Warning

 

Close

Confirm Action

Are you sure you wish to do this?

Confirm Cancel
Member Login

Site Notices
11/20/2019 5:07:11 PM
Posted: 5/24/2005 5:10:58 PM EST
My daughter just called from Kalifornistan. Seems she got an electric shock while doing her dishes yesterday. The pain was beyond just annoying. She said it hurt. She, her hubby and the two year old live in a 35 year old home. They have been renting it for some time until they can afford to purchase their own home (Yea...like THAT will happen any time soon!). There are no GFIs in the home.

Anyway, I told her that she is being shocked because there has obviously been a short circuit in the house, probably in the kitchen...and most likely the garbage grinder. This short is somehow feeding into the faucet. She does not have a steel sink. She states that she is shocked when putting her hands in the water as it flows from the faucet. I told her that a frayed wire has probably come in contact with a pipe and up to the sink fixtures...and she is now providing the ground...or partial ground now as she does the dishes.

I warned her to be VERY careful, explained how only 100mA can kill, how she should should take this very seriously. I also told her to have the landlady call an electrician immediately and to make sure the woman does it, or do it themselves.

OK...ARFCOM electricians, what does the hive mind have to say? Have any of you ever had this occur? Have any of you ever even heard of this happening?

Any further advice?
Link Posted: 5/24/2005 5:14:28 PM EST
get it checked out. My new house that I moved into two years ago kept blowing fuses in my DVD player, kept tripping the CB on the power bar behind my tv, and burned a hole through the electrical cord for my fish tank heater. I thought I'd take a Multimeter and check things out from the source, I wound shocking myself silly and it seriously turned about 25% of my hair silver/white (I just turned 28). I have 200A.
Link Posted: 5/24/2005 5:17:32 PM EST

Originally Posted By LWilde:
Any further advice?

Yeah. Unplug the disposal, immediately.
And if they've got any mechanical ability at all, start on identifying / isolating the fault by shutting off one circuit breaker at a time.
Link Posted: 5/24/2005 5:19:20 PM EST
I'd tell her to contact the landlord ASAP. When your skin gets wet it reduces the resistance in your body dramatically. Tell her to eat off of paper plates for a while
Link Posted: 5/24/2005 5:19:39 PM EST
[Last Edit: 5/24/2005 5:20:22 PM EST by Dilbert_556]
I say have them call an electrician immediately. Tell them to stay out of the shower/tub untill this is fixed.
Link Posted: 5/24/2005 5:19:43 PM EST
The house in question has lost the neutral connection and now has a 'hot' neutral. This is actually fairly common but should be the landlord's problem. This is a dangerous condition and needs to be brought to the local code authority.

Ops
Link Posted: 5/24/2005 5:21:02 PM EST

LWilde, I've heard of this. and yes, it probably IS the disposal

(I'm an electrician, btw)

Tell her shut off the power to it. If installed CORRECTLY, there should be a shut-off switch to the disposal under the sink, or a plug she can pull out.

Also, I've see in one (Rare) instance where there was a nail in a bathroom floor that had nicked a cable below. When standing on the tile floor in bare feet and touching the faucet, you would get a whap. A very unusual and unlikely occurance, but I've seen it.

Tell her to not touch anything else until an electrician can come look at it ! Wash the dishes in the bathroom.

IM me if you feel the need, or have any specific questions.

JB

Link Posted: 5/24/2005 5:24:37 PM EST
Thanks guys...I KNEW you would come through.
Link Posted: 5/24/2005 5:26:53 PM EST

Originally Posted By Ops:
The house in question has lost the neutral connection and now has a 'hot' neutral. This is actually fairly common but should be the landlord's problem. This is a dangerous condition and needs to be brought to the local code authority.

Ops




Judging by the description, I'd have to disagree that the whole house has lost the neutral. If so, light bulbs would be exploding and electronics would be getting smoked.

With a composite (Corian, etc) sink, and a shorted disposal, she WOULD get shocked while putting hands in the water and touching the faucet, if the disposal is not grounded properly, which I ALSO see all the time from dumb ass cabinet installers.

I have seen/fixed this EXACT problem before... My best guess is the disposal, from the info given.

JB

Link Posted: 5/24/2005 5:34:37 PM EST
[Last Edit: 5/24/2005 5:35:38 PM EST by LWilde]

Originally Posted By JB69:
LWilde, I've heard of this. and yes, it probably IS the disposal

(I'm an electrician, btw)

Tell her shut off the power to it. If installed CORRECTLY, there should be a shut-off switch to the disposal under the sink, or a plug she can pull out.

Also, I've see in one (Rare) instance where there was a nail in a bathroom floor that had nicked a cable below. When standing on the tile floor in bare feet and touching the faucet, you would get a whap. A very unusual and unlikely occurance, but I've seen it.

Tell her to not touch anything else until an electrician can come look at it ! Wash the dishes in the bathroom.

IM me if you feel the need, or have any specific questions.

JB




I just sent her a copy of your posting to show the landlady. To add to the danger...she was standing on a dry rug when she was shocked. I explained to her that had she been better grounded, I might not be talking with her now.

Edited to add: I TOLD HER TO UNPLUG THE DISPOSAL IMMEDIATELY!
Link Posted: 5/24/2005 5:35:00 PM EST
Some old houses had the ground attached to the plumbing pipes instead of a ground rod. Hope this helps.
Link Posted: 5/24/2005 5:37:19 PM EST

Originally Posted By Pangea:
Some old houses had the ground attached to the plumbing pipes instead of a ground rod. Hope this helps.




Incorrect... ALL houses, old AND new are REQUIRED have the grounding system attached to the water piping.

This is code and always has been.
Link Posted: 5/24/2005 5:39:13 PM EST
[Last Edit: 5/24/2005 5:39:31 PM EST by Blue84S10]

Originally Posted By JB69:
Wash the dishes in the bathroom.



Don't shit where you eat
Link Posted: 5/24/2005 5:40:45 PM EST
[Last Edit: 5/24/2005 5:42:54 PM EST by JB69]

Originally Posted By LWilde:

Originally Posted By JB69:
LWilde, I've heard of this. and yes, it probably IS the disposal

(I'm an electrician, btw)

Tell her shut off the power to it. If installed CORRECTLY, there should be a shut-off switch to the disposal under the sink, or a plug she can pull out.

Also, I've see in one (Rare) instance where there was a nail in a bathroom floor that had nicked a cable below. When standing on the tile floor in bare feet and touching the faucet, you would get a whap. A very unusual and unlikely occurance, but I've seen it.

Tell her to not touch anything else until an electrician can come look at it ! Wash the dishes in the bathroom.

IM me if you feel the need, or have any specific questions.

JB




I just sent her a copy of your posting to show the landlady. To add to the danger...she was standing on a dry rug when she was shocked. I explained to her that had she been better grounded, I might not be talking with her now.

Edited to add: I TOLD HER TO UNPLUG THE DISPOSAL IMMEDIATELY!




Good, glad I could/can help. Threads like this, genuinely scare me.

I've seen some horrendously dangerous things done in kitchens and baths over the years and it's honestly a wonder nobody was ever killed.


As I said, please feel free to IM me if you need anything. I'd hate to think of her or, God FORBID, the little one getting hurt.

JB

Link Posted: 5/24/2005 5:42:32 PM EST
I'd call the landlady right now, and give her about 12 hours to have it fixed.

If she doesn't,
-daughter should call an electrician herself,
-pay the bill,
-deduct that amount from the next months rent,
-include a copy of the bill with her next payment.
Link Posted: 5/24/2005 5:44:04 PM EST

Originally Posted By Pangea:
Some old houses had the ground attached to the plumbing pipes instead of a ground rod. Hope this helps.



New houses are SUPPOSED to have the ground attached to the water main and a ground rod.
Does the house have grounded outlets?
It sounds like multiple problems, something isn't right with the ground system in that house.
Don't let them get "uncle joe" to giver a' look see. Make them hire a real electrician.
Wet hands and electricity equal death.
Link Posted: 5/24/2005 5:45:10 PM EST

Originally Posted By JB69:

Originally Posted By Pangea:
Some old houses had the ground attached to the plumbing pipes instead of a ground rod. Hope this helps.




Incorrect... ALL houses, old AND new are REQUIRED have the grounding system attached to the water piping.

This is code and always has been.



Here in Tennessee the ground is attached to a copper plated steel rod and driven at least eight feet into the ground. I wont argue with an expert but I will tell what I have seen with my own eyes.

BTW how would you attach to an all PVC plumbed house?
Link Posted: 5/24/2005 5:48:54 PM EST
Don't just unplug the disposal and think you're safe. It sounds like a circuit is grounding to the water pipe connection, so have her wash the dishes while her husband opens and closes each circuit. The closed circuit that makes her scream the most is the faulting circuit. Hope that helps.
Link Posted: 5/24/2005 5:56:56 PM EST

Originally Posted By Pangea:

Originally Posted By JB69:

Originally Posted By Pangea:
Some old houses had the ground attached to the plumbing pipes instead of a ground rod. Hope this helps.




Incorrect... ALL houses, old AND new are REQUIRED have the grounding system attached to the water piping.

This is code and always has been.



Here in Tennessee the ground is attached to a copper plated steel rod and driven at least eight feet into the ground. I wont argue with an expert but I will tell what I have seen with my own eyes.

BTW how would you attach to an all PVC plumbed house?




Ok, I certainly won't argue with what has been DONE because brother, I've seen it all.

Technically it's SUPPOSED to be connected to the water line coming in, before the water meter, and jumped across to the other side of the meter. Also a jumper is required across the inlet and outlet sides of the hot water heater, to protect the hot water piping side, if the tank is plastic, fiberglass, etc.

The ground rod is also required as a supplimental protection system. And yes, it's an 8ft copper clad steel rod, driven completely into the ground. Some instances also require TWO ground rods, like a well, instead of public water supply.


With PVC piping, there must be SOME connection as well. Almost always, this is accomplished by connection to the water shut-off valve on the line coming in. These are brass or bronze. I've yet to see a plastic one.

As I said, I've seen some really dangerous crap over the years, so I won't even attempt to say you WONT see things that aren't done correctly.

There's a LOT of hacks out there, who think they're electricians, And even some who actually ARE
or the yokels who "know all about wiring... I do that stuff all the time"




Link Posted: 5/24/2005 5:56:59 PM EST
In ct where I live a ground rod is reguired,(I have one).
My plumber had replaced the pipe from the well to the basement water pump with plastic pipe.The original had been copper which had rotted out.The phone system had been grounded onto the water supply system which was all copper or iron pipe.When standing in shower I was completeing the circut while standing in water and touching the faucet.Took me a while to figger that one out.
Link Posted: 5/24/2005 5:59:32 PM EST

Originally Posted By Tonkaman:
Don't just unplug the disposal and think you're safe. It sounds like a circuit is grounding to the water pipe connection, so have her wash the dishes while her husband opens and closes each circuit. The closed circuit that makes her scream the most is the faulting circuit. Hope that helps.





Jesus H Christ on the cross



PLEASE ignore stupid ass ideas/advice like this, as I HOPE it was a joke...


Call an electrician, before someone gets seriously hurt or worse
Link Posted: 5/24/2005 6:02:31 PM EST

Originally Posted By nhsport:
In ct where I live a ground rod is reguired,(I have one).
My plumber had replaced the pipe from the well to the basement water pump with plastic pipe.The original had been copper which had rotted out.The phone system had been grounded onto the water supply system which was all copper or iron pipe.When standing in shower I was completeing the circut while standing in water and touching the faucet.Took me a while to figger that one out.



Technically you're supposed to have TWO grounding rods, with a well.

as well as the connection from the water pipes to the main panel ground.

I'd suggest you get that squared away, if that's not the case currently.

Top Top