Mystery zap

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Old 10-04-19, 05:20 PM
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Mystery zap

Hey,

This is a question for the licensed electricians out there. I was swapping out a GFCI outlet outside with a new one today and changing out the bubble cover. I did this hot, which I know is not the best option, but have done it many many times with no incidents. What really startled me is that I got zapped while holding it the right way, the way I always do, especially if hot: by the two metal tabs on the ends!

I have never experienced this before and the end tabs are isolated from the screw terminals so I was puzzled. I sweat a lot, and was sweating when I changed it, so I thought maybe my resistance was really low because my hands were really sweaty. I had proper boots on with composite toe, fairly insulated from ground. Do you guys have any ideas about what could of happened? I even put my fluke voltage detector on the end tabs, and it did not indicate they were energized in any way??

Thanks
Steve
 
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Old 10-04-19, 07:00 PM
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The end tabs are ground or should be at ground with a ground wire attached.

I get zapped once in a while when replacing devices live.
Somehow you touched the hot terminal at the same time.
 
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Old 10-04-19, 07:25 PM
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Pete,

I know most new GFCI and outlets have a self grounding clip on one end, which of course is for use with metal box bonding, but other than the green ground screw on the outlet I have never encountered needing to have a ground wire coming off one of the end tabs?? maybe that's not what you meant. I zap myself once in a while too but I have been on a 6 month plus streak of no zaps so it annoyed me lol
 
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Old 10-04-19, 07:28 PM
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Oh sorry I take that back, I do encounter ground wires soldered to the end tabs on dimmers I install!! my mistake.....So that is the only way you can see how I got myself huh. I guess I must have brushed my finger on the hot wire somehow I just don't want to believe it lol
 
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Old 10-04-19, 08:45 PM
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Believe it..... sh*t happens.
 
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Old 10-07-19, 12:58 PM
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When I work on hot wires, I put on a pair of disposable medical gloves. I can still get enough "feel" on what I'm doing, and no more zaps.
 
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Old 10-07-19, 01:29 PM
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Nice tip, I usually wear thin nitrile grip gloves too, I just though at that time my hands were too sweaty to bother having them on..my error because I probably would not have felt it that day if I had
 
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Old 10-09-19, 07:13 PM
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Found out why it happened...Apparently some handyman tied/used the neutral as the ground upstream and I basically got hit with the neutral, which sometimes feels worse than the hot (it did)
 
 

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