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Old 05-18-2009, 10:48 AM   #1
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water pipe energized


I was replacing kitchen faucet, and got a shock when touching a pipe. What a surprise that was. I was not expecting any electric down there. Any ideas why this happened and what needs to be done to correct it?

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Old 05-18-2009, 10:55 AM   #2
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I was replacing kitchen faucet, and got a shock when touching a pipe. What a surprise that was. I was not expecting any electric down there. Any ideas why this happened and what needs to be done to correct it?
What other conductive (metal) surface were you touching? That other place is likely what has the voltage on it.

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Old 05-18-2009, 10:57 AM   #3
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water pipe energized


Well, I was laying in the floor working under the sink. The only thing I could have possibly been touching would be a dishwaher.... not sure I was, but I could have been touching with my foot??? Make sense?
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Old 05-18-2009, 12:02 PM   #4
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Well, I was laying in the floor working under the sink. The only thing I could have possibly been touching would be a dishwaher.... not sure I was, but I could have been touching with my foot??? Make sense?
It's "lying"; "laying" is a whole 'nother thang.

It makes more sense if you were barefoot.

One dishwasher/faucet is hot and the other faucet/dishwasher is grounded.

If you have an incand. lamp and a
http://images.lowes.com/product/conv...64481000md.jpg
and an extension cord and a clip lead and a copper water pipe entering your house, put the lamp between the pipe and 1) the dishwasher shell, 2) the faucet. If the bulb lights in either case you have a potentially deadly elec. prob.
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Old 05-18-2009, 12:28 PM   #5
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water pipe energized


Contact the power company first. If it's not their issue, call a good electrician.

Do it now.

There are many ways this can happen. The most common seems to be an open (broken/loose) neutral on your side or the power company's side.

If you were touching a dishwasher which had a ground fault, the power could hane been coming from there. It's easy to test with a voltage meter. One lead on the DW frame and one on the water pipe.

Last edited by 220/221; 05-18-2009 at 02:47 PM.
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Old 05-18-2009, 01:09 PM   #6
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water pipe energized


I'm not sure how you are jumping to the "open service neutral" conclusion here 220/221... Most likely this is just a simple ground fault. For it to be an open svc neutral he would also have to have faulty bonding on his pipes.


Don't get me wrong, any time you get an unexpected shock from your electrical system (no matter how mild) it's a serious situation that warrants immediate attention... but we should probably work in order of most likely to least likely.

Last edited by Gigs; 05-18-2009 at 01:15 PM.
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Old 05-18-2009, 02:46 PM   #7
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For it to be an open svc neutral he would also have to have faulty bonding on his pipes.
Actually, proper bonding would cause the energized pipes if the service neutral was open. All that "neutral" current is trying to go back to "ground" and will do so via properly bonded piping.

I'm not saying this IS the case. I'm just saying that the free call to the POCO is the first step. A call to an electrician is the second.



Cast iron sink. The other fluke lead goes to the service ground. This was not a service neutral issue BTW. None of the energized water pipe calls I have had were service related. All were branch circuit issues.


Last edited by 220/221; 05-18-2009 at 02:50 PM.
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Old 05-18-2009, 03:54 PM   #8
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Cast iron sink. The other fluke lead goes to the service ground.
True/false?
The 22 vac is a phantom voltage.
The Fluke's low input impedance reduced this from 120vac or 60vac to 22vac.
No shock possible at 22vac.
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Old 05-18-2009, 04:38 PM   #9
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No shock possible at 22vac
Homeowner felt shocks. I didn't use my fingers to test.

There were several areas of concern with the 1950's BX dishwasher/refer/counter top recep circuit that produced the voltage at the sink. I read it from the sink to the faucet, then ran a test wire to the service ground to see which way it was coming.

We were doing a service change/relocate anyway so I just ran a couple new circuits and eliminated the issue.
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Old 05-18-2009, 08:21 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoyizit View Post
True/false?
The 22 vac is a phantom voltage.
The Fluke's low input impedance reduced this from 120vac or 60vac to 22vac.
No shock possible at 22vac.
The 22 vac is a phantom voltage.
False. The water piping shouldn't have any induced voltage upon it. Induced voltage comes from one conductor being in close proximity to another conc. such as the travelers on a 3-way.


The Fluke's low input impedance reduced this from 120vac or 60vac to 22vac.
False. The Fluke has a high input impedence (10 megs)

No shock possible at 22vac
False. You most certainly can get shocked off of 22 vac. Here's a little test for you. Go get a little nine volt battery, like the one in your Fluke 87. Now stick it on your tongue and tell me how that feels!

The 22 volts is most likely a real voltage caused by who knows what, bad water pump, bad water heater element, it could be many different things. Welcome to the real world, it differs from the internet and textbooks
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Old 05-18-2009, 08:31 PM   #11
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The 22 volts is most likely a real voltage caused by who knows what, bad water pump, bad water heater element, it could be many different things. Welcome to the real world, it differs from the internet and textbooks
That's my question.
How do you generate 22 real volts from 120/240v? Two unequal 120v loads in series and you pick off the midpoint?
And this voltage gets to the sink or the faucet?

Usually I load down these kinds of voltages with 100 ohms/100w to see what kind of source resistance I'm looking at.

Fer' sure, Reality Bites.

Last edited by Yoyizit; 05-18-2009 at 08:35 PM.
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Old 05-18-2009, 08:50 PM   #12
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That's my question.
How do you generate 22 real volts from 120/240v? Two unequal 120v loads in series and you pick off the midpoint?
And this voltage gets to the sink or the faucet?

.
How? You can get any voltage you want, it would all depend upon how far gone the insulation is on the winding of the pump motor, or the element on a water heater or a million other ways.
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Old 05-19-2009, 06:44 AM   #13
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I can detect switching power supplies that are improperly grounded through my fingers, most people can't feel that leakage with their hands though. It all depends on the situation and the person.
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Old 05-19-2009, 07:03 AM   #14
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water pipe energized


My advice to the OP is to get an electrician over there ASAP and have a professional resolve this. This requires a 'qualified person' to assess on-site and properly repair.

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