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Ask Joel Kalman Your Own Question
Joel Kalman
Joel Kalman, Computer Support Specialist
Category: Computer
Satisfied Customers: 934
Experience:  I am an MIT graduate with a Master of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from UC Berkeley.
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Have a problem with my powerline adaptors, I get all three

This answer was rated:

Have a problem with my powerline adaptors, I get all three lights on the one connected to my netgear router, but do not get the Ethernet light to come on, on the adaptor connected to the youvue box.
My house has two ring mains supplied from one consumer unit and one adaptor is plugged into one ring main and the other adaptor is plugged into the other ring main, could this be my problem, or should I be able to use any socket outlet in my house.
My phone no is 02392 591635
regards ***** *****
JoelK :

Hello. My name is ***** ***** I can help you solve your problem. Thank you for your question. My goal is to provide excellent customer service.

JoelK :

There is no way for the Powerline adapter to work across the two main circuits, because the powerline technology depends upon a copper connection.

JoelK :

Does the Ethernet light on the other remote powerline adapter, the one on the same main as the router, shoe that the network connection is working?

JoelK :

If you want to get a wireless signal in the rest of the house, you will have to go with a different technology. Netgear has a line of wireless extenders that cover various ranges. I will check out some options for you.


yes, the adaptor on the same ring main as the router,all three lights, light up.


I understand that the system relies on a copper conductor, the earth or ground on the two ring circuits are terminated on a common earth bar in the consumer unit/ fuse box , therefor I would have expected that all of the socket outlets on both ring mains would have been available for the use of a power line adaptor.

JoelK :

No, you are incorrect. A common ground does not make a circuit. It does nothing more than establish a common ground for two independent circuit loops.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I have rated your answer, It does not solve my problem, and after all you have given me the choice of how I rate your answer.

I will now look elsewhere for a solution. Thank you.


I said that I could help you find another network extension technology from Netgear. I looked to see if I could find a Powerline bridge between your powerline extender and a wireless extender. I do not know the floor plan layout, but I thought that a bridge may be helpful to you.

The reason that a common ground does not make a circuit is that a circuit requires two nodes, a power node (or any other node) and a ground node, so that a current can flow between them.

Said another way if you had two flashlights, both with fully charged batteries and metal cases, and if you were to turn one on and touch the two cases together, the other one is not going to light.

You have done an excellent job at troubleshooting the problem. Now you just have to accept the answer.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I have rated your answer, and it would seem that you will only accept a positive answer.

My online search for advice, threw up a web site with the headline " Ask TalkTalk Tech Support-Tech support will answer you now" web address was Just

I initially believed I was talking to a talktalk website, therefor sent my problem, It was only after I received a reply that I realized that I was not talking to talktalk, and in fact that the website was American, and I had been misled by the website headline, as why would I ask an American website to solve an English electrical problem.

I am sure you probably have some knowledge of our domestic electrical wiring systems, and know that we use a 3 wire cable, with a power line, a neutral line and an earth line, and as I have no idea how a power line adaptor uses these 3 wires I believe that you probably do.

I did not want to use a wireless system that is why I prompted for the power line adaptors. If your advice is that I cannot use PWA,then I will have to concede that you have answered my Question, and therefor have no option but to rate your answer as GOOD?.

It was my mistake to contact you in the first place, and will accept the cost of so doing.

I will not send any feedback. and thank you for your efforts.

True, I am an expert on in the US. I was invited by the manager of recruiting of to also be an expert on the UK site.
In the UK your power is three-phase ac, and your home is using two of the phases, one phase of power with a neutral return in one part of your house, and another phase with the same neutral return in another part of your house. They are not entirely independent, since they have identical frequency. But they are electrically isolated from each other, and that is why they are similar to the simplified example that I cited of the two flashlights, although the flashlights use dc power, not ac. In the US we use single-phase ac residential power, so the problem that you are having would not exist, and the powerline adapters can be used throughout the home.
I am sorry that you did not find the answer that you were looking for. Regarding you rating of my answer, you should have your choice of five service ratings, which are as follows: Bad, Poor, OK, Good, and Excellent. I have not seen any rating registered on my side of the website. I would appreciate it if you would enter your rating of Good Service, so that the website accepts your rating. I only get compensated for my service when I receive a positive rating.
Thank you for your consideration.
Joel Kalman and other Computer Specialists are ready to help you
Thank you, Keith, for the Good Service Rating. I got it now, and I really appreciate it. It has been a privilege to have served you, and I want you to know that you have made a contribution to my knowledge of residential wiring in the UK.

I probably would not have realized that you have 3-phase wiring, unless you had disclosed that your home was wired with two ring mains, as you called them. So thank you for being a really heads up customer!

Best regards,