I have a series of questions in regards to grounding and ESD, posting those in one topic as they're all related. This is located in Poland. I'm not too concerned about legality of grounding to neutral, as this definitely shouldn't be done in my opinion and it will be removed asap. I'm concerned about electronic principles as a whole.
- We converted the basement in our building to a server room, the initial power supply to the basement was from the shared basement light power supply. There was no ground connection, I only realized that when I felt a tingling feeling when I touched the Earth bolt in the mains socket. Luckily, I installed an RCD there. During these few days, an ethernet cable was connected from the basement up to the apartment. The apartment doesn't have ground either, turns out the ground is shorted to the neutral wire. Could that have caused issues, damage the switch for example? Does grounding have anything to do with devices that are powered by 12 volts? I'm aware that there exist isolated power supplies, but then some are grounded to neutral/ground? One of them has no ground bolt at the mains plug even, the rack switch does.
- I have since then grounded the basement to a water pipe, there is no more tingling feeling. However, the apartment upstairs is still on the neutral ground. I fear this difference can potentially cause issues with the switches since the ethernet cable doesn't have a common ground. Am I right?
- Yesterday we ran a direct wire from the apartment to the basement so that the basement is under the home electricity meter. Basement is still earthed to the pipe, apartment still on neutral, no common ground between those. This will be fixed as I am pushing to remove the neutral-ground wire connection and to connect the ground wire coming from the basement (which is currently disconnected) so that there is only one grounding point for the apartment and the basement. Is this a good idea? I feel the current setup is dangerous not only due to the possibility of neutral becoming live, but also from the fact my equipment might be damaged.
- During this semi-live connection, my dad seem to have touched something and it shut off the fuse in the apartment which had to be reset. Since then, my phone charger stopped working. I am really confused as to why this would happen. Even if he did short something for a moment, why would the charger die. I kept thinking about it and it made me realize that here in the apartment, I keep getting electrostatically charged by the couch, I used to touch the ground in the mains socket to discharge (since I had sparked my laptop many times by accident). Since ground is connected to neutral, could that spike of voltage damage the charger or pretty much anything connected in the house? This makes no sense to me, since we're talking about AC power and ESD, but I'm trying to understand if my repetitive ESD discharges to the neutral wire could have caused damage to connected equipment or weaken it and it just was a coincidence that the charger failed at the time we disconnected the power during the wire installation.
- I keep regularly (yet accidentally) discharging ESD into my laptop chassis, phone and other things. Sometimes when connected to their chargers and sometimes when not. What would be the most likely affected device? I'm believing that when the charger is connected, the charger would take it all since it's 'grounded' in a way?
Thanks, hopefully I explained it right and the answers will help with my understanding of those concepts