...Grounded or Ungrounded Power Cords...


Hello to all...

I've noticed that there are choices by different manufacturers for grounded or ungrounded power cords: 

Why would this be important?

With exactly same construction - do they sound different?
insearchofprat
Once again revealing the single greatest shortcoming of this website: no popcorn gif.
The middle prong is an AC safety ground.  It has exactly one purpose and that is to prevent electrocution. 

Whether or not a manufacturer chooses to have their equipment grounded is based on safety regulations and construction.  It is most definitely not meant to be up to a cable maker.  If your equipment requires a ground it should be used.

Now, among grounded cables there is an additional features of a shielded or not, which provides protection from EMI/RFI noise to/from the power cable.  I'm with the shielded camp. With so many digital and radio sources in the modern home I always pick shielded when possible.
insearchofprat said:

I’ve noticed that there are choices by different manufacturers for grounded or ungrounded power cords:
Save everyone a lot time and post some website examples what you are referring to.

For audio equipment that requires an EGC (Equipment Grounding Conductor) The power cord shall be a 3 wire grounding type.

For audio equipment that is rated Class II the AC power wiring inside the equipment is double insulated.  The IEC power inlet does not have an EGC prong. The IEC, power cord, and male plug are two wire only. Ungrounded.


Class II

Class II symbol

A Class II or double insulated electrical appliance is one which has been designed in such a way that it does not require a safety connection to electrical earth (ground).

The basic requirement is that no single failure can result in dangerous voltage becoming exposed so that it might cause an electric shock and that this is achieved without relying on an earthed metal casing. This is usually achieved at least in part by having at least two layers of insulating material between live parts and the user, or by using reinforced insulation.

In Europe, a double insulated appliance must be labelled Class II or double insulated or bear the double insulation symbol (a square inside another square).
Appliance classes - Wikipedia


Now if some fly by night cable manufacturer is building a 3 wire grounding type power cord with the EGC lifted at the female IEC connector he is leaving himself wide open for a lawsuit, or worse, in the event someone gets electrocuted and it is proven his or her death was the cause of the EGC ground defeated power cord.

Reputable cable manufacturers would never conceal a lifted EGC.
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The middle prong is an AC safety ground. It has exactly one purpose and that is to prevent electrocution.
So remember- use a ground. Or else end up exactly like this:

https://youtu.be/2OB7BSXhReA?t=164
jea48

... if some fly by night cable manufacturer is building a 3 wire grounding type power cord with the EGC lifted at the female IEC connector he is leaving himself wide open for a lawsuit, or worse ...
I agree with you, but this offering from Pangea does essentially the same thing by offering a removable ground pin:

" ... solid copper blades for the AC connections and upgrade to a screw-in/out solid copper ground pin. That will make the cable ... easy for customers to cancel any ground hum [by removing the ground pin]."

This product has been on the market for years.
 jea48, Nailed it.. :-)
@ cleeds, Your right. PS audio all so makes the same cheater plug. :-(
First, it appears the OP has left the building. He/She still has not clarified his/her posted message.

@ditusa

I have an older PS audio Plus power cord that has a removable plug EGC ground pin. Just going from memory PS audio stated at the time removal of the pin was for testing purposes only.

From my previous post:
Reputable cable manufacturers would never conceal a lifted EGC.
The PS audio power cords that have a removable ground pin comes with the pin intact. The user is in control whether he/she decides to remove it. No different than a user using a ground cheater to lift the EGC from the power cord grounding type plug. The lifting of the EGC from the chassis of the audio equipment is not hidden.

Now what this company is doing is dangerous. The company is deliberately selling a product that could cause serious injury to the buying consumer.
https://audioenvy.com/product/power-cord/ocean-elite-copy/

With our New Gen 6 release, the ground wire is disconnected from the female IEC. Improvements have been made for exceptional tonal balance.

The original owner may know the EGC is not connected at the IEC connector but what about the next guy that buys the power cord used? A removable ground pin that has been removed, and maybe lost, is obvious for the user to see. A concealed unconnected EGC from an IEC, the user would never know. Never?

.
"With our New Gen 6 release, the ground wire is disconnected from the female IEC. Improvements have been made for exceptional tonal balance."

Hard to believe that Audio Envy, or any company for that matter, would produce/sell something like this. Totally irresponsible, IMHO.
“Now what this company is doing is dangerous. The company is deliberately selling a product that could cause serious injury to the buying consumer.
https://audioenvy.com/product/power-cord/ocean-elite-copy/

With our New Gen 6 release, the ground wire is disconnected from the female IEC. Improvements have been made for exceptional tonal balance.”
@jea48,

Please do not mislead folks with incomplete facts about Audio Envy Power Cords. There is a logical explanation behind ungrounded power cords. You may not agree with reasoning but it works. I have been using AE ungrounded power cords for over year and half. Absolutely no issues!!!
As far as next guy comment, it’s up to the seller to disclose and educate why the wires are ungrounded. There is a running ad on USAM explaining exactly why the wires are ungrounded.
https://www.usaudiomart.com/details/649645244-audio-envy-ocean-elite-2p-power-cords-various-lengths/

Here is the complete explanation of why to use ungrounded power cords.

Excepts from Audio Envy website:

With our New Gen 6 release, the ground wire is disconnected from the female IEC. Improvements have been made for exceptional tonal balance.

WHY?

Based upon measurements and listening tests; I have recommended to people, to ground only one piece of their interconnected equipment. The interconnects will provide static dissipation through the secondary ground connection & nuetral. They often look at me in extreme terror.

Wikipedia agrees…

Wiki; A ground loop is the result of careless or inappropriate design or interconnection of electrical equipment that results in there being multiple paths to ground where this is not required, so a complete loop is formed. In the simplest case, two items of equipment, A and B, are each connected to a wall socket by a 3 conductor cable, containing a protective ground conductor. This becomes a problem when a interconnect cable is connected between A and B, to pass data or audio signals. The shield of the data cable is typically connected to the grounded equipment chassis of both A and B. There is now a ground loop.

How can you benefit from this? Purchase the Ocean Elite P3 cord to hook to your preamp or integrated receiver…All other power cords in the system, such as source equipment, dacs, amplifiers, subwoofers,etc. should all use ocean Elite P2. This will direct ground your system, removing hum and reduce harmonic distortion from your system. We’ve seen multi thousand dollar power conditioners that do not fix or address this issue. The issues of ground loops are often greater then the dirtiness of the actual AC power!

Need More?

  • Hot: The black wire is the hot wire, which provides a 120 VAC current source.

  • Neutral: The white wire is called the neutral wire. It provides the return path for the current provided by the hot wire. The neutral wire is connected to an EARTH GROUND!!!

  • Ground: The bare wire is called the ground wire. Like the neutral wire, the ground wire is also connected to an earth ground. However, the neutral and ground wires serve two distinct purposes.

    The neutral wire forms a part of the live circuit along with the hot wire. In contrast, the ground wire is connected to any metal parts in an appliance such as a microwave oven or coffee pot. This is a safety feature, in case the hot or neutral wires somehow come in contact with metal parts. Connecting the metal parts to earth ground eliminates the shock hazard in the event of a short circuit. (KEY WORD IS SHORT CIRCUIT, Meaning your electronics are broken!)


The US still has some millions of homes built back before the extra redundant earth ground became code. All those homes use power cords, and everything else, with no extra redundant earth ground. Just like with all those homes, there's a slew of power cords that don't have the extra redundant earth ground and people are using them perfectly fine. I've got two of them going to my Dayton sub amps.

The OP asked, "Why, and do they sound different?" Not one reply so far addresses these questions. When the answer is obviously they do it precisely because it sounds different- and they like that sound.

Instead we get "It has exactly one purpose and that is to prevent electrocution." And a million variations on that theme. 

We all use electricity every day. Yet no one seems to really understand it. So we get all this mindless recitation, repeating stuff we heard or read somewhere. Once upon a time.

All of which proves my first post. If we can't get a popcorn gif can we at least get a popcorn emoji? 🍿  No not that one. Was thinking more Putin eating popcorn.
Better off using an EbTech if you're going to "cheat"
Don't want no stinkin' popcorn.
lalitk1,980 posts

Please do not mislead folks with incomplete facts about Audio Envy Power Cords. There is a logical explanation behind ungrounded power cords.
I didn’t mislead anyone! The facts ma’am just the facts.

Mother earth does not possess some magical mystical power that sucks nasties from an audio system.


Grounding Myths

"Electromagnetic Compatibility Engineering" by Henry Ott

3.1.7 Grounding Myths

More myths exist relating to the field of grounding than any other area of electrical engineering. The more common of these are as follows:

1. The earth is a low-impedance path for ground current. False, the impedance of the earth is orders of magnitude greater than the impedance of a copper conductor.

2. The earth is an equipotential. False, this is clearly not true by the result of (1 above).

3. The impedance of a conductor is determined by its resistance. False, what happened to the concept of inductive reactance?

4. To operate with low noise, a circuit or system must be connected to an earth ground. False, because airplanes, satellites, cars and battery powered laptop computers all operate fine without a ground connection. As a mater of fact, an earth ground is more likely to be the cause of noise problem. More electronic system noise problems are resolved by removing (or isolating) a circuit from earth ground than by connecting it to earth ground.

5. To reduce noise, an electronic system should be connected to a separate “quiet ground” by using a separate, isolated ground rod. False, in addition to being untrue, this approach is dangerous and violates the requirements of the NEC (electrical code/rules).

6. An earth ground is unidirectional, with current only flowing into the ground. False, because current must flow in loops, any current that flows into the ground must also flow out of the ground somewhere else.

7. An isolated AC power receptacle is not grounded. False, the term “isolated” refers only to the method by which a receptacle is grounded, not if it is grounded.

8. A system designer can name ground conductors by the type of the current that they should carry (i.e., signal, power, lightning, digital, analog, quiet, noisy, etc.), and the electrons will comply and only flow in the appropriately designated conductors. Obviously false."

Henry W. Ott

Who is Henry Ott?
http://www.hottconsultants.com/bio.html


@lalitk


I hope you do the responsible thing if you ever sell your Audio Envy Power Cord(s) and tell the buyer the safety equipment grounding conductor is cut off at the jacket of the cord, therefore is not connected to the EGC contact terminal of the female IEC connector. Tell him/her no different than using a ground cheater that lifts the safety equipment grounding conductor from the chassis of the audio equipment.


You should also tell him in the event of an AC mains hot to chassis ground fault the small return signal ground wire of his interconnects will try their best to carry the high inrush fault current to other connected audio equipment that does not have the EGC lifted from their chassis. Make sure you tell him/her that not only is there a chance of damaging his/her interconnects but the fault current may also damage the signal ground circuit of the audio equipment as it also will try its best to carry the fault current back to the source. Source is the grounded conductor in the main electrical service panel where all EGCs are connected to.


Jim
turnbowm

It was the Audio Envy site that led to this question...
@ millercarbon

Not a problem until an EGC connected piece of equipment is thrown into the mix. Then you have a grounded piece of equipment that spoils all the apples in the basket.

Now if your audio system is in the basement and the floor around the rack is bare concrete that could get interesting if touching a piece of equipment in your bare feet.
Post removed 
"It was the Audio Envy site that led to this question..."

No reflection on you whatsoever. Hopefully, the discussion of safety-related issues with ungrounded power cables has been informative.  


https://www.usaudiomart.com/details/649645244-audio-envy-ocean-elite-2p-power-cords-various-lengths/

https://audioenvy.com/product/power-cord/ocean-elite-copy/

Here is the complete explanation of why to use ungrounded power cords.

Excepts from Audio Envy website:

With our New Gen 6 release, the ground wire is disconnected from the female IEC. Improvements have been made for exceptional tonal balance.

WHY?

Based upon measurements and listening tests; I have recommended to people, to ground only one piece of their interconnected equipment. The interconnects will provide static dissipation through the secondary ground connection & nuetral. They often look at me in extreme terror.


The interconnects will provide static dissipation through the secondary ground connection & nuetral. They often look at me in extreme terror.

Secondary ground and neutral?
The neutral is the grounded conductor. The only place it is connected to earth or the Equipment Ground System is at the electrical service entrance Grounded Conductor, neutral conductor, at the main disconnect equipment/panel.

They often look at me in extreme terror.

And so they should!


Wikipedia agrees…
Where does Wikipedia say it is ok to lift the EGC from the chassis of audio equipment? It doesn’t.


Three things that can cause ground loops and hum?

1) Poorly designed audio equipment where the signal ground is connected directly to the chassis and EGC. You will find many posts on this forum as well as others where atmasphere addresses it.

2) The type of branch wiring used and the wiring method used for its’ installation.

3) Multiple 120V branch circuits that are connected to both legs in the electrical panel. That brings up an interesting situation Audio Envy didn’t consider. Bad enough Audi Envy is recommending using the small signal wire of interconnects to provide a ground fault path, in the event of a hot to chassis ground fault, just imagine the voltage being 240V. WOW!


The neutral wire forms a part of the live circuit along with the hot wire. In contrast, the ground wire is connected to any metal parts in an appliance such as a microwave oven or coffee pot. This is a safety feature, in case the hot or neutral wires somehow come in contact with metal parts. Connecting the metal parts to earth ground eliminates the shock hazard in the event of a short circuit. (KEY WORD IS SHORT CIRCUIT, Meaning your electronics are broken!)

Connecting the metal parts to earth ground eliminates the shock hazard in the event of a short circuit. (KEY WORD IS SHORT CIRCUIT, Meaning your electronics are broken!)

LOL, did the guy that wrote that reread what he typed? Obviously not.

Meaning your electronics are broken!

And there it is. The purpose of the EGC. "your electronics are broken!"

The purpose of the EGC is to provide a low impedance path for ground fault current to return to the source. Source being the electrical panel the branch circuit is fed from. More specific the main electrical service [Ground Conductor], neutral conductor.

In the event of a bolted Hot to Chassis fault the initial inrush current could be well over 120 amps for a typical 20 amp branch circuit. How will the small signal ground wires of the interconnects as well the signal ground circuit of the audio audio equipment fare handling possibly 120 amps? The small signal wire will limit the current somewhat. Especially as it heats up causing series resistance in the ground fault circuit. My bet is the signal ground wiring will blow open long before the breaker at the electrical panel trips open.

Do not use the small signal ground wire of interconnects for an EGC.

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