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Old 02-01-2010, 08:42 PM   #1
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Electrical problem

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Old 02-01-2010, 09:13 PM   #2
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I have a large problem in my household and that is; When I'm taking a shower and I go to turn the water fixture, I get an electrical shock. Now this has been going on for some time now. So in order for me to take a shower I had to stand outside the tub and turn the water on to keep from getting shocked. Now I've had one electrician come over and he tried to locate where the problem is coming from. We've checked the circuit breaker in the basement and followed all leads going upstairs where the bathroom is located. And we've found a circuit where the bathroom is as well as the adjoining rooms are. When we checked the bathtub, it's reading was hot! And when we checked around the bottom of the toilet bowl, it too is hot! The sink is on the opposite side of the tub and we get a reading of 120 volts w/it as well. So aside from the tub, all in the bathroom reads 120 volts.
We've also checked the kitchen ceiling removing just about all of it in order to check the wires we could see. But the bottom line is, everything that we've checked on the circuit a lined w/the bathroom, the middle room and the back room we either get a reading of
ground (continuity) or we get a reading volts of 120. We've removed a couple of baseboards to see where the piping from the bathroom goes and to see if it's connected to any wiring but due to the way this old house is built the beams are rather covering the pipes and some of the wires. And when we read those wires, we either get a reading of 120 volts or ground.
Now we're at a stand still not knowing where to go next. What do you think?


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Old 02-02-2010, 12:02 PM   #3
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I think you need an electrician that knows what he is doing. This is very dangerous and you should not use the shower or toilet in that bathroom until this is located and corrected. If your guy cannot figure out what wrong, call another licensed electrical contractor. This is a serious problem. Call someone today and lock the door to the bathroom.
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Old 02-02-2010, 12:15 PM   #4
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one of the first things I would do it turn off breakers, one at a time, trying to determine which, if any, circuit is the actual problem. This should help you track a specific circuit rather than all of them.

then, you also need to make sure all metal systems in the house are bonded properly and bonded to a grounding electrode system.

obviously and especially important is the plumbing system.

You also need to investigate a all too common problem which is either a reversed ground/neutral somewhere in the house or a boot leg ground which is where somebody used the neutral for a ground in a circuit.

Either of those could cause anything bonded to the ground to become part of the neutral system and if the path of least resistance is somehow through the plumbing of concern, you get what you have.

another possibility is a poor neutral connection from your panel to the power company. If the current is confronted with a high resistance connection and the grounding system has a low enough resistance, you could end up with a current flow on the grounding system.

there is a lot of things that could cause the problem you are facing but due to the fact you are faced with 120 volts, I would look for a short between a circuit and the plumbing and not all of the plumbing being bonded to a grounding system.

and as JV stated, this is extremely serious (read: DEADLY) situation so nobody should be using anything in this bathroom until it is fixed.
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