tingle with hot and neutral

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  #1  
Old 08-29-05, 12:00 PM
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tingle with hot and neutral

Does that sound normal?

I was fitting a new lamp (yes with out shutting off the power).
And I felt a tingle a couple of times while doing it, then the GFIC thingy tripped. ( I knew I was downstream of GFIC so to speak)

Is it normal for the copper line and the hot one to produce a tingle?

I got a little outlet tester and it said they were all good.
I got a digital muliter meter(?) and it showed 120 when I touched it off light outlet , the hot(black) and the neutral (bare).

So my question is this.
Should one feel a mild shock when touching ground and hot? Or does it mean that someone or somehow the ground is acting or is wired as neutral

A second one only somwhat related question is how would one test the entire set of wires and outlets to ensure there is no over heating or poorly connected wires.
 
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  #2  
Old 08-29-05, 12:49 PM
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Is this a serious question? If I understand you correctly, you're asking if it's possible to be electrocuted by touching the hot wire with the power on?

Yes, it's normal that electricity would enter your body and cause tingling, burning, and/or death if you touch a hot wire; you got lucky this time when the GFCI tripped. It it not normal however to ever put yourself in that situation. Do not work on anything hot; it is incredibly unsafe. I apologize for being blunt, but had that GFCI stuck on you could be dead.

The EGC (safety ground) does act as a neutral during an equipment fault -- that's what it's there for. The ground provides a secondary path for the electricity to return to the transformer if the neutral or hot wires become damaged. The hope is that a damaged hot wire will short to the ground and trip the breaker immediately instead of killing someone or starting a fire. The ground alone is not always enough protection; that's why we use AFCI and GFCI special protection in certain cases.
 

Last edited by ibpooks; 08-29-05 at 01:06 PM.
  #3  
Old 08-29-05, 02:26 PM
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yep it is a real question

lol utterly shocking that I have been rewiring parts of my house and this is the first little buzz I have felt. I guess I will shut off the power for the rest of my work.

Another real question
Should the muilter meter read 120 going from black to ground?

and how can I or , what should I use to test for any "loose" wires and or overloaded circuts? I would like to be sure everything is working well.

I have done a lot of googling and have no clear answers.

thanks
Cart
 
  #4  
Old 08-29-05, 02:34 PM
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I strongly (very strongly) suggest that you rely more on home wiring books, and less on google, to learn how to do home wiring. I suspect your approach so far is somewhat seat of the pants. That's not a good strategy for something that will kill you in an instant without the slightest regret.

A multimeter, set to the AC volts scale, should read 120 volts (or so) between a black hot wire and a ground wire if the breaker is on and the hot wire is not interrupted by a switch.

Read at least three books cover to cover before proceeding. You need to gain an understanding of how home electrical systems work. Otherwise, it's really dangerous.

As I say many times, not everything that works is safe. You might complete your project today, and have everything working perfectly, only to electocute a member of your family or burn your house down six months from now due to something you did today. It's not worth the risk.
 
  #5  
Old 08-29-05, 03:05 PM
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Originally Posted by evilcart
Should the muilter meter read 120 going from black to ground?
Yes, black to white should read 120V, black to green/bare should read 120V, white to green/bare should read 0V. A digital meter is not the best tool for use in home wiring. In some situations, the meter will read voltage where there is no power. The meter can lead to confusion. I strongly recommend you get a pen-light style tester for a few dollars. This type of tester has two probes and a (usually yellow) lamp that lights when 120V is present.

and how can I or , what should I use to test for any "loose" wires and or overloaded circuts?
Overloaded circuits are those that trip the breakers or blow the fuses on a regular basis. Loose wires can be detected by black arc marks in junction boxes, burned wires, melted plastic or wire insulation, hot smells, or flickering lights.
 
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