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#14117 09/15/02 12:07 AM
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 6
nanci Offline OP
Junior Member
We just did a bathroom remodel. We are now getting "jolted" when turning off the shower handel. It is so upsetting. The electrician came out, did some "grounding" and said that if its electrical this should act as a GFI and trip the breaker. It didn't and we still got jolted. I was just wondering if any of you have ever heard of this before. The bathroom is travertine. It's a ROHL control system. It is a tub/shower combo.
Thanks for any insight that I can tell my contractor Monday morning.

#14118 09/15/02 12:49 AM
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 2,236
Likes: 1
I would call another electrical contractor (licensed, insured, bonded, the bigger the company the better...) for a second opinion.

Maybe even call a third. [Linked Image]

Bonding the water lines is a "bandaid" that can be used for a very temporary "fix" but this does not seem to be the case in your situation. It will not cure the problem. It will not turn a non-GFCI circuit into a GFCI circuit. His "fix" may have even turned a potential electrocution hazard into an electrocution and fire hazard.

This is a very dangerous situation and cannot be cured through online help.

Please get a very professional (cost no object) additional opinion(s).

In sincerety,

[This message has been edited by sparky66wv (edited 09-15-2002).]

Residential/Commercial Inspector
5 Star Inspections
Member IAEI
#14119 09/15/02 04:20 AM
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 7,520
Hi Nanci,

This is indeed a serious problem, and I second what Virgil has said about getting it checked out thoroughly by somebody who knows what he's doing.

Electricity and baths/showers can be a very dangerous combination. It's not that we wouldn't like to help, but the consequences of something going uncorrected here could be disastrous. Unfortunately, the situation you've described is a very hard one to diagnose without actually seeing the installation and making some tests.

Tne only other point I would add to Virgil's post is that it would be advisable to not use the shower until the problem has been corrected. (Hope you have another bathroom! [Linked Image])

#14120 09/15/02 06:22 AM
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 5,392

the problem needs to be isolated. a reading must be maintained if possible, and various breakers worked one at a time until it 0's out.

Then said circuit must be traced, and possibly taken apart to find what is energizing the water pipes.

the 'bonding' and 'grounding' should have been done originally in your home , unless you are now adding copper water lines where there were none.

as alluded to, it is a bandaid....

#14121 09/15/02 06:58 AM
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 131
Hi Nanci
Often times when the utility neutral comes loose the water main ground and carries the load of the house. If that connection is poor this could be your problem. When you are wet your body could be at a lower impedance to ground than the water pipe. Some of the electric current passes through you and some through the water pipe.

Do not use the shower untill this is fixed.
Do not try to fix this yourself
Call and electrician
Call the utility company

#14122 09/15/02 07:53 AM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 717
Let me echo Tsolanto's reply. I have indeed had to find and repair this very problem several times in my career, and it is always (in the ones I've fixed) a problem with grounding and current taking the incorrect path.

Check the service first, something could be wrong with the service neutral, the grounding electrode conductor, or the main bonding jumper, those are the first biggest offenders.

Then you have to start with how all is bonded, do you have ground wires serving as neutrals ANYWHERE in the house? If so, that's a problem and a potential source.

Take a meter, the problem lies between the DWV (Drain, Waste, Vent) and your handle, put one lead on the drain, and one on the handle. You should get a voltage (it may be low, wet soapy people conduct minor voltages VERY well), now turn off things in the breaker box until it goes away. If it never does, it's a utility problem........most likely.

You realize this is a difficult thing to diagnose? I'm only providing some of the paths, and the most probable.

I really hope your electrician did not phrase it like that, if he did, that scares the hell out of me.

Let us know how it comes out.

#14123 09/15/02 09:21 AM
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 6
nanci Offline OP
Junior Member
Thank you all so much for your responses. My house is 22 years and they did use copper piping for the new bathroom. I will let you know what happens. Anything else you can think of, I'll be checking back!! It's helping me just getting information!!!

#14124 09/15/02 09:41 AM
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 6
nanci Offline OP
Junior Member
If the utility nuetral is causing the problem would you just get shocked in the new bathroom, because it doesn't happen in the old one.

I don't know anything about the wiring of my house. I do know that the electrician thought that what ever they did would end the problem. He asked me if my water heater is about to go. That that could be a problem??

I understand the difficulty and seriousness of my problem. I wanted to thank you all again for sharing your knowledge and expertise with me.

#14125 09/15/02 10:12 AM
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 5,392
2nd George's response.....

He asked me if my water heater is about to go. That that could be a problem??

depending on the isolation ( electrically) of the water heater's elements and true ground.

a combination of events (as with George's post) with a bad element could becaome culpit to your scenario...

you really need to have this metered out pronto....

#14126 09/15/02 12:00 PM
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 163
Sparky - Nanci lives in Orange, CA (city of Orange, county of Orange!, CA)just south of LA....unless something is very strange, she has gas water heater.

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