DIY Home Improvement, Remodeling & Repair Forum > DIY Home Improvement > Electrical and Wiring > Television safety question

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Old 09-14-2007, 04:19 AM  
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Default Television safety question


Just yesterday I purchased an Ultravox 28'' CRT television for a friend (This company seems to not exist on the Internet, but I was expecting bad picture quality, not a life threatening situation... ) together with a DVD player.

I connected the television to the power outlet and aerial and it seemed to work. Then I connected it to the DVD player using a SCART cable and tried playing a disc. It played, however as soon I touched the DVD player to press the eject button, I received a minor electrical shock. I tried using a different cable and then my own DVD player (Phillips) but it only got worse. As soon as I touched the player's surface I felt a (not so) small shock.

This morning I called the store and they said that if the television is indeed defective they will replace it. However I should first contact Ultravox's technical support, which I did.

Over the phone, the technician at first said that it's just normal static electricity. He then suggested that I should ground the DVD player and if it is indeed a short-circuit this would throw a fuse (sorry if this is this not the correct expression). I was reluctant to try that so he suggested connecting the power cord to the wall outlet reversed and call back.
To this I should add that
a) The house is old and I don't know whether there may be a problem with the electrical wiring (i.e. is the outlet grounded?) but we've never had problems of this sort.
b) When testing the television yesterday we placed a thick cloth between it and the table, so it must have been insulated from the ground. Is this relevant?

I thought I should ask someone more knowledgeable just in case. My primary concern is of course personal safety. Sorry the long post and many thanks for any suggestions.

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Old 09-16-2007, 08:36 AM  
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I'd try another television and see if same issue persists. If not, back the current television goes.....

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Old 12-07-2007, 10:28 PM  
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If you touch the television do you get a shock as well; or is it only when you touch the DVD player?

Also, is there another power outlet you can try? Maybe with an extension cord.
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Old 12-08-2007, 11:47 AM  
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Welcome FordPerfect:
Your house needs to be wired with a three wire system. Use the black for the 'Hot' wire, white for the 'common' and bare copper for the mechanical ground. I suspect the mechanical ground is what you are lacking because it is positioned to ground the case of the appliance as well as static electricity.
We often think of the white wire as a ground of sorts (after all, the white wires connect to the same ground bar as the bare copper ones in the panel) but alternating current makes the white wire 'hot' too when it is in use.
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Old 01-13-2008, 04:16 PM  
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I didnt even know this issue could exist, here I thought technology was smarter by now. Thanks for the tips! Im not that good with tvs and the such, but this I will remember for quite sometime!

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