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Why would I get an electric shock from a VGA cable connected to an LCD monitor?

Similar to this question I got shocked today with a new computer I just bought. How is this possible and how can I prevent this?

  • There is no power cord in the PC
  • Only the VGA cable is plugged in, tested 2 different flat panels
  • When touching the case and my metal desk, I feel a shock.
  • Unplugging the monitor cable from the pc stops the shocking (obviously)
  • unplugging the power cord from the monitor stops the shocks (obviously)
  • power-outlets are not grounded, and there's no grounded outlet on this floor (top floor)
  • Is the monitor also new? Sounds like there's some sort of short in it. – RJFalconer Aug 6 '11 at 22:21
  • Ive tested 2 monitors, 1 which I'm using on my current PC and and older model I had lying around. I doubt the fault is in the monitor – Edosoft Aug 7 '11 at 11:00
  • Is the monitor plugged into the outlet? – Synetech Aug 22 '11 at 1:13

You prevent this by having everything in your circuit properly grounded. I suggest contacting a qualified electrician to deal with this, since it's a safety hazzard as long as you're connecting to AC power.

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  • Yeah I was afraid of this. Do you have any idea how it's possible to get shocked with only the VGA cable plugged in? – Edosoft Aug 7 '11 at 11:01
  • 1
    I'm not 100% on this, as I'm not an electrician, so please consult one... your monitor doesn't have an earth ground from the wall outlet, but the VGA cable has a ground wire that connects from the chassis ground in the monitor to the chassis ground in the PC... which is also not grounded. All of the voltages in the hardware are in reference to this chassis ground, which is not connected to an earth ground, and electricity wants to flow between ground and the voltage source. – Joe Internet Aug 7 '11 at 20:15

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