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. nanci
I would call another electrical contractor (licensed, insured, bonded, the bigger the company the better...) for a second opinion.
Maybe even call a third.
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, -Virgil
[This message has been edited by sparky66wv (edited 09-15-2002).]
-Virgil Residential/Commercial Inspector 5 Star Inspections Member IAEI
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! )
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
Nanci, 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.
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!!!
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.