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Old 11-05-2013, 11:18 PM   #1
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Throw away your non-contact tester. Give you a clue about how those things work. They work off of the magnetic field created, when current is flowing through a circuit. Most of them are just junk, and tend to either give off false alerts, or pick up there is voltage present, because there is either another circuit in that box, or running next to it somewhere.

Also if this is an apartment, that means rental. If it is a rental unit, you do not hold a license to work on electrical work, I would just call the owner and let them deal with any problems.

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Old 11-05-2013, 11:57 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by gregzoll View Post
Throw away your non-contact tester. Give you a clue about how those things work. They work off of the magnetic field created, when current is flowing through a circuit. Most of them are just junk, and tend to either give off false alerts, or pick up there is voltage present, because there is either another circuit in that box, or running next to it somewhere.

Also if this is an apartment, that means rental. If it is a rental unit, you do not hold a license to work on electrical work, I would just call the owner and let them deal with any problems.
I appreciate the input, but you obviously didnt read my whole post...Im the bonded insured maintenance tech. Its a govt. owned property, I could do anything as long as it could pass inspection. Im well aware of my limits however, so I wont be doing the work...I just want to learn more is all.

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Old 11-06-2013, 12:02 AM   #3
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You will always read voltage from Hot to Ground, or Hot to Neutral. You should never read any voltage from Neutral to Ground, or any metal piping such as the Cold Water pipe to Ground.

If you are reading significant voltage from Copper piping or Neutral to Ground, you have some serious issues that need to be addressed. As for being a bonded insured maintenance technician, that still does not make you a licensed professional Electrician.

Again, if you are seeing voltage from say a Copper Cold water main to the ground rod, or the Neutral Connection to the Ground Rod at the Main panel or meter, time to call in the Power Company and a real electrician.
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Old 11-06-2013, 12:17 AM   #4
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As for being a bonded insured maintenance technician, that still does not make you a licensed professional Electrician.
.
I know...thats why Im not doing the work.
Would I be on here asking this question if I were a professional electrician?

You really know how to make things difficult.
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Old 11-06-2013, 12:32 AM   #5
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You really know how to make things difficult.
Welcome to the forum, where people would rather hear themselves talk than actually listen.
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Old 11-06-2013, 07:01 AM   #6
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Welcome to the forum, where people would rather hear themselves talk than actually listen.
That is true for some people on this forum. The first step in troubleshooting a problem like this should be to get a high quality (low impedance) voltmeter (T+ by Fluke is a good model) and a long extension cord. The extension cord should be attached to a KNOWN good ground reference. Unfortunately, a good ground reference can be hard to find and since all voltage measurements are relative, between to points, a good reference is needed. Regardless, you cannot be shocked by touching a single surface. Voltage readings between the two surfaces that you were touching when getting shocked would be useful.

Other than that, this could be a difficult problem to diagnose over the internet. I'm going out on a limb and guess that this service does not have a proper grounding electrode system and that the neutral has been compromised. Again, voltage readings would help.

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Old 11-06-2013, 07:06 AM   #7
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I'm no licensed electrician, but let's look at the clues. He said he turned off every breaker in the panel and the ground was still hot. Doesn't that suggest that the ground wire is somehow connected to something hot "high up" in the panel, directly or indirectly? I think if the guy says the wire was hot even with all the breakers off, we should take him at his word until we know otherwise.
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Old 11-06-2013, 04:23 PM   #8
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No, it does not imply that the ground is connected to something hot. It sounds to me that you have a bad grounding system and the utility neutral has been compromised.
Explain exactly what you mean by "bad" and "compromised".
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Old 11-06-2013, 04:31 PM   #9
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So basically, a guy gets a shock from his ground wire, and our best advice to him is that his ground is "bad"? Or possibly "compromised"? And also that it is not connected to anything hot? Oooo-kaaaay.
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Old 11-06-2013, 07:03 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by jeffnc
So basically, a guy gets a shock from his ground wire, and our best advice to him is that his ground is "bad"? Or possibly "compromised"? And also that it is not connected to anything hot? Oooo-kaaaay.
No. I am waiting for the op to answer some of the questions myself and the other professionals have posed. Once he provides more info then someone may respond with additional info. That's kinda how it's supposed to work.

Troubleshooting electrical problems on the internet is like doing it over the phone. The more info I have the better the odds I can figure it out.

Are we to assume since you are participating in this thread you are a professional?
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Old 11-06-2013, 07:29 PM   #11
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Are we to assume since you are participating in this thread you are a professional?

Bahahaha!!!
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Old 11-06-2013, 07:36 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by jeffnc View Post
So basically, a guy gets a shock from his ground wire, and our best advice to him is that his ground is "bad"? Or possibly "compromised"? And also that it is not connected to anything hot? Oooo-kaaaay.
As you stated, you are not an electrician...

To further your knowledge and understand what I was getting at, read this...

http://inspectapedia.com/electric/El...utral_Lost.htm
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Old 11-06-2013, 07:59 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Philly Master View Post
turn off breakers till you get NO current in the ground wire ....
HE ALREADY SAID HE TURNED OFF ALL BREAKERS AND THE WIRE IS STILL LIVE. You can choose to believe him or not.

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"QUALIFIED"
I may not be a licensed electrician, but I am certainly qualified to read English and draw logical conclusions. So far the OP has been advised to "turn off all breakers", that his ground is "bad", and that the fact that he is getting shocked does not imply it's connected to electricity. Battin' a thousand guys.

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Old 11-06-2013, 08:02 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by k_buz View Post
As you stated, you are not an electrician...

To further your knowledge and understand what I was getting at, read this...

http://inspectapedia.com/electric/El...utral_Lost.htm
That is hardly what you said. That well explained site explains "Normally the neutral-to-ground bond is made in the main electrical panel and not in sub panels, lest grounding conductors end up carrying current during normal operations - a shock hazard."

In other words, the ground wire was attached directly or indirectly to a wire carrying a live current. In other words, what I stated previously, and what you already disagreed with.
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Old 11-06-2013, 08:10 PM   #15
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That is hardly what you said. That well explained site explains "Normally the neutral-to-ground bond is made in the main electrical panel and not in sub panels, lest grounding conductors end up carrying current during normal operations - a shock hazard."

In other words, the ground wire was attached directly or indirectly to a wire carrying a live current. In other words, what I stated previously, and what you already disagreed with.
That article was supposed to show you that a hot wire does not need to be contact with a ground wire to have a shock hazard. I was not stating that this was the exact situation I was suspecting.

I was giving a couple possibilities of things that could product the result the OP described. Since the OP hasn't been back for almost 24 hrs, I sense this is a dead issue anyway.

And before you argue with me, I know it hasn't been quite 24 hrs since the OP.

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