 year ago.
I submitted an "Additional Services" offer to you.....Thanks........Kevin!
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Can you just answer the question about my AC unit?
Expert:  Kevin replied 1 year ago.
1) The A/C unit does not require surge protection unless your local electrical utility has a past history of electrical surges in your area or if you have numerous thunderstorms/electrical storms in the area. Surge protecting is always a good idea though, especially when it comes to sensitive appliances.
2) The majority of most apartments and/or homes across the United States do not have surge equipment installed. Therefore, from an end user/consumer perspective, it is safe without surge protection. But not safe for the appliance.
3) From an end user/consumer perspective, a grounded receptacle is always recommended or in your application, a GFCI receptacle since you don't have a 3 prong grounded receptacle.
4) In my opinion and in consideration of our aging electrical utility infrastructures that we have in the US, all main electrical panels should have have a main surge protector installed as well as local surge protectors installed to protect sensitive electronics.
5) Obviously, having a surge protector and a 3 prong grounded receptacle installed is the best of both worlds and will provide maximum protection to the appliance as well as to you the end user.
Hope this helps………If you have any additional questions, let me know and I’ll be glad to answer them for you.
Otherwise, don’t forget to rate me before you log Off.
The next time you have an electrical question, you can also request for me at: http://www.justanswer.com/home-improvement/expert-your-electrician ……….Thanks…………..Kevin!
Expert:  Kevin replied 1 year ago.
If you have any additional questions, let me know and I’ll be glad to answer them for you.
Otherwise, don’t forget to rate me before you log Off.