reverse polarity and computers

jason1083August 1, 2007

this came up on the electrical forum. Would reverse polarity likely cause a computer PSU to fail and would it do so in the dramatic manner described below?

I tested my desktop computer in a three prong outlet using a surge protector, and it worked fine. I then attempted to install the computer across the room where my desk is using a different outlet. This was a two prong outlet, so I bought a two to three prong converter for it, and plugged my surge protector in there. I didn't even turn my computer on, but about a minute after plugging it in sparks started shooting from the power supply of my computer. It is now dead.

I called the landlord, and they sent an electrician in. He told me that the outlet has something called "reverse polarity

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Pooh Bear

I may be wrong, but I would think it wouldn't matter.
The hot and neutral lines come in on the AC side and go
thru a transformer to drop the voltage to the proper level.
Then the AC current goes thru a full wave bridge rectifier
to convert it to DC. Then it gets filtered to get smooth DC.
I would think it wouldn't matter which way the
primary side of the transformer was hooked up to AC.

Anyone care to confirm or correct any of this?

Pooh Bear

    Bookmark   August 1, 2007 at 11:25PM
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Reversed polarity affects personal safety in certain situations, but will not cause the equipment failure and fire.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2007 at 6:05PM
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A surge protector need a ground to work, but a GFI outlet may work.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2007 at 2:33AM
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