electric shock after a shower

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  #1  
Old 03-21-06, 08:50 AM
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Unhappy electric shock after a shower

Hello,

My problem is potentialy serious. I have a wet room with a shower and the hot water comes from a comi boiler. I have just bought the house which was built in the twenties but the bathroom is only 10 years old.

After I have a hot shower, when turning off the shower I feel a small electrical shock. Also if I touch the sink or the sink taps after a hot shower, I feel a similar thing. However, if I just use the sink taps before using the shower, everything is OK.

I have found an earth connection to the sink water pipes but I can not find any earth on the combi boiler itself or the pipes feeding the shower (although they are mostly within the wall)

Could this be the problem? I do not know where to start looking.

Thanks in advance.
 
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Old 03-21-06, 10:15 AM
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This is a very serious problem that should be investigted by a professional ASAP. Your plumbing is not bonded and grounded as it should be, and something charged is contacting your plumbing. The common causes are an electric water heater with a bad element or a weak or broken neutral connection at your service entrance.

Is your boiler electric? If so, I suspect one of the elements is failing or has failed and needs replacement. On top of that, you should have an electrician evaluate and update your bonding and grounding so that next time an element fails, the breaker trips instead of electrocuting someone in the shower.

The important safety note is that the level of shock could become fatal at any time. It may be 100 tiny shocks in a row, and the 101st is bigger. If it was my house, I wouldn't use the shower until this is resolved. Use a voltage meter to measure the potential on the plumbing; don't use your body as a tester when diagnosing this problem.

Once you have measured voltage on the plumbing with a meter, shut off the breaker(s) for the electric water heat and see if the voltage on the plumbing has gone away. If not, keep investigating. The problem could be in a neighbor's house and is backfeeding power through the city water pipes; this is one of the many reasons I recommend hiring someone to investigate the cause. If you don't have city water, a failing well pump can also energize your plumbing.
 
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Old 03-21-06, 10:17 AM
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How is the water heated?
gas, fuel oil, etc?
 
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Old 03-22-06, 12:28 AM
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Hi,

Thanks for the info.

The boiler is a gas combi boiler situated just outside of the showeroom.

Thanks again guys.
 
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Old 03-22-06, 06:19 AM
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how old is it, and is it one of those new on demand units?
 
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Old 03-22-06, 09:03 AM
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It is about 10 years old and it supplies hot water on demand i.e. the water is heated only when you use it.
 
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Old 03-22-06, 09:14 AM
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Thats got to be the problem because while its heating the water your getting shocked. Im not at all familiar with these on demand heaters, I have never even seen on in person. If your not big into electricle work I would suggest calling a electrictian.
 
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