The prospective fire hazard is less than the prospective electrocution hazard. But eliminating the ground loop problem by using cheater plugs is an accepted audiophile risk.
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Yes, Dekay. Different grounding paths and systems. One if for the electrical current feeding the the device and the other is for the line-level signal connecting the components. I have used cheater plugs for years with no problems. The second ground is extra insurance, but that does not mean that the first ground does not work. I live in New Orleans and uptown there are a lot of older house that use 2 prong outlets. Other than inconvience, I do not know of anyone who has had a problem. Most people are talking theory but in everyday use, I seriouly doubt anyone will report that they had an actual problem because of the lack of the second ground.
Thanks, I get it. One for power and one for signal. I also have never had the chassis of any gear become "hot" and have used some pretty ancient, though well maintained (by professionals) tube gear in the past. Though, I did have a close call with a Hafler 500 power amp that I purchased used and owned for a short period of time. When I was checking out the internals after purchase I discovered a cracked connection on the integral power cord that could have shorted from tension on the cord in time, and since it was being used as a PA amp and being moved around a lot, Murphy's law probably would have prevailed. Fortunately it just required re-soldering.
Jab, reverseing the plug will not help this gentleman with his problem. The problem has to do with ground loops. Ground in this case has a little extra resistance through which some parasitic currents are flowing which is inducing a voltage. Floating the unit gets rid of the noise but at some safety risk.
Ahhhh.. Would a single grounding point for the stuff (maybe) solve the hum? Hum is a differential voltage between stuff, so the stray voltage runs on the inter-component connectors... why not just have a "better" stray voltage collector? As in automotive with a star ground? On another tack I had to ground the stupid Warner cable line to the wall by a ground only outlet plug and a wire wrapped around the Warner cable connector, to eliminate a bad hum from adding the cable to my system. (ps wrapping all the "F" connectors with a copper shield REALLY cleaned up the video noise problems)
Instead of cheater plugs, which may degrade the sound, I have, in the past, disconnected the grounds in each of my dedicated outlets. I realize the potential hazard of doing this, but this did eliminate hum in a previous system. Today I ground my amps, but have the ground lifted on the outlets that the preamp and source components are plugged into. All neutral and safty grounds are star grounded to a dedicated grounding rod which is also connected to the house's main ground. This set up is quiet, and while I can't be absolutely certain, I believe that I am protected as well.