DIY Home Improvement Forum banner

1 - 20 of 44 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi, I'm from Sri Lanka and am new to the forum.

The house we are live in is an old one. Walls are kinda infested with ants..they come out of switch placements on the wall, even from some plug points.

When I touch my computer casing and CRT monitor screen I get a heavy vibration or shock, its unbearable to the skin..it shocks me as long as I touch the ground..when am touching the monitor with legs off the ground, if someone else touches me with his feet on the ground, he too gets a huge shock...This seems to be more than normal...

I'm afraid that this possible leak to earthing would kill electronics of my PC.

The earthing of the house is apparently ok..

The monthly electricity bill too seem to be higher...

Could there be some current sent to earth? thanks
 

·
Semi-Pro Electro-Geek
Joined
·
3,403 Posts
Sounds like you have no bond between neutral and ground at your service, and you have a ground fault somewhere on the system. As a result, your "grounded" metal is electrified and you have lots of current flowing into your ground rod all the time. This is a very dangerous condition, and must be fixed immediately. Forget damaging the electronics - it's going to kill someone. You need to bond the utility neutral to your grounding system, and fix the ground fault, wherever it is. Bonding the neutral will probably result in an immediately blown fuse or tripped breaker, since you have a ground fault. That will help identify which circuit has the ground fault.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Thank you all....so should I check with the circuit breaker/fuse box first? I must ask someone to fix this fast...Cant I check this by myself?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Go outside and find your main breaker box.

Once you find that main box, find the main ckt breaker. It's usually the biggest one in there.

Flip it off.

You and your house is now safe.
You told that for real? are you talking about the main switch or the main supply fuse? :(
 

·
Wire Chewer
Joined
·
3,579 Posts
For fun, get a clamp on meter and locate where you main ground line is. It's probably a green or bare wire going to the panel. It may be going to a water pipe. Put the clamp meter around it set to amps and see if there's any value. ANY value there is bad. Start turning off breakers till it goes to 0 to see if you can isolate it to a single breaker. It might be something as simple as a malfunctioning appliance. So it's worth doing a bit of investigating before you call someone.

This is a very serious issue though, so don't leave it this way longer than you have to. I'd be very scared to take a shower in that house. :eek:
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
17,158 Posts
Go outside and find your main breaker box.

Once you find that main box, find the main ckt breaker. It's usually the biggest one in there.

Flip it off.

You and your house is now safe.
Doubt that there would be one. Most third world countries, this includes Sri Lanka, you would be lucky to have proper wiring techniques in place. Most of these places, the wiring is in such a mess, that people are lucky that they do not kill a person, when they touch something metal.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
For fun, get a clamp on meter and locate where you main ground line is. It's probably a green or bare wire going to the panel. It may be going to a water pipe. Put the clamp meter around it set to amps and see if there's any value. ANY value there is bad. Start turning off breakers till it goes to 0 to see if you can isolate it to a single breaker. It might be something as simple as a malfunctioning appliance. So it's worth doing a bit of investigating before you call someone.

This is a very serious issue though, so don't leave it this way longer than you have to. I'd be very scared to take a shower in that house. :eek:
People have been living this way for very long...There hasnt been any incident..Should I be scared then?? I guess I should be..:yes:
 

·
Wire Chewer
Joined
·
3,579 Posts
People have been living this way for very long...There hasnt been any incident..Should I be scared then?? I guess I should be..:yes:
Without knowing the cause, you don't know if it's something that can get worse. For example somewhere there may be a wire that is very slightly loose and contacting the ground, but because it's only slightly touching it, it's not allowing enough current through due to high resistance. One day it might finally melt a bit with the heat and move further, doing full contact, and dumping much more current to ground. Chances are it would just short out and fry, but really weird things can happen sometimes depending on circumstances. Without knowing the cause you have to leave the problem open to any possibility. I would put all effort towards finding the cause and fixing it.

It could be as simple as a malfunctioning fixture or appliance so at least do the breaker test of turning them off one by one and seeing if it goes away.

Though I don't think a malfunctioning or leaking device could cause shocks so I'm thinking the issue may be both that, and a bad ground. The whole point of the ground is to make sure you don't get shocked when a device fails like that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Doubt that there would be one. Most third world countries, this includes Sri Lanka, you would be lucky to have proper wiring techniques in place. Most of these places, the wiring is in such a mess, that people are lucky that they do not kill a person, when they touch something metal.
That's not the case here, the supplier looks for standards in the system before connecting the circuit to the main supply...All the basic components are there..I saw in certain circuits the earth is connected to water / gas pipes which is not practiced here..The cambridge syllabus teaches that, I dont think it is safe...Instead here the earth line is separately connected to a metal pipe that goes into soil outside..
 

·
Architectural Sculptor
Joined
·
766 Posts
.Instead here the earth line is separately connected to a metal pipe that goes into soil outside..

Hmm, just had a thought- if there has been very little rain and the soil around that pipe/rod is real dry, that can cause some issues, soil is moist, damp or wet and conducts electric, but soil turned to dust and sand from long term drought isn't going to conduct very well at all, is the soil around there real bone dry from a lack of rain?
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
17,158 Posts
If you are here in the United States, or Canada, yes we bond to the water pipe from the main breaker panel in most places, connected to the Neutral/Ground bus inside the main breaker panel. There is also a bond to ground at the meter pan, which you would bond your incoming telephone, catv, satellite, Outdoor antenna to, so that you do not have a floating ground from the incoming communication or tv services at the house entrance.

If you are getting electrical shocks touching equipment in your place of residence, and it is here in North America, you need an electrician. If it is a rental, then you have a issue, of the building owner not keeping up on proper maintenance of the electrical infrastructure.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
17,158 Posts
Hmm, just had a thought- if there has been very little rain and the soil around that pipe/rod is real dry, that can cause some issues, soil is moist, damp or wet and conducts electric, but soil turned to dust and sand from long term drought isn't going to conduct very well at all, is the soil around there real bone dry from a lack of rain?
Last Summer because of the drought, we had to go out and not only water our foundations, but also at least pour a 1 to 5 gallon bucket of water where the ground rods are located.

We keep a bucket of water outside for our Golden, during warmer months, and when we bring her in for the evening, I just pour it where our ground rod is. I only know where it is, due to had to pull a #8 for bonding our telephone & catv service, when we relocated those to the back of the house, from the side where they were originally located.

Suggest that everyone know where their ground rod is on their homes, because if we do have a no rain or moisture situation like last year, you need to water that point, so that the rod does its job.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,085 Posts
Current going to earth can cause your electric bill to increase.

You need to find out where the current is getting onto the earthing system and repair that. Most likely in a defective light fixture or appliance.

It should not be necessary to water the ground rod except for use of certain radio equipment or test equipment that uses the earth as part of its antenna system. Under normal conditions, current should not be flowing in any of the earthing wires.

To the OP: Does your house have grounded (3 prong) receptacles? Have you done tests to see whether they are correctly wired?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Hmm, just had a thought- if there has been very little rain and the soil around that pipe/rod is real dry, that can cause some issues, soil is moist, damp or wet and conducts electric, but soil turned to dust and sand from long term drought isn't going to conduct very well at all, is the soil around there real bone dry from a lack of rain?
Actually, I cannot see the pipe that goes into soil, people have been so dumb here, they'd the pipe covered totally with cement pavement..I only see the wire that goes into the cement floor..green earth connected to the metal pipe is the standard here, so I guess the same goes under the cement...
This area receives year-round rainfall..and the conductivity of the land seems to be high cos lot of lightening strikes takes place. The soil is full of gravel, iron oxides...:yes:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Current going to earth can cause your electric bill to increase.

You need to find out where the current is getting onto the earthing system and repair that. Most likely in a defective light fixture or appliance.

It should not be necessary to water the ground rod except for use of certain radio equipment or test equipment that uses the earth as part of its antenna system. Under normal conditions, current should not be flowing in any of the earthing wires.

To the OP: Does your house have grounded (3 prong) receptacles? Have you done tests to see whether they are correctly wired?
I dont understand the following line..

To the OP: Does your house have grounded (3 prong) receptacles? Have you done tests to see whether they are correctly wired?

Whats OP, What are grounded receptacles? How can I check if they are correctly wired?

Now that the earth is common to all the appliances right? So the same problem should occur with other appliances such as iron, refrigerator etc? I plugged them in and they dont give any shock?:confused1::confused1:
 

·
Electrical Enthusiast
Joined
·
729 Posts
OP means "original poster"

We were wondering if the electrical outlets in your house have three prongs/holes or two prongs/holes.

I wonder if you could find a link to what your electrical outlets look like and post it to the forum?
 

·
Architectural Sculptor
Joined
·
766 Posts
Actually, I cannot see the pipe that goes into soil, people have been so dumb here, they'd the pipe covered totally with cement pavement..I only see the wire that goes into the cement floor..green earth connected to the metal pipe is the standard here, so I guess the same goes under the cement...
This area receives year-round rainfall..and the conductivity of the land seems to be high cos lot of lightening strikes takes place. The soil is full of gravel, iron oxides...:yes:

Ohhhh.... so the soil around that rod/pipe is actually paved over with concrete? well it may or may not be related to your problem, but it seems worthwhile to at least check it out and see if that rod/pipe is doing what it should be doing, if it doesn't have a good contact because the soil is dry around it, it may as well not even be there if you know what I mean.

I'm not sure lightning and observations of it's striking the earth around there can really determine the soil is a good conductor and thus "moist enough" to work properly all the time with your rod/pipe.

There shouldn't be current going into that rod/pipe unless there's a problem, and if there is current going into it you could get a shock from it.
If there is current going into it and it's not in good contact with moist soil, then you have problems, so when you get this checked out, that would be one part that should be looked at carefully.
Allanj's comments sound right to me, maybe some appliance is defective and there's a loose wire or short and your rod/pipe which is now under a concrete pavement is in soil that has dried out enough (or the rod corroded) and it's not making good contact.
It will be interesting to hear what you find out the actual cause is.
 
1 - 20 of 44 Posts
Top