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Old 05-27-2008, 02:39 AM   #1
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Shocked from conduit


I touched the metal conduit in my garage tonight and received a nice little shock. There are two outlets, the first being a gfci, the conduit runs from the attic, where it is spliced into the lighting for the garage, down into the gfci outlet. It is the old ungrounded wire.

I used the outlet last week without issue and nothing else has changed since. Tomorrow after work I plan on turning off the panel and checking all wiring for the circuit. If I don't find anything obvious I plan on calling a professional.

Any thoughts?

Thanks,
Ben

PS- the garage circuit is currently off.

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Old 05-27-2008, 09:20 AM   #2
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Shocked from conduit


It sounds like you might have two problems. 1st, the conduit is not bonded to ground as it must be. 2nd, you have a short circuit to the ungrounded conduit. By bonded to ground, I am not talking about earth, but the ground in your electric service.

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Old 05-27-2008, 10:19 AM   #3
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Shocked from conduit


Quote:
Originally Posted by jrclen View Post
It sounds like you might have two problems. 1st, the conduit is not bonded to ground as it must be. 2nd, you have a short circuit to the ungrounded conduit. By bonded to ground, I am not talking about earth, but the ground in your electric service.
Yeah, I've seen this many times. The electricians run the garage circuit underground in PVC and then transition to the garage with a short section of rigid/LB. When you open the box, you find two wires, no ground.
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Old 05-27-2008, 11:23 AM   #4
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Shocked from conduit


Thanks for the info. The conduit is not bonded to the ground because currently there is no ground. Tonight I will run new circuit to the garage with 12/2 and check all conections.

Do I need a bonding jumper from the conduit to ground or is the connection to the metal box enough to ground the conduit? Assuming the box is grounded.

Thanks,
Ben
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Old 05-27-2008, 12:24 PM   #5
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Shocked from conduit


Is the complete circuit in conduit? Meaning does the conduit make an unbroken path all the way back to the panel. It does not have to be direct path, but connected to the panel by metal boxes, condulets and conduit. If so you may want to check that all the connectors and couplings have not seperated.
You mention you are going to pull 12/2 to the garage. If it is in conduit why use 12/2, use single conductors and pull a ground (egc)with them.
In some jurisdictions the conduit can be the ground and in some it cannot. Some jurisdictions even require grounded pigtails attached to the metal boxes even if in metal conduit. I always pull a ground in metal conduit.
If it were my house I would replace the section with the old wire with a 3 conductor circuit. And if there was conduit in place I would use it.
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Old 05-27-2008, 01:30 PM   #6
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Shocked from conduit


Nope, the only part of the circuit in conduit is in the garage because it is mounted on the wall. The reason I was thinking about running a new 12/2 with ground circuit is because currently the garage is not on its own circuit some of the dinning room lights share its circuit. When I run the new circuit I will isolate the garage.
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Old 05-27-2008, 01:40 PM   #7
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Shocked from conduit


In my locality, everything is in emt and you are allowed to use the raceway system as the EGC. As many have argued in the past, this grounding method is fine however its integrity is directly related to that of the raceway system (i.e. locknuts must be tight at box connections, set screws must be tight, metal surfaces must be free from rust, etc.).

Since you are installing new circuit conductors to the garage (and removing it from the dining room lighting circuit, a good idea), I'd strongly consider J.V.'s advice and pull in an EGC. Terminate it in the panel as well as in the first metal box in the garage. You don't need to install bond bushings on the box connectors; as long as the locknuts are tight, the rest of the metal raceway system in the garage will be effectively bonded.

Take care,
Jimmy
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Old 05-28-2008, 11:22 AM   #8
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Shocked from conduit


If dining room circuit is also on a kitchen you cannot go into the garage with based on NEC code I believe. Someone who knows NEC better can confirm.
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Old 05-29-2008, 01:08 AM   #9
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Shocked from conduit


I recently re-wired the garage at my parents house, originally the garage shared the same circuit with the kitchen, dining room and stairway lights to the basement. Re-wired it and now the garage has a dedicated 20 amp for the lights and most outlets, and then I wired a dedicated 20 amp circuit for heavy tools with a quad outlet next to the panel (where a air compressor plugs in) and a 20 amp twist-lock that runs a 40' 12/3 cord that also has a quad outlet box on the end. Looking back, I would highly recommend a separate 15 amp circuit for the lights (probably could put the garage door opener on there too) and a 20 amp circuit for the outlets. There have been numerous times in the winter months running a few halogen work lights and a space heater that have left us in the dark (just reminding us to use the dedicated outlet circuit for the heavy tools).

If you don't forsee the need for heavy duty tools or anything like that, than a single dedicated 20 amp circuit should be fine. I think the original circuit in my case was a 15 amp for the garage and the lights in the house.

From the sounds of it, your conduit just ends in the attic of the garage? Is there a junction box that makes the connection? I would probably continue the conduit as close to the panel as you can, though I have had a bit of experience bending conduit so this would be my preferred method. Best option would be to at least terminate the new wire in a junction box to make the transition from the romex to conduit, just keep in mind the junction box must be accessible and cannot be buried in the wall or ceiling.
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Old 05-29-2008, 10:08 AM   #10
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Shocked from conduit


Wired a new 20 Amp circuit into a Jbox in the attic which is attached to the conduit. It also ties into the garage lighting circuit at this point so now the garage is completely on its own circuit and grounded.
I donít really need anymore then one circuit at this time, the garage is a small one car garage not much room for tools. I keep all those in the basement workshop.
And the best part is no shock from the conduit when I was done.

Thanks for all the help.

Ben
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Old 05-29-2008, 01:20 PM   #11
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Shocked from conduit


Glad everything worked out for you! In your situation with a 1 car garage and a separate tool shop a 20 amp circuit is plenty for the garage. Parents house is a 2 car garage and the workshop is apart of that setup, it requires a bit more power.

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