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Old 06-20-2012, 08:21 AM   #1
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Outside water spigot has electrical current


Just recently I realized one of my 3 outdoor spigots seems to have an electrical current. The ground still looks to be hooked up and I haven't noticed anything else. I'm going to buy a meter to measure it this afternoon. How do I eliminate this problem before someone gets hurt?

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Old 06-20-2012, 08:28 AM   #2
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Outside water spigot has electrical current


What gave you the idea that the spigot was energized??

Did you receive a shock?

If so--there may be a power leakage in the ground around the spigot--and touching the grounded piping completed the circuit---

What wiring is near that spot?

An electrician will be along soon---

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Old 06-20-2012, 08:31 AM   #3
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Outside water spigot has electrical current


I think you said everything that can be said Mike.
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Old 06-20-2012, 09:58 AM   #4
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Outside water spigot has electrical current


There isn't much. It is at the far end of the house. The only thing I can think of is we have one of those cheap pools with a pump. There is an extension cord near the spigot for the pump. I can try to unplug that and see if it goes away.

I checked the pipe inb thebasement and it seems to be grounded and clear of anything else. I'm not an electrician though, so I couldbe mistaken. I will check when I get back home this afternoon and provide an update.
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Old 06-20-2012, 10:18 AM   #5
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Outside water spigot has electrical current


To answer your question, I felt the energize when unhooking the hose. Not a strong shock, but the "buzzing" feeling that makes you want to let go.
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Old 06-20-2012, 11:39 AM   #6
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Outside water spigot has electrical current


Best to call an electrician due to safety issues!

If you must do this yourself, use a voltmeter to measure the voltage from the pipe to the ground where you were standing (instead of using your body!).

Pour some salt water on the ground where you were standing, then place one test lead from the meter there. Salt water helps to conduct electricity.

Measure the voltage from the pipe to the wet ground area.

Then turn off the main power to your house (all the power). See if the problem goes away.

If the problem goes away, then turn main power back on, verify problem returns, then turn off one circuit at a time. See which breaker makes the problem go away. That circuit will have the appliance on it which is "leaking" electricity to ground.

If the problem does not go away when you turn off your main power, keep in mind metal water pipes can connect to everything including the metal city water main and neighbor's homes. A neighbor could have an electrical problem leaking electricity to the metal water pipe system.

Or the "neutral" wire for the electric company's electric lines also connects to neighbor's electrical service. Again could be a problem with a neighbor.

If that is the case (turning off your electric does not remove problem), I would call the electric company.
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Old 06-20-2012, 01:35 PM   #7
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Outside water spigot has electrical current


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There isn't much. It is at the far end of the house. The only thing I can think of is we have one of those cheap pools with a pump. There is an extension cord near the spigot for the pump. I can try to unplug that and see if it goes away.
Check the cord, it's probably damaged in some spot. Is it plugged into a GFCI protected outlet?
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Old 06-20-2012, 02:48 PM   #8
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Outside water spigot has electrical current


I would advise you not to try to troubleshoot this yourself, but to immediately call an electrician and have them come out today. This is potentially an extremely dangerous situation. It is also potentially very complicated (although it may not be). Diagnosing the problem (actually, even just being around it at all) may expose you to unexpected electrified surfaces. This is not a beginner's project.
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Old 06-20-2012, 03:09 PM   #9
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Outside water spigot has electrical current


One of my neighbors had electrified siding---nail through a wire---
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Old 06-20-2012, 07:10 PM   #10
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Outside water spigot has electrical current


I troubleshot a job with a kid getting shocked by a water spigot, after some simple tests, the results were an partially failed concentric primary neutral conductor... nothing to mess around with, I tested the spigot with results of 58volts.
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Old 06-20-2012, 09:56 PM   #11
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Outside water spigot has electrical current


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Originally Posted by Standav View Post
Just recently I realized one of my 3 outdoor spigots seems to have an electrical current. The ground still looks to be hooked up and I haven't noticed anything else. I'm going to buy a meter to measure it this afternoon. How do I eliminate this problem before someone gets hurt?
Get an ac volt meter,
hook up one end to the spigot,
The other end goes in to the ground near by ,
Are you reading a voltage ?
Turn circuits and appliances off one by one,
You will soon find what is causing the leakage.
If you cannot find it,
Please call an electricain.
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Old 06-21-2012, 07:46 PM   #12
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Outside water spigot has electrical current


I'm getting 4 volts. Haven't had a chance to check each breaker yet.
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Old 06-21-2012, 07:50 PM   #13
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Outside water spigot has electrical current


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I'm getting 4 volts. Haven't had a chance to check each breaker yet.
just shut the main off, if it goes away, then you know its an internal problem, if it doesn't, then its external.
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Old 06-21-2012, 09:27 PM   #14
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Outside water spigot has electrical current


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I'm getting 4 volts. Haven't had a chance to check each breaker yet.
4V is not perceptible except under extraordinary circumstances. Whatever you felt, if it was as you described, was not a 4V shock. Your measurement may not have been between the correct reference points.
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Old 06-21-2012, 09:27 PM   #15
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Outside water spigot has electrical current


I shut off the main and was still getting a reading of about 3.5 volts. What's this mean?

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