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#27441 - 07/15/03 08:00 PM Shock from shower fixture
aldav53 Offline
Member

Registered: 08/22/01
Posts: 547
Loc: Chandler, AZ USA
Went on a repair and the customer said he got a shock off the shower fixture. I tested to see if the water pipe for it was grounded and was getting weird ohm readings. Found later that someone replaced part of the water pipe in the attic with a PVC type which isolated half the water pipe from ground. I ran a #4 ground wire to connect them which grounded it. But not sure where the voltage was getting picked up in it before. Maybe through inductance from wires crossing over it? The customer said he got a good shock off it when he touched the shower head and the metal edge on the shower door. (The shower door edge was not tied to ground at all). Kinda strange.
Now that the shower water pipe is grounded there should be no way it can become energized. Any opinions on what might have happened and whether its completely safe now?
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#27442 - 07/16/03 02:03 AM Re: Shock from shower fixture
pauluk Offline
Member

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
Were there any cables running near and parallel to the pipes in question? If so, then the shocks could have been a result of capacitive coupling. It wouldn't take a lot of capacitance to result in a noticeable tingle to somebody standing wet in the cubicle.

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#27443 - 07/16/03 04:17 AM Re: Shock from shower fixture
PCBelarge Offline
Member

Registered: 06/08/03
Posts: 657
Loc: Dobbs Ferry, NY, USA
About 2 years ago a local man was killed in his shower. The culprit was the shower rod, which had long screws anchoring it, and one of those screws had pierced a cable and was energized. Maybe you should take a reading between the shower door and the cold water/drain pipes.

Pierre
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#27444 - 07/16/03 05:55 AM Re: Shock from shower fixture
james S Offline
Member

Registered: 05/13/03
Posts: 102
Loc: West England
I guess its possible for the induction theory but would need single core cables (maybe lighting) to be able to induce any voltage into the pipe.

as for the shower door edge there might of been damp in the walls enabling tracking voltage within the walls. i have found 240 v on damp walls due to faults in sockets and switches before !!!!

just an idea thats all

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#27445 - 07/16/03 08:20 AM Re: Shock from shower fixture
aldav53 Offline
Member

Registered: 08/22/01
Posts: 547
Loc: Chandler, AZ USA
Pierre, I did take a reading at the shower door from the ground at the bath recept and it was isolated, no reading. But the damp wall thoery from james S is possible.

(Did not see any cables near the water pipe in the attic).
This one has me baffold..
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#27446 - 07/16/03 06:04 PM Re: Shock from shower fixture
golf junkie Offline
Member

Registered: 04/22/01
Posts: 511
Loc: York, NE
FWIW.....I have seen a case where an ungrounded electric water heater was shocking people when they touched the shower nozzle.

GJ

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#27447 - 07/16/03 10:08 PM Re: Shock from shower fixture
aldav53 Offline
Member

Registered: 08/22/01
Posts: 547
Loc: Chandler, AZ USA
I probably need to run a ground wire to the shower frame too. Just in case the frame did become energized somehow.
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#27448 - 07/17/03 11:43 AM Re: Shock from shower fixture
kale Offline
Member

Registered: 11/08/02
Posts: 168
I've received a shock from a tub faucet caused by shorted well pump, and this was after the metal pipe had run through the ground several hundred feet and was bonded. So I no longer trust that grounding a pipe will stop the current from being felt.

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#27449 - 07/17/03 12:34 PM Re: Shock from shower fixture
aldav53 Offline
Member

Registered: 08/22/01
Posts: 547
Loc: Chandler, AZ USA
Kale,
Current takes the path of least resistence and unless you have a good ground it may take another path.
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#27450 - 07/18/03 05:21 AM Re: Shock from shower fixture
PCBelarge Offline
Member

Registered: 06/08/03
Posts: 657
Loc: Dobbs Ferry, NY, USA
Another thought.
Check for a subpanel. If there is one see if he grounded the panel to a pipe and did not properly ground it back to the source where the subpanel receives its power.

Pierre
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