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When your faucet handles give you electric shock...

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by mountainexplorer, Jan 25, 2005.

  1. mountainexplorer

    mountainexplorer 1/2 ton status

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    I would think its a grounding issue, beings that pipes are sometimes used as electrical grounds.

    But our rental house is shocking our renters... and its not just with the low price of the rent. Touch the shower or sink handles and you get zapped. And the power out to the garage also decided to go out around the same time too, without the breaker being the issue.

    Any ideas on the culprit? Underground short?
     
  2. camiswelding

    camiswelding 1/2 ton status

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    broken ground wire to slab or underground... electrical box arcing?

    new ground is easy... copper rod into the ground/ground wire to panel...(check local codes) I would put a meter on the box and see if you can find any juice flowing anywhere
    someone may have mickymoused the plumbing pipes as a ground... not legal ... look for evidence of this under the house... probably near the panel but on someone elses work who knows
    cam
     
  3. justinf

    justinf 1/2 ton status

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    Actually, bonding the copper water pipes to the ground system is legal and should be done, only if it is copper or metal pipe that leaves the house underground.

    Definitely you have a ground problem, or a neutral conductor shorted to ground.
     
  4. Larry_in_Tx

    Larry_in_Tx 1/2 ton status

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    Have the renters complained about any of electrical stuff going out on them, toasters microwave or anything else they have plugged in?
     
  5. mountainexplorer

    mountainexplorer 1/2 ton status

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    No electrical stuff going out yet, except power to the garage went out right after they noticed the problem.
     
  6. Larry_in_Tx

    Larry_in_Tx 1/2 ton status

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    If that’s the case I’d agree with everyone else and say it’s the ground at the panel. I’ve seen people bond the ground to the water pipe even though the metal pipe they see going underground only gets a foot or two down before it ties into PVC or another nonmetallic pipe. This may be the case at you’re place and you’ve lost the ground rod.

    This is why I asked about there junk in the house. You get a floating neutral when you loose the ground and get some goofy voltages at the receptacles that will burn chit up. It could be at you’re panel or at the power company’s x-frmr but it doesn’t always eat up appliances when you loose it at the house.

    I say check it out at the panel and you’ll probably find the problem.


     
  7. 88Silverado

    88Silverado 1/2 ton status

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    You got an opened Neutral somewhere so the metal pipes, structures, etc. that are tied to the ground/neutral system are carrying the return currents.
    The copper water pipes are routinely tied to the service ground panel where the neutral is also tied.

    This is a VERY UNSAFE CONDITION.... I would STRONGLY recommend calling an electrician to find and fix it before some one gets killed or something catches fire!

    If this is in your rental you have a Major Liability waiting to happen.
    If someone is barefoot getting out of the shower with wet feet and they provide a lower ground resistance than your pipes and they touch a faucet they can be killed. GET IT FIXED!


    Took me a few minutes but heres a good link to kinda explain whats going on.
    http://www.ecmweb.com/mag/electric_open_service_neutrals/
     
  8. eclipse

    eclipse 1/2 ton status

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    Haha... thats just a way to conserve water :grin:
     
  9. Ruthven13

    Ruthven13 1/2 ton status

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    Seems like brushing your teeth just got more interesting! Apparently they have the same problem in NYC with the sidewalks. There have been several cases lately of people and dogs getting serious shocks just by walking down the sidewalk! As if the city wasn't scary enough!
     
  10. CyberSniper

    CyberSniper 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    Yeah, pound a couple new rods in the ground and hook it one to the neutral and ground bus. A bunch of different stuff could've happened. Most likely, the normal neutral took a dump. Also, there could be no neutral and it's all going through the power company which isn't good.

    Trip the breaker to the garage door opener and see if you still get shocked. I've had old garage door openers that when they went bad provided hot to the garage door and everything it touched (all the way back to the ground). It made it interesting when you touched the garage door.
     
  11. mountainexplorer

    mountainexplorer 1/2 ton status

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    Well, theres no garage door opener. Just lights. And theres no power out to the garage since this happened. It just shut off somewhere between the breaker and the garage.
     

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