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Hi, just thought someone may have an idea what is going on.....we are in a rented unit in Central Australia, hubby had a bath the other day (first time we've used it as normally shower) he'd been in the bath 10 mins and went to top up the hotwater. He said he felt a tingle/pain travel up his arm when he touched the tap, he wasn't sure if he pulled a nerve or something but on moving his arm couldn't feel anything wrong, so went back to turn on the tap and the same thing happened. He figured it is electricity. We got in touch with land lord who said as its so dry here it was probably static, although hubby said he thought it was not static as he said it felt very different to that, plus he was actually in a bath of water and the bathroom is fully tiled. Anyway, the landlord touched the taps and nothing (we already tried this when we were standing on the floor and dry and also felt nothing) he then touched the tap and the plughole (metal) at the same time and still nothing happened. He said he'd send his "sort of electrician" son round to look at it the next day, that was a week ago, still waiting. So i am now woried there is something seriously dangerous going on, we haven't had any probs in the shower sinks etc, should i be worried??
Thanks Claire
 

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Wire Chewer
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I'm no expert, but is your drain piping copper, and is it bonded? Does it only do it to hot water? May also indicate a bonding issue with that line (should be copper going from hot to cold at the hot water heater). Is the shock painful, like 120v painful, or just a small tingle? Does sound like stray voltage that should not be there though...

Lets see what the experts have to say.
 

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Yes it is certainly a problem, and you won't be able to feel a shock if you are standing on dry tile and only touching the tap. A real electrician needs to check this out, not a "sort of electrician". It may be due to the metal plumbing not being properly "earthed", as you Aussies say. It is only a tingle now, but could become worse. Soldiers in Iraq have been killed while showering due to a similar problem.
 

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If i recall the Aussie rules if you have electric water heater it should be on the RCD.

The other issue is you may have bonding issue and this part you will need a real electrician to come out and have them test it out and check the system to make sure it do meet the reguations.

Merci,Marc
 

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he'd been in the bath 10 mins and went to top up the hotwater. He said he felt a tingle/pain travel up his arm when he touched the tap, he wasn't sure if he pulled a nerve or something but on moving his arm couldn't feel anything wrong, so went back to turn on the tap and the same thing happened.
Measure the voltage between the bath water & tap. If it's more than 0.5vac at 50/60 Hz you have a problem. If it measures 120 vac your husband got away lucky, twice, and used up most of his lifetime allotment of luck.

With tingle/pain I'm thinking 5 mA flowed, see Fig. 15 below
http://www.easternvoltageresearch.com/datasheets/safety.pdf

This is extremely dangerous.

You can make a tester out of a milliammeter and resistors so you don't risk someone's life while you are trying fixes.

Your landlord is responsible for the repair of this problem. Maybe if you showed him this link. . .
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wrongful_death_claim
 

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Call an experienced professional now.

There are several things that cause water piping to become energized. None of them are easy DIY fixes.

Make the call.
 
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