Slight shock stepping on power cord

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  #1  
Old 06-15-19, 05:42 AM
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Slight shock stepping on power cord

Thanks in advance for sharing your expertise. I was shampooing my carpet today with a new carpet cleaner. I was in bare feet and felt a slight shock when I stepped on the power cord. My home is fairly modern with three prong recepticles. Was this caused by a problem in my electrical grounding system or the equipment?

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Old 06-15-19, 06:26 AM
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It could be either, but it should be neither, because the cord should have insulated you. So the first thing I would do is carefully inspect the cord, inch by inch, to ensure that it is not damaged in any way and that none of the individual wires within it are exposed. Then I would probably verify that the affected receptacle is wired correctly. You can do this with a volt ohmmeter, or, if you don't have one, you can buy a three prong checker at your local hardware or big box, which you plug into the receptacle, and has three lights that will tell you whether your hot, neutral, and ground wire are connected where they should be. After that, I would probably contact the manufacturer of the machine.
 
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Old 06-15-19, 08:48 AM
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Thanks, the plug in tester indicated the receptacle is wired correctly. I will return the carper cleaner.
 
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Old 06-15-19, 09:03 AM
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My home is fairly modern with three prong receptacles.
You should make sure there is GFI protection on garage and outside receptacles.
If it is modern..... they should have protection.

If the cleaner has a three prong plug...... it has an internal problem with the ground connection.
If the cleaned has a two prong plug.... something internally is leaking.
Usually two prong appliances are all plastic so there is no metal to contact.
If your machine is all plastic and you got a shock..... it must have had water in and on it.
 
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Old 06-15-19, 09:12 AM
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Another precaution in this situation is to get an in-line GFCI short extension cord (available at Home Depot, etc.) so it would shut off the power if current leakage is detected. That's asuming you don't already have a ground fault protected outlet you're using. A GFCI doesn't fix the the problem but it keeps a shock from being a threat to your health.
 
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Old 06-15-19, 09:12 AM
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PJ, yes house does have all code compliant GFCI protected outlets. The carpet cleaner is 3 prong, as is the outlet. It is plastic. The shock occurred when I stepped on the cord in bare feet and the carpet was wet. There may be an internal short on the machine but all parts I touched were plastic.
 
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Old 06-15-19, 11:58 AM
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Try not to step on the cord in the first place; it's not good for them.
 
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Old 06-15-19, 12:32 PM
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I'd be a little concerned walking on a wet surface with bare feet using something electrical.
 
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Old 06-15-19, 01:55 PM
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It's good you have GFI protection. With a GFI..... you may feel a slight tingle before it trips..... and it may not even trip. The GFI's are designed to trip at a shock level that would be considered lethal.
 
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