Shocked by DirecTV box and now TV is blown


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Old 12-31-12, 06:20 AM
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Shocked by DirecTV box and now TV is blown

I recently hooked up my directv box to a new Vizio TV, which I had just mounted. When I went to hook up the HDMI cable to the Directv receiver I received a pretty significant electric shock by touching the receiver. I decided to shut the power off to hook everything up since I wasn't sure where the shock came from. I hooked up the HDMI and plugged in the TV and Directv receiver. When I turned the power back on I heard a pop from the TV, which now seems to be fried, and the Directv receiver was powered on but delivering no signal. I called an electrician who came out this morning and checked all of the electrical wiring in the room. According to him, everything checks out just fine. He suggested that there could be a problem with the Directv box. He did an additional check to make sure that the satellite dish itself was grounded and said that it appeared to be set up correctly. I called Directv support and was told they would send a new box. The guy I spoke to on the phone seemed to have no clue what I was talking about, seemed skeptical that I even got shocked, and insisted that it was probably the outlet (which was just cleared by a certified electrician). I'm pretty frustrated at this point and don't want to blow out another TV by simply plugging a new box in and reconnecting once it gets here. Does anyone have experience with this or know what I should do? Thanks.
 
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Old 12-31-12, 07:12 AM
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Was the Direct TV box working with your old TV? If so, I would suspect the newly introduced factor, the TV. It's surprising that you would receive a shock though since an HDMI cable is handling a low voltage signal, or it's supposed to be anyway.
 
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Old 12-31-12, 07:16 AM
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Does anyone have experience with this or know what I should do?
Do you have access to a voltmeter ?
The electrician checked the satellite dish grounding and said it was ok.
If we take that as truth......the problem lies with the TV.

You'll need to check the TV......from it's metal frame or connecting jacks on the back to a known ground for a voltage leak. You should see very close to 0 volts.
 
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Old 12-31-12, 07:52 AM
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I don't have access to a voltmeter, but I can tell you that the electrician checked the power cord to the tv, the outlet, the surge protector and all of those things had power. It probably is the TV, but my concern is that this actually happened twice. The first time we were told it was the TV so we returned it and set up this new one. The new one worked initially, then once all of the components were plugged in we had the problem.
 
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Old 12-31-12, 08:36 AM
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The only thing that pops in my head is that the receptacle for the TV is wired backwards.
Does that TV have a polarized plug ?
That would mean one small pin and one wide pin.....it would only plug in one direction.


If you have two devices that you are trying to connect.....and you have a difference in voltage....then you must find out where it's coming from.

If I were checking that out right at your location.... I would:
Have both units plugged in but not connected.
Measure between the units to see what the voltage difference is between them.
Measure from each device to a KNOWN good ground to see which device the voltage difference was appearing on.
 
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Old 12-31-12, 08:55 AM
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The plug for the TV is a three pronged plug, so it can only go in one direction. The plug for the directv box is two pronged and attached through an ac adapter. I may try to have a friend come over with a voltmeter to determine the voltage difference.
 
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Old 12-31-12, 10:01 AM
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Is the satellite receiver grounded properly?

Reference
NEC Grounding- DIRECTV DISH Network HughesNet Wildblue
 
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Old 12-31-12, 10:50 AM
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It appears to be grounded correctly. I've attached links to 2 photos I took of the grounding. The ground wire runs about a foot or so from the coax to the meter box. The electrician checked this out and said it looked good as well, but he's also not familiar with the exact details of setting up the Directv grounding.


directv setup 1 | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

directv setup 1 | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
 
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Old 12-31-12, 12:46 PM
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ac adapter
What kind of adapter? Hopefully not a cheater plug.
The only shock I get from DirectTV is their bill
 
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Old 12-31-12, 01:21 PM
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It appears to be the standard Directv ac adapter. Here's a picture of it:

photo | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
 
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Old 12-31-12, 02:10 PM
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You're still going to need a meter.....I don't see any issues so far.
 
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Old 01-04-13, 04:12 PM
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Not sure if anyone will still pick up on this thread after a couple of days passing, but here's where I'm at:

I exchanged the blown TV for a new one and got a new DirecTV box sent. I hooked everything up on its own and all parts work just fine.

Then I plugged the TV and the DirecTV box in at the same time. Still worked fine.

Then I unplugged the DirecTV box to hookup the HDMI cable (coax was still hooked up to the back of the DirecTV box but power cable was not plugged in) and before I could get the HDMI cable into its slot my wife was shocked while holding the TV. Fortunately, I was able to pull the HDMI cable away quickly and the TV appears to be ok.

At this point I'm pretty certain the problem is the HDMI cable carrying power it shouldn't be, but I'm not sure why. I've read elsewhere that the coax cables can sometimes become charged due to a faulty setup and maybe this is causing it. In any event, I called DirecTV to send out a technician and check my setup to see if there is a problem from there end. If anyone has any other ideas, I'm certainly open to them.
 
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Old 01-04-13, 06:24 PM
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You are really playing with fire there. I would have went out and bought a cheap voltmeter.

It has nothing to do with the HDMI cable. That TV has a 3 prong power cord......when you plug it into a PROPERLY wired outlet.....the TV would be grounded. As I believe we mentioned earlier.....that outlet ground is not at ground potential but at 120 volts instead. Which means that the case of the TV is at 120 volts.....just like the end of the HDMI cable which is connected to the TV chassis.

It has nothing do with Direct system grounding either. That system is probably well grounded which is why you get fireworks when you try to connect that grounded coax to a TV with 120 v on it's case.

The electrician you had come in to check the system out probably had no idea what he was looking for.
 
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Old 01-04-13, 07:59 PM
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The electrician that came checked the outlet to make sure it was properly grounded. He found that it was. He checked the voltage on all of the devices and saw no issues. Can you tell me what he should have checked for? I really want to get this figured out but I hate to have to continue paying for house calls that tell me everything looks ok when clearly there is an issue.
 
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Old 01-04-13, 08:18 PM
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I pretty well explained in my previous post the issue.
What needs to be done is:
1) Find a known GOOD ground near that TV. A water pipe, a bathroom faucet.
2) You may need to utilize a piece of wire to get your known good ground to the TV area.
3) Using this ground.....check to frame of TV (HDMI jack) ....you should measure 0 volts.
4) Check from ground pin of questionable receptacle to ground wire....you should measure 0 volts.

From that known good ground.....you should check anything near your TV that is in question....even satelite cable. No metal that is exposed should have any voltage on it.
 
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Old 01-05-13, 08:17 AM
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Unfortunately I don't have a bathroom all that close to the TV so I'll need to run wire. What type of wire will suffice?
 
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Old 01-05-13, 08:29 AM
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Any kind of wire......not critical in the least. You just need to be working with a good ground......something you can be assured of.
 
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Old 01-05-13, 09:59 AM
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I'm at a loss trying to find wire the length that I need so I'll have to run out for a cheap copper wire. I'm assuming something like speaker wire won't suffice in this case. Is there any special way I'll need to connect this or can I just go with electrical tape to secure the wire to the faucet? (Pardon my ignorance, but I've not tested this way before).
 
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Old 01-05-13, 10:09 AM
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Speaker wire will work just fine. Any way you connect wire to faucet is ok.
Yes....this is a little bizzare but you need your meter connected to a known good ground location and any plumbing pipe or fixture will suffice.
 
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Old 01-05-13, 10:51 AM
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I used the speaker wire and connected it to the grounding rod just outside our window that is by our meter box. I was only getting readings of 95-100 volts out of the outlet when I checked it, but I guess that could be due to the low quality of the wire being used as ground. I then plugged in all of the components without connecting them and found something interesting:

The DirecTV box measured 0V across all of the component inputs.
Unhooked the coax cable running into the cable box and only got a hint of voltage on the reading.
The TV measured between 95-100V out of all of the component inputs on the back of the set. It even measured this voltage on the screws in the back of the set that hold the mounting bracket.

Based on your previous posts, I'm assuming this is not good! Is this something I can fix or should I get the electrician back out here?
 
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Old 01-05-13, 10:58 AM
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Ok......now unplug TV......measure from the grounding hole on your receptacle to your known ground.


Then measure from the larger (wider pin) of receptacle to grounding hole. You won't use our "ground wire" here.
 
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Old 01-05-13, 11:17 AM
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Grounding hole on outlet to known ground - about 95-100 volts
larger hole of outlet to grounding hole - 0 volts
 
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Old 01-05-13, 11:39 AM
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On a receptacle.....
The smaller slot is the hot side
The larger slot is the neutral

So from small slot to ground hole should be 120 volts
and from large slot to ground hole should be O volts.

You appear to have the hot wire somehow connected to the ground pin and the neutral. That's dangerous.

So you have a problem there. It could be just that one outlet or several. To be 100% sure......I would find out which circuit that outlet is on. Turn that circuit off and see what else goes off. Now turn circuit back on and check those receptacles with your temporary ground wire. There should not be any voltage on the ground pin.

Showing your electrician what you did to test the receptacle should allow him to diagnose the problem quickly.

DON'T use this receptacle or any others that have this problem until situation is resolved.
 
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Old 01-05-13, 12:05 PM
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It appears as though there are only 3 outlets connected to this circuit. The one we've been testing and the one along the same wall have the same readings (as I detailed above). The third outlet is different - the ground hole to the known ground produces 0V, but the opposite hole of the receiver (compared to the other outlets on this circuit) produces 95-100V.
 
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Old 01-05-13, 12:12 PM
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In the 2 similar outlets, the large slot is the side carrying the voltage and the small side has a 0v reading. On the 3rd outlet, the ground and large slot show 0v and the small slot has the 95-100v reading.
Not sure if this means anything, but when I test these outlets with a ground fault outlet tester the 2 similar outlets show that they are grounded properly and the 3rd outlet is open ground.
 
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Old 01-05-13, 12:25 PM
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Ok.......that would suggest that those two are wired incorrectly and the third one is ok.
It may require taking all three of them apart to find out where the issue is.

You could do it yourself.
Turn off the circuit.
Black wire(s) should be on dark colored screw or small slot side of receptacle.
White wire(s) should be on silver colored screw or large slot side of receptacle.
Only bare (ground) wires should be touching the actual box.

Usually based on direction of travel you can tell where problem is.

PANEL - - - - - - - recp 1 - - - - - - - - - recp 2 - - - - - - - - - recp 3 - - - - - - etc.
My guess is the receptacle that's good there now would be the number 1......closest to panel. If that's the case then the problem is either at recp 1 or recp 2.
 
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Old 01-06-13, 12:18 PM
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I turned off the circuit and checked all of the receptacles. The 2 in question both had black wire to the large slot and white wire to the small slot (opposite of what it should be). I rewired both of those to the correct alignment - black to small slot (right side), white to small slot (left side), ground to green screw. The 3rd receptacle was wired correctly (although it still shows open ground when I check it even though it has ground going to the green screw).

I then went back with my voltmeter and retested all 3 receptacles. I got:
120v from the small slot to the known ground and the receptacle ground.
0v from large slot to known ground and receptacle ground
0v from ground to known ground

I plugged in my TV and DirecTV receiver and received 0v on both from the component and HDMI inputs using the known ground.

I don't want to go any further with my setup until confirming with you that this all sounds correct. Do you think the problem has been solved at this point?
 
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Old 01-06-13, 12:23 PM
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I meant "white to large slot (left side)" on the previous post. Sorry about that.
 
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Old 01-06-13, 01:07 PM
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Great job......sounds like you have everything done correctly.
 
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Old 01-06-13, 02:42 PM
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I appreciate your help PJmax. I was pretty damn frustrated with this set up not working, but now it's working great. Thanks for your patience since I'm a novice with checking circuits. I do have to say I'm pretty disappointed in the electrician we called, but I am really glad you hoped on this thread to help me out.
 
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Old 01-07-13, 03:36 AM
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Nicely done PJmax and Curtsams!

Curtsams, I would suggest that you now test every receptacle in the house just to be safe. A $6 tester from any big box store can make the job easy.

Tenma Receptacle Tester with Ground | GTE-500 (GTE500) | Tenma
 
 

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