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I am currently setup in a room with (2 pin) non grounded outlets (Canada). I am considering setting up my laptop and monitor. What risks would I be taking by not using grounded outlets with these items?

My main concern is about harmful electric shocks, or starting a fire.

Both products have the 3rd pin on their plugs

laptop: https://www.amazon.ca/GL62M-7RD-1407-Performance-i5-7300HQ-SteelSeries/dp/B072QT88DG

monitor:https://www.dell.com/en-ca/shop/dell-27-gaming-monitor-s2716dg/apd/210-agjr/monitors-monitor-accessories

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  • \$\begingroup\$ It'll be a lot easier to cause shock damage from static. \$\endgroup\$ – DKNguyen May 17 '19 at 18:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ In-cable power supplies may have / often have X and Y filter capacitors in the AC input. The Y capacitors connect from either AC leg to ground. If the ground is grounded it's at ground :-). It it is allowed to float the ground lead is at Mains/2 via a capacitive (so hi-z) divider. The input ground and output negative are often commoned and the output negative is often connected to the laptop printer etc chassis. So the load device floats at Vmains/2. If touched by a user it gives a small but unpleasant bite. Using a laptop on ones lap can be unpleasant without tray etc. | The current ... \$\endgroup\$ – Russell McMahon May 19 '19 at 13:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ ... is below shock hazard level for people - BUT not for other equipment. If you connect the eg laptop to eg a printer which has the mains ground grounded you can destroy the port in the laptop and/or printer. I have had this happen :-) - a brand new printer was destroyed on first connection! Worst case you may have equipment interconnected with no ground wires and still destroy it by grounding it vi your body or random grounded item. \$\endgroup\$ – Russell McMahon May 19 '19 at 13:45
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For one, it probably violates your local electrical/fire code, your fire warden would be upset. They would be more upset if they found you dead (however unlikely, more likely if you don't ground devices)

Another reason not to do this is there is no where for fault currents to go. Laptop power supplies are usually doubly insulated and don't need a ground because fault current's can't reach the user (two prong power supplies). Monitors usually aren't. Either way if there is a third prong, it needs to be grounded for safety reasons.

It's also a good idea to ground to prevent noise and to give static electricity a pathway back to earth.

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There are two safe solutions.

Solution one, is to upgrade the outlets properly to comply with all recent electrical codes, which means that they should have a ground and GFCI protection (at the breaker or at the outlet). Maybe even AFCI depending on whether that is code where you are. An electrician can do this.

Solution two is to not use the outlets at all for anything, or at least not for anything that has a ground connection.

Solution three, which really cannot be recommended is to replace the outlets with GFCI types. If you are determined to use the outlets for three-prong devices, then at least use GFCI outlets. This is better than using them as-is. Not recommended, but if you are going to ignore the best advice, this is kind of like fallback advice for those who don't listen.

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As long as you be careful, nothing will happen, that means no spilling water, etc .

In fact, here in the place where I live, we have no ground pin whatsoever and I never got injured .

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