electric shock from toaster


  #1  
Old 02-25-04, 06:28 PM
Paolo
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electric shock from toaster

My house war rewired about 4 years ago from a licenced electrical company. One of the new outlets is a gfci outlet above my kitchen countertop. A couple of days ago I was wiping the countertop with a wet sponge and while doing so I was moving the toaster (matal case)with my other hand,I got shocked pretty badly I felt like my heart stopped for a second.The Gfci system did not shut off. Same thing happened today. I am determined to turn the power off and check to see if the ground wire is connected to the green screw like it is suppost to be. If this is okey, do you have any idea what could it be?
Thanks
Paolo
 
  #2  
Old 02-25-04, 06:53 PM
V
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If it's the case of the toaster, and the GFCI isn't shutting off, then for some reason you have a voltage on the ground conductor (assuming the outlet is wired correctly and doesn't have a bootleg ground).

When I've run into this before it was because the ground was not actually connected at the panel, and a large inductive voltage had built up in the ground wire.

Get an outlet tester. It's a little device that plugs into the outlet and reports on the wiring of the outlet. It won't detect a bootleg ground, but it will detect a missing ground. They're cheap and handy to have. Some will also test GFCI operation, although the GFCI's internal tester is considered to be more reliable.
 
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Old 02-25-04, 06:56 PM
R
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Have you tested the GFCI receptacle at all during the four years? It is recommended that you do so once a month, however most people test it much less frequently, if at all.

There should be a buttoin labeled TEST on the front of the receptacle. Press it in and you should hear the GFCI trip inside the receptacle. There is another button on the receptacle to reset the GFCI after you trip it. If the GFCI does not trip with the reset button then it may not be wired properly, or the GFCI may need to be replaced.

Checking the outlet to see if the ground wire is hooked up will tell you only that. Even if the ground wire is not hooked up properly the GFCI should still trip in the event of a fault.

Does your toaster have a two wire or three wire cord and plug?

It certainly sounds like you have a problem. Personally, I would not use the toaster or the outlet until I determined where the problem is and had it corrected.
 
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Old 02-25-04, 07:07 PM
J
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It's not a grounding problem. Toaster plugs never have a grounding pin -- by design.

As Bob said, test your GFCI with the test button on the GFCI itself.

Then go buy a new toaster.
 
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Old 02-25-04, 07:14 PM
V
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Originally posted by John Nelson
It's not a grounding problem. Toaster plugs never have a grounding pin -- by design.

As Bob said, test your GFCI with the test button on the GFCI itself.

Then go buy a new toaster.
You're right. Thnking about it now I can't recall ever seeing a grounded plug on a toaster. But why not? Seems that it's an applince that generally has a metal case, and certainly has the potential for a short from a current carrying wire to the case. So why no ground by design?
 
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Old 02-25-04, 07:32 PM
J
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Appliances with open elements and metal cases, such as a toaster, are not grounded on purpose. Since so many people stick forks and knives down in the toaster while holding on to the case, they do not want that case to be grounded. It will give that person a better chance of surviving their stupidity.
 
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Old 02-25-04, 07:43 PM
V
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Ahh.

So, the idea is that the danger from someone doing something directly stupid with a toaster is greater than the danger posed by a malfunction of the internals of the toaster causing the case to become hot? Sadly, that makes sense.

You'd think the chassis of more toasters would be made of a high-temp non-conductive plastic then too.

Ah well. Learn something new all the time.

And given that, yes, throw away that toaster and figure out why your GFCI isn't functioning.
 
  #8  
Old 02-26-04, 12:09 PM
J
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Test your GFCI receptacle as described but do ne more thing. When the GFCI is tripped try the toaster. It should not operate. It could be that the toaster receptacle is not GFCI protected or if the toaster is plugged into the GFCI, the GFCI is miswired to the load side instead of the line side.

There is definitely something wrong with your toaster. You should not be getting a shock no matter where it is plugged in.
 
  #9  
Old 03-07-04, 10:02 AM
Paolo
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BAD TOASTER?

Thank you all for you replies. I tested the GFI outlet and it seems to be working. The toaster is one of those nice chrome 50's pieces that I had rewired a couple of years ago by a professional electrical repair company. The cord reads 18/2 type hpn heater cord-cpe. At the bottom of the toaster it reads 110-120 bolts-10.5 amps operetas on a cord C. I am not an electrician so I have no clue if the cord they installed is right for the toaster or not. I also will call an electrician to check that the GFI is wired right.
Thanks,
Paolo
 

Last edited by Paolo; 03-11-04 at 06:28 AM.
 

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