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Electrocution #62637
02/22/06 12:17 PM
02/22/06 12:17 PM
XtheEdgeX  Offline OP
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 116
I saw a short piece on the news about a homeowner that was electrocuted just days after moving into his new house. It happened near me in Clermont, Florida. They didn't give much information on the news, but they did show part of a video taken by the HO's wife's lawyer. Apparently the guy was killed when he was connecting the clothes dryer vent hose onto the metal duct. The duct had voltage on it. The video showed an electrician reading 120vac on the metal part of the bathroom medicine cabinet. He checked the cabinet and used the ground on the nearby receptacle. The investigation found a drywall screw through a metal wall stud and into an unsupported piece of nm inside the wall. They said it was only into the ungrounded conductor in the romex. Supposedly the metal studs were energized, and I'm guessing that the dryer duct was secured to the studs. You would think the breaker would have tripped, unless they had poorly installed grounding, also.

Edited for spelling

[This message has been edited by XtheEdgeX (edited 02-22-2006).]

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Re: Electrocution #62638
02/22/06 01:28 PM
02/22/06 01:28 PM
RODALCO  Offline
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 857
Titirangi, Akld, New Zealand
If he had an "Bank" Earth Leakage Breaker it would have tripped when the leakage exceeds 30 mA and he would be still alive.

Tragic incident.

The product of rotation, excitation and flux produces electricty.
Re: Electrocution #62639
02/22/06 02:20 PM
02/22/06 02:20 PM
gfretwell  Offline

Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,338
Edge, this is not unusual. There is no metal in the wiring method, box or even the plumbing. I am not sure where the path would be to trip the O/C device until the dryer does get hooked up.
These houses are built on a slab with an isolation membrane under the steel framing. The panel will be on a block wall in the garage. Everything is in Romex with plastic boxes. If they don't get caught with a luminaire having to go directly over a stud, requiring a pancake box I am not sure there is any way the steel gets bonded.
In commercial with EMT and steel boxes this is not a problem. It gets bonded all over the place.
I bet we start seeing metal framing coming under 250.104(C)
The contractors probably could have made this issue go away if they just used steel boxes for the dryer and the range. That would give them some fat EGCs bonded to the steel with a few pennies added to their cost. If we get required bonding under 250.104(C) they will be stringing #4 or larger all over.

Greg Fretwell
Re: Electrocution #62640
02/22/06 04:44 PM
02/22/06 04:44 PM
Active 1  Offline
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 687
Grayslake IL, USA
When is the rest of the world going to use steel pipe and boxes like us?


Re: Electrocution #62641
02/22/06 06:35 PM
02/22/06 06:35 PM
boggerbutt2454  Offline
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 44
Concord NC USA
We had similar problem in the housing industry a few years back. One of the home builders was using a sheeting on the outside of the house that had a thin layer of material that looked like aluminum foil. Some type of thermo barrier. Then the vinyl siding was nailed on top. The siding guys were using 1 1/2" and sometimes 2" nails and the nail would penetrate the romex and electrify the skin of the sheeting, the down spouts and I had 88 volts to ground on one of the brick fronts of a house. The guy doing the pressure washing kept complaining that he was getting shocked and was smart enough or lucky enough to get away from the house. As a result I haven't seen any of this type of sheeting being used since.

Re: Electrocution #62642
02/22/06 07:56 PM
02/22/06 07:56 PM
BigJohn  Offline
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 391
Boston, MA
The siding guys were using 1 1/2" and sometimes 2" nails....
Has anyone else noticied the tendency of people to use the biggest nail they can find, regardless of the job? If they're attaching to 3/4 plywood, what do they really think that extra 1.25" of nail is actually doing? I recently had a nail-through-the-Romex repair because the H/O was using 10d finish nails to attach quarter-round molding to his baseboard. That must've been load-bearing baseboard-trim... [Linked Image]


Re: Electrocution #62643
02/22/06 08:59 PM
02/22/06 08:59 PM
venture  Offline
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 38
San Diego Ca USA
I had one where the cabinets were hung with 4" drywall screws and they got the romex right in the middle. Never told the homeowner about the sparks. I found it by opening the cabinets and seeing the burn marks. Rod

Re: Electrocution #62644
02/22/06 09:02 PM
02/22/06 09:02 PM
HotLine1  Offline

Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 7,069
Brick, NJ USA
OK, add this to the stupidity factors....
200 amp SEU cable, straps about 24-30" apart.....nice.

OH, all the guys had was 2-1/2" screws.....guess who actually screwed his own NMC/SER!!!!!!


Re: Electrocution #62645
02/23/06 12:26 AM
02/23/06 12:26 AM
Wireless  Offline
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 73
Los Angeles CA USA

Re: Electrocution #62646
02/23/06 02:51 PM
02/23/06 02:51 PM
macmikeman  Offline
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 717
Honolulu, Hawaii
A little bit off topic, but I never leave a kitchen rough in without using nail plates over every cable filled hole in the walls that will be behind either the upper or lower cabinets, regardless of how well centered my holes were in the studs. I have seen those 4" long screws in the finish carpenter's parachute bags one too many times.

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