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  Reply # 1656969 24-Oct-2016 16:13
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kiwigander: @kiwifidget 24/10/2016 08hxx


How do you know if you are grounded or not? Mentally or otherwise :)


If the power point admits two blades only, it is not grounded. Standard in pre-WW2 "knob-and-tube" wiring.

If the power point is in a modern (say 1960s or later) home, it should admit two blades and a round pin, and it's grounded.

If the power point admits two blades and a round pin, but it's a one-off in an old house with mostly ungrounded power points, you can't be sure. (Personal experience: discovered that the only "grounded" power point in one old house, which the landlady advised me was for the electric lawnmower, had been installed illegally on a knob-and-tube circuit and was not grounded.)


I'd also add: If the power point admits two blades and a round pin in any house, old or new, don't rely on it being grounded. If there's a smell of something burning or a flash of blue light when you unplug something, or your plug catches fire, or you are thrown across the room, then its highly likely the plug wasn't grounded. I say these from personal experience 😉 


Houses aren't necessarily wired by an electrician. An electrician isn't necessarily a master electrician (which means, he has had training - anyone can call themselves an electrician or contractor, but not a master). It's perfectly legal to build, wire, plumb, and otherwise cobble together houses and very few regulations to worry about. 


To answer your question: hotels should be fine. Newer motels should be fine. Older motels, even if refurbished, may not be. Housing is a gamble. We spent $20 on a tester and use that to check. 

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  Reply # 1656998 24-Oct-2016 17:04
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Flashes of light when unplugging are normal when doing it under load, which will always be the case with US unswitched outlets.


The thing to watch is that you dont put your fingers near the pins at all, since they are a design that has remained unchanged basically since thomas edison invented the electric light. They can connect when barely into the sockets since they allow for decorative plates to go ontop of the outlet design which has to still make contact enough, so on a plain outlet you can have 12mm of exposed pin that is then live.


Also you can misalign plugs into their sockets on extensions and powerstrips, so you have one pin hanging out off the side which will then be live, something the AS3112 standard has parts in it to make sure cant happen here.


They do not see those as design failures, just something to watch out for. It is amazing that in a sue-happy place like the US that it still happens.



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  Reply # 1657045 24-Oct-2016 17:42
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Yikes, you guys make it sound so scary!


We'll be in hotels, mostly big city, but also a couple in more remote areas, so we'll be extra careful there.

Life is too short to remove USB safely.

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