help with shocking problem

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by suemar6, Jul 7, 2013.

  1. suemar6

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jul 7, 2013
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    I am a new member and hope I am in the correct area. For the past couple of months, we have been getting shocked all around our house including the hot tub, pool fence, basement refrigerator, pool apron metal drain and water hose bib.
    We have had the power company out twice and they have checked the grounding at the meter. We have had 2 electricians out a total of three times and they have not found anything. We have had the main water line ground wire added and two additional hot tub ground posts added. Still getting shocked.
    Today my wife got shocked working in the front flower bed by working in the dirt and touching the porch metal column. We have no idea what the problem is or how to get it corrected. We have lived here for 9 years without any such problems. No new electrical work around the time of the start of the problem. Anyone have any ideas?
    Thanks
     
  2. LDC3

    Active Member

    Apr 27, 2013
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    Could it be from static discharge?
    What has the climate been like recently?
     
  3. suemar6

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jul 7, 2013
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    We have very dry conditions followed by a lot of soaking rains. Shocking does not seem to be associated with either.
     
  4. Shagas

    Active Member

    May 13, 2013
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    Did you install anything new recently?
    Any DIY related to electricity?

    Edit:
    Very dry conditions are associated with static discharge but I doubt that that is the problem in your case
    Is your house built on top of anything wierd?
     
  5. suemar6

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jul 7, 2013
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    No DIY projects for me. Had a new heat pump installed this spring.
     
  6. suemar6

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jul 7, 2013
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    Our house sites on top of a large shale deposit.
     
  7. studiot

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 9, 2007
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    Do you have any overhead high voltage power lines.

    Any railways nearby or underground, even old ones?
     
  8. DerStrom8

    Well-Known Member

    Feb 20, 2011
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    Like an old Indian burial ground?

    [​IMG]

    :p
     
  9. DerStrom8

    Well-Known Member

    Feb 20, 2011
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    Anyway, even if the electrical grounding is done right, the plumbing and everything should also be grounded. If they're not making good ground contact (possible if the plumbing goes through shale instead of a significant amount of moist dirt) they could have induced current from the mains.
     
  10. suemar6

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jul 7, 2013
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    No overhead lines. Railroad tracks are about 1/2 mile away.

    What does it mean to ground all the plumbing? I'm sure that the water main does go through the shale ... how do you properly ground the system? Why is this happening now, 30 years after the house was built?
     
  11. suemar6

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jul 7, 2013
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    What does induced current mean and how do I correct the shocking from it?
     
  12. DerStrom8

    Well-Known Member

    Feb 20, 2011
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    Induced Current

    As I already said, you must make sure everything, including non-electrical metal pieces such as metal pipes, are properly grounded.
     
  13. Cap'nJim

    New Member

    Jul 7, 2013
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    If you have a voltmeter simply set it to ac volts stick one test lead in moist ground and with the other hold it against the same post your wife was shocked from. Should be a reading of 0 volts. If it is not 0 what is the voltage? You also said something about a heat pump being installed? last spring? this started when?
     
  14. suemar6

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jul 7, 2013
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    Have a total of 7 ground rods at various places around the house (main panel ground, 3 at pool/hot tub sub-panel and 3 at hot tub). Still getting shocked.
    Any other ideas?
     
  15. DerStrom8

    Well-Known Member

    Feb 20, 2011
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    That won't be a very accurate test and most likely would give you false readings. Personally I'd call the electrician and have him check that the pipes are properly grounded, not just the electrical system.
     
  16. DerStrom8

    Well-Known Member

    Feb 20, 2011
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    Obviously something is not grounded properly, otherwise you would not be having this problem.
     
  17. Cap'nJim

    New Member

    Jul 7, 2013
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    As stated in title it is a simple test. As well as in indicator as to the severity of the problem and also something that I believe the person we are trying to help is able to perform with his limited skills in electrical diagnostics. Try it tell us the reading you get on the meter
     
  18. strantor

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 3, 2010
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    You said the power company checked the grounding at the meter. I would not trust them to make an accurate diagnosis. I would pound a new ground rod in and re ground that panel myself. And let a hose drip on it continuously through the dry spells.
     
  19. DerStrom8

    Well-Known Member

    Feb 20, 2011
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    But to be perfectly honest, if the OP doesn't know what "induced current" means, I wouldn't trust him/her to even do the grounding. No offense intended, of course.
     
  20. suemar6

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jul 7, 2013
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    I have tested with a volt meter at various places that we have been shocked. The meter shows a non-zero reading (low, usually less than 20 volts) and it seems to jump around. Placed one lead in the hot tub water and the other to the concrete pad it sits on and get a positive reading. Did all with DC setting. Why would I use AC setting?
    I am not going to be doing any grounding myself, just looking for possible cause of the problem.
    Having an electrician put in a new main panel ground rod this week.
     
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