Getting shocked in the shower

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  #1  
Old 10-02-07, 07:16 AM
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Getting shocked in the shower

I and a few pals are renting a small house for the fall (hunting) season from an older couple. It's in Michigan Actually, it is a guest house about 50 yards from the main house.

While both houses have access to city water, the owner never chose to switch to city water until I requested that he do so when I stated renting the house on Saturday. It was simply a matter of pulling a valve.

Over the weekend, several of my pals staying in the guest house complained that they got mild electrical shocks while showering and/or using the sink. One of my pals looked around and stated that it appeared that the house has not been "grounded" and said that it was a quick, inexpensive fix. I talked to the owner by telephone (he already went south for the winter) and he had no idea if the house was grounded or not because he never uses the guest house.

So, we went to the hardware store and purchased solid copper rod, 6' copper wire and 2 clamps. The rod was 6' long however with no tools, we were only able to get in about 2 foot into the ground. He then clamped the wire to the rod, snaked it into the house and clamped it to the copper water pipe. This morning, two guys got shocked again. Is there a method to this thing that we are missing, or perhaps a short somewhere requiring an electrician?

Thanks for any suggestions
 
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  #2  
Old 10-02-07, 07:23 AM
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What you did was improper and possibly illegal. Never attempt to fix an electrical issue in a house you are renting.

Your problem is serious. Do not use the water again until you have the situation evaluated by an electrician. You risk death.

The lack of a ground rod has nothing to do with the problem. A ground rod does not exist and will not protect against this problem.

What you are experiencing may be suggestive of a problem with the neutral on your system or on another system on the same transformer, possibly the neighbors house.


Call a qualified electrician to diagnose and address the problem. Do not take showers or use the water in the mean time, and stay away from the plumbing.
 
  #3  
Old 10-02-07, 07:25 AM
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You need to call an electrician now. Legally, criminal and civil you shouldn't work on rental property. From your post it really doesn't sound like you have the background to trouble shoot this problem. This is a potentially fatal problem you need to get it fixed before touching the plumbing. Call an electrician now. The next shock could kill.
 
  #4  
Old 10-02-07, 08:14 AM
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To clarify

I agree, I'll call the owner to contact an electrician.

For the record, we installed the ground with the owner's permission first.
 
  #5  
Old 10-02-07, 01:51 PM
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When I was a teenager I experienced this, We tought it was funny, later I've learned.
The water heater had probably an error, the piping witch was the only grounding was recently changed to (at that time) the new PvC material. Grounding was then following the water from shower to the gully thru us.
Fortunately there was a stainless sink with taps who took the moast of it.

I would started to look after errors in equipment bonded to the water system. Neighter the neutral or the live shold be in touch with ground in an ungrounded house, and this shold be reasonable safe until somthing fails. (witch happends no and then when wires and equipment becomes old)

Turning off the mains (removing the fuses ) before showering shold be safe.
If you have no meter a test lamp with a glim-lamp shold do.
Glim lamps are typical redish flickering small indicator lamps on old electric ranges etc.

Take care, you'l probably die only once, and it will probably be preferable some later.

dsk
 
  #6  
Old 10-02-07, 03:14 PM
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Dude !!

Originally Posted by RivaR View Post
I agree, I'll call the owner to contact an electrician.

For the record, we installed the ground with the owner's permission first.
Read the posts!! This can be FATAL!!!

Call an electrician, get it fixed, Then deal with the owner.
DOCUMENT, get receipts, There are pleanty of lawyers that can't play golf during hunting season. And you can lodge for FREE!

Besides, you'll all stink with out a shower, And dead bodies tend to scare game away.
 
  #7  
Old 10-03-07, 11:38 AM
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Problem fixed!

Called the owner and he had an electrician come out. Turns out the problem was, guess what?, the water heater!!!

Don't know what the exact problem was and/or what he did to fix it other than the owner called to say all is OK?

Thanks for all the input.

Now, did I spend $35 for a grounding pole for nothing?
 
  #8  
Old 10-03-07, 11:51 AM
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I'm glad the problem is taken care of.


Originally Posted by RivaR View Post
Now, did I spend $35 for a grounding pole for nothing?
Yes. Unless installed properly, you could make things worse. Take out the ground rod. You should have spoken with the electrician about whether a ground rod is needed, and how it should be installed. If necessary, he or she would have been able to install it.
 
  #9  
Old 10-03-07, 03:54 PM
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Happy hunting !

Sometimes a bit forward. But sometimes things need attention, NOW, Not later.

This is one of them.

Folks, If you get a "tingle" in the shower or useing any other water system, BEWARE !!!! A VERY dangerouse situation exists!!!!!!!!!!

Get It fixed!!!!!
 
  #10  
Old 10-04-07, 08:54 AM
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Originally Posted by RivaR View Post
Now, did I spend $35 for a grounding pole for nothing?
Consider this. You connected copper grounding rod that is in contact with the earth for two feet to a copper water pipe that is contact with the earth for perhaps hundreds of feet. Does it seem like this would make a difference?
 
  #11  
Old 10-04-07, 09:41 AM
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I donno!

Originally Posted by John Nelson View Post
Consider this. You connected copper grounding rod that is in contact with the earth for two feet to a copper water pipe that is contact with the earth for perhaps hundreds of feet. Does it seem like this would make a difference?
I'm a car dealer not an electrician. All I know is that electrician went out to the house and purportedly fixed the problem. I assumed he looked at the grounding thingee and would have removed it if it was not proper. Still, I'll contact him just to tell him what we did prior to him coming out. Plus, the other thing is, I stay in the main house so, it aint my sorry butt that was getting shocked. It's just the guys that sleep in the guest house--not my problemo.


Just kidding---sheesh!
 
  #12  
Old 10-04-07, 04:47 PM
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Exclamation

"I'm a car dealer not an electrician."

That sums it up.

(With all due respect.)

I'm an electrician, not a car dealer.

Some guy went out back and told me "Thats the best I can do". So I bought it.

Who do you trust ?
 
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