Shock from ground wires in service panel

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Old 01-22-08, 05:05 PM
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Shock from ground wires in service panel

I just replaced an old 200 amp Federal service panel with a new 200 amp service panel. Reconnected everything just fine, except for the ground wires. The only thing wrong is that I am getting shocked from the bare ground wires when I touch two at a time, or I touch a ground wire and the box at the same time. (Please note, I have not installed the earth ground as of yet.) House is older with old wiring. Should I assume correctly that there is probably a wiring problem in one of the fixtures or outlets? If so, is there an easy way to find the problem, other than going around and checking every connection?

Reading some of the posts on this website, I realize that there is probably connections happening between hot and/or neutral wires and the ground wires and/or the boxes.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!
 
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Old 01-22-08, 05:18 PM
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I would turn off the main and get your grounding electrode system installed properly before I restore power. The power company will usually not reconnect the service after panel replacement until the installation is inspected and all wiring is finished.

Do the problems persist with the main off? If you take a voltage reading between the ground wires in question and the panel?

Others will post their opinion...
 
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Old 01-22-08, 06:55 PM
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Thanks for the quick reply! What would it mean if it persists with the main breaker off?
 
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Old 01-22-08, 07:13 PM
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It COULD mean one of your neighbours has an open neutral on their service and the current is returning through the water main and up your ground connection to the water pipe.
 
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Old 01-22-08, 09:07 PM
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Why are you working on a panel with the main on and loose main grounds? Do you want to die or are you just trying to maim yourself?
 
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Old 01-23-08, 09:39 AM
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Originally Posted by johnross View Post
The only thing wrong is that I am getting shocked from the bare ground wires when I touch two at a time, or I touch a ground wire and the box at the same time. (Please note, I have not installed the earth ground as of yet.)
Without the grounding electrodes, you have no reference voltage. The neutral is floating which means that it almost certainly has some potential to (earth) ground. It is unsafe to energize a panel and especially to touch it without the grounding electrodes connected.

Connect the water main ground, secondary electrode (rod), and bond the rest of the plumbing and see if the problem persists. Also, never use your body as a meter. The shock may be harmless the first time and fatal the second; use a voltage meter to check for 0V potential between all surfaces that should be grounded.
 
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