electric shock in shower with all breakers off

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  #1  
Old 02-11-11, 06:22 AM
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electric shock in shower with all breakers off

hey folks,

We recently noticed that when using our shower, you get a slight electric shock when standing in water and touching the shower head. A meter idicates 10v between shower head and drain. I killed the main breaker to the house and there is still 10v between the drain and the shower head. About 1 month ago, I retiled the shower, which entailed removing the old drywall and putting up cement board. Though I was careful, perhaps I nicked a wire with a cement board screw? I checked water heater elements and they seam fine. What does it mean that the voltage is still there, despite the main circuit being turned off?
 
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  #2  
Old 02-11-11, 06:52 AM
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I deleted this post............................................
 

Last edited by lawrosa; 02-11-11 at 07:13 AM.
  #3  
Old 02-11-11, 07:12 AM
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Im not an electrician but sounds like a grounding issue. Appliances should have bonding wire to complete the grounding circuit. Example: wire to hot and cold of water heater, between water meter...ect. Check the ground rod from the panel. Did it disconnect or is it loose? Have you changed anything else in the house??

And if you shut the main breaker off it must be on the street side.

Safety alert on water pipes :: SafetySolutions

Heres another page I found. This sounds serious also and I would not mess around. Call a professional.

Electrical safety for plumbers - NSW Fair Trading


Mike NJ
 
  #4  
Old 02-11-11, 07:17 AM
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Thanks for the info Mike. And yes, I'm being really careful with this thing. I've got a call into our electrician, but I wasn't sure if a call to the power co might be in order first since the problem remains with the main breaker off.
 
  #5  
Old 02-11-11, 07:19 AM
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Although doubtful you may have a situation where another panel or appliance is fed out of the main incoming lines....This is where someone adds wires by placing them in the main breaker on the incoming side, with the main incoming wires, which is a no -no. I was horrified to find my son's house like this recently. The power would always be hot regardless of the main position. Removed two panels that were fed that way....Hopefully this is not what you have, but take a look.
 
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Old 02-11-11, 09:30 AM
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Definitely get the power company involved ASAP. Your neighbor may have a problem that is making itself known on your wiring.
 
  #7  
Old 02-11-11, 10:15 AM
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The last time I saw this, it was due to the neighbors defective electric water heater.
 
  #8  
Old 02-11-11, 11:50 AM
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This is probably a problem with power company equipment outside or with one of your neighbor's electrical services. Give the power company a call to the emergency number and be sure to mention that you get the shock and can measure voltage with your main breaker off -- this is a significant finding.
 
  #9  
Old 02-11-11, 12:13 PM
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In this thread we discussed how large amounts of electrical current could flow through your copper water pipes, because of an electrical problem at the neighbor's house. Maybe this is another example of this situation.
 
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Old 02-11-11, 12:58 PM
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Thanks for the info guys,

Power company is on the way.
 
  #11  
Old 02-11-11, 01:04 PM
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Let us know the outcome....

Mike N J
 
  #12  
Old 02-11-11, 04:46 PM
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You can ground both the shower head and the drain, using jumper wires to bond them to each other and to the fat ground wire (grounding electrode conductor) that connects the panel to the ground rod or incoming cold water pipe.

The jumper wires need to be at least as large as the wires in any circuit passing near the shower. (Typically 12 gauge)

If the water pipe is soldered copper all the way up from the basement, you can attach the jumper wire to the pipe upstairs instead of making the wire long enough to go down to the basement. Pipes of other metals should also provide a conductive path but there is a slight chance that corrosion results in a poor bond at one or more joints.

Homes with plastic piping are more likely to have problems of this kind. A jumper wire should be installed across the plastic sections and clamped to the metal pipes at both ends.
 

Last edited by AllanJ; 02-11-11 at 05:04 PM.
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Old 02-11-11, 05:33 PM
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You can ground both the shower head and the drain....
The real problem needs to be found and corrected.
 
  #14  
Old 02-11-11, 10:16 PM
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The real problem needs to be found and corrected
I agree let us know whay the co. says.
 
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