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Old 04-21-2008, 03:22 PM   #1
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ouside hose faucet is LIVE!!!


I have an issue, just bought a 120 year old home... I was outside playing with the hose with my 3 year old daughter and as I was turning the hose on and off, I noticed something every time I touched the valve...it's LIVE... I was getting a shock everytime I touched it, and I would assume my daughter was too... it's very small....not much power... Directly underneath the faucet is a conduit that is runing electricity from my house to the barn... could that be the problem? or what else could it be... looked at it from the inside and I can't figure out what the problem is. HELP me before someone get's hurt!!!

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Old 04-21-2008, 03:34 PM   #2
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ouside hose faucet is LIVE!!!


Sounds like you're suffering from a loose neutral in your service and/or a loose ground.

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Old 04-21-2008, 03:38 PM   #3
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ouside hose faucet is LIVE!!!


You need to verify that your ground in the panel is bonded to the water line. Verify there i s no plastic pipe breaking the bond to the hose bib.
Then start turning off breakers and see which one makes the leak go away. This is often caused by a faulty water heater electric element.
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Old 04-21-2008, 03:43 PM   #4
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ouside hose faucet is LIVE!!!


Call an electrician for goodness sake! The shock you're feeling is the current looking for a path to the source. It only takes a very, very, very small/imperceivable amount of current traveling though your heart to kill you...If you can feel it, it is more than enough to kill you if the conditions are right.

A loose service neutral is the first place I'd look.

Please, call an electrician. This is an incredibly dangerous situation.
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Old 04-21-2008, 03:44 PM   #5
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ouside hose faucet is LIVE!!!


If the shock is minimial now, could it potentially spike and seriously hurt someone between now and when it gets fixed? Just want to know if I should make sure no one goes near it! Thanks.
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Old 04-21-2008, 03:45 PM   #6
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ouside hose faucet is LIVE!!!


The previous post answered my question! Thanks...
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Old 04-21-2008, 03:50 PM   #7
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ouside hose faucet is LIVE!!!


Quote:
Originally Posted by joed View Post
You need to verify that your ground in the panel is bonded to the water line. Verify there i s no plastic pipe breaking the bond to the hose bib.
This has nothing to do with the hose bib being energized. Metal parts in a residential water supply system are not required to be bonded together. The grounding electrode conductor that goes from the service main to the copper underground water service line is for dissipation of lightning strikes, and the plumbing system should otherwise never be engergized.
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Old 04-21-2008, 03:53 PM   #8
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ouside hose faucet is LIVE!!!


Quote:
Originally Posted by rdmccaw View Post
If the shock is minimial now, could it potentially spike and seriously hurt someone between now and when it gets fixed? Just want to know if I should make sure no one goes near it! Thanks.
Yes, but it doesn't need to spike. It is plenty to do the job as is. Factors such as they type of shoes you're wearing can even make or break it.

Just don't go near it, and don't touch your pipes anywhere in the house for safety's sake until someone qualified has looked at it.

I had the same thing happen with a local resident...His feet tingled every time he used the shower.

Every time you touch a faucet in your house, you could be at a very real risk.

This can't wait.
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Old 04-21-2008, 05:51 PM   #9
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ouside hose faucet is LIVE!!!


Had a water heater element going bad and it would shock you if you touched the drain basket with your toe while in the shower, did not take long to get it repaired!!!
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Old 04-21-2008, 06:22 PM   #10
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ouside hose faucet is LIVE!!!


Quote:
Please, call an electrician. This is an incredibly dangerous situation.
I second that. So don't go snooping around for the problem yourself. You will probably have the utility involved before this is over. In fact I just might call them and say you think your service neutral is bad because your dog can't let go of the metal hose spiket and seems to be shaking uncontrollably. Before you hang up there just might a utility troubleshooter pulling into your driveway.

Could be the the undergroud wire also, however when Joed said turn off breakers to see if the problem goes away...he did not mean to go touch the water spiket to see if you are still getting shocked......

Last edited by Stubbie; 04-21-2008 at 06:27 PM.
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Old 04-21-2008, 07:24 PM   #11
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ouside hose faucet is LIVE!!!


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If the shock is minimial now, could it potentially spike and seriously hurt someone between now and when it gets fixed?
Someone could get killed. Is that serious enough?

Call someone now. It is likely that your entire piping system is "hot" and you could get killed in th shower.


Have it fixed TODAY. Find someone competent. An old electrician would be a good bet.
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Old 04-21-2008, 09:19 PM   #12
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ouside hose faucet is LIVE!!!


a similar thing happened to me while on vacation in a hotel in acapulco mexico. touched the metal grab bar while in the shower and i felt a dull thudding.. didn't even notice it at first.. but being trained in electricity .. my subconscious mind was going bizurk! then i clued in that i was being electrocuted. not seriously enough to be injured, but obviously it was just a mater of time.

told the hotel management straight away, but they didn't do anything. i was so pissed.. if this were my home country i would have the entire place shut down. but alas.. i don't know their laws. can only report.

i showered in the ocean instead and decided never to return to acapulco (for other reasons too, not just the lax response to life threatening event).

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Old 04-22-2008, 08:34 AM   #13
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ouside hose faucet is LIVE!!!


An update to my problem, last night I took a multimeter... tested all the faucets, sinks, pipes and the outside faucet...nothing...no voltage... so could it be that it may only be a problem when my well pump is going (and there is a trickle of charge coming through the water)? When I felt the shock my girls had the hose on for 30 mins so I'm sure the pump was filling the tank... I was also standing in my bare feet in a puddle of water on the ground (so I think I was grounded)...
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Old 04-22-2008, 08:56 AM   #14
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ouside hose faucet is LIVE!!!


That makes sense. The wire going down the well could be frayed and exposed thus applying power to the water. Do the test again with the pump running.
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Old 04-22-2008, 09:10 AM   #15
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ouside hose faucet is LIVE!!!


No offense, but if you aren't a licensed electrician, this is over your head, multi-meter or not. Trying to save $200 could very possibly cause you or a family member to lose their life.

You asked for good advice and you got it. I understand that this is a DIY forum, but some things aren't for DIY-ers. In this situation, for anyone to give any advice other than to call an electrician is irresponsible in my professional opinion.

I'll get off my soap box now.

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Last edited by Termite; 04-22-2008 at 09:13 AM.
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