Electrical grounding / audio problem (for PC, Guitar, Headphones, Dishwasher, et)

Joined
Feb 1, 2011
Messages
19
I'm just going to throw this out there, does anyone have any tips or pointers for the following electrical problem:

I'm currently renting the downstairs section of a double storey house in an urban residential area, but the wiring is old, and the house mains run to a hollow-core steel / alloy pipe (with approx. 2mm wall thickness) with cement in it, coming from a dull grey metal wire (non-copper yellow & green threaded wire) at the upstairs section.

I get heavy electrical buzz (hum) coming through on pretty much everything (the back of my pc case shocks slightly, the dishwasher metal sections shocks slightly, my guitar amp / guitar buzzes heavily at around 50Hz (and if I hold the metal parts of the pickups/strings it stops - I haven't experienced this at other houses / buildings), and on my headphones sometimes it buzzes / crackles and again, stops if I touch the metal portion of my headphones, which are Krator Dione c-1140 headphones - even my PC's microphone jack records intermittent crackling if I do a "blank recording" with no microphone attached). :confused:

Can I install a buried / subterranean solid copper grounding pipe with a downstairs Earth wire from a downstairs wall socket to try ground the power closest to my section of the house, and will this remedy the problem? More importantly, is it legal to have 2x grounding points in a residential housing unit? (eg. adding additional Earth grounding) :erm:

I just want some feedback, suggestions, and advice, because my last resort is getting an electrician, who will have to work from the upstairs section which is currently occupied by the landlord (and I don't know much about the legal framework relating to building electrical regulation and rental agreements & costs related to upkeep / adherence to SABS code). Thanks!
 

bekdik

Honorary Master
Joined
Dec 5, 2004
Messages
12,860
If you have 2 pin mains plugs try turning them through 180 degrees, one at a time to see if it helps.

A better bet would be to get hold of a qualified electrician to check it out.
 
Joined
Feb 1, 2011
Messages
19
The internal house wiring at all wall sockets is standard Live, Neutral, Earth with all the wires connected, but as I explained, it seems like the grounding might not be sufficient for the entire house. (There are 3 upstairs bedrooms as far as I understand, 1 living room, 1 dining room, 1 study, and their kitchen - that's excluding the downstairs setup which I'm occupying, hence why I thought it might be related to the consumption load vs. adequate grounding and possibly even the circuit breakers, if they're 15A instead of 20A for example - I would have to get an electrician to check that out though, which is probably the messy and expensive route, as the landlord would come into the picture)
 

Beachless

Executive Member
Joined
Oct 6, 2010
Messages
6,003
Frankly its best to get an electrician have you asked the landlord about it? In most cases they will do something about it because if you warned them about the problem and they do nothing they are liable when something happens. Maybe a email to the estate agent/ landlord inquiring about safety issues would be the best thing.

But it does sound like a earthing issue or sometimes near the coast salt buildup can cause conductivity inside the plugs, light sockets etc.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Feb 1, 2011
Messages
19
Thanks for the insight, Beachless, I'll see if I can find a way to address the matter with the landlord without it leading to an argument. (I'm friendly enough and well-spoken, but raising issues, even if valid, can sometimes cause people to react negatively, so wish me the best!).
 

Beachless

Executive Member
Joined
Oct 6, 2010
Messages
6,003
Thanks for the insight, Beachless, I'll see if I can find a way to address the matter with the landlord without it leading to an argument. (I'm friendly enough and well-spoken, but raising issues, even if valid, can sometimes cause people to react negatively, so wish me the best!).

Most landlords appreciate if you raise concerns because it helps them look after their asset the only time it will be an issue is if they cant afford it or if they really are just slumlords. So just have a friendly chat and ask if they can get someone to have a look because it worries you and see what their reaction is.
 
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