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Old 10-25-2008, 03:38 AM   #1
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Small current though power switched off?

Hi everyone,

Quick question here and I was hoping someone here could help me out.

One of the sockets in my house was busted so I was changing it there this morning. To keep safe, I switched off the power to the electrical circuit of the whole flat from the switch box.

While dealing with the wires coming out of the wall, I got a small shock. I wouldn't really call it a shock really... more of a tingle but it scared the living daylights out of me. I insulated one of the wires and continued my work to ensure that I don't short them again but how could that have happened?

Also, could anyone recommend a link to give me a basic understanding of an electrical circuit in the home including a socket that has a pin for earth?

Thanks in advance.


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Old 10-25-2008, 02:57 PM   #2
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Small current though power switched off?

Was this 'small' shock between the hot (black or Red) wire and the neutral (white) wire, or hot and the ground (green or bare copper) wire?
If you have an AC voltmeter, measure the voltage between the two wires that gave you the shock.

If you get more than a few volts with the power shut off, I would suspect a bad ground, and leakage into that ground from the breaker panel or somewhere upstream of that. That would be a very dangerous situation, and you should call a licensed electrician to check it out.

Your best bet for learning about electricity, is to pick up one of the electrical DIY books from your local Home Depot (or Lowes, etc) or the public library.
You can also Google whatever you want to know. There are lots of informational web sites out there.



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Old 10-25-2008, 03:39 PM   #3
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Small current though power switched off?

You need to check the voltage when the main is pulled, or turned off. Is your box full? Someone could have tied into the main lugs in the panel...
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