U.S. Soldiers Electrocuted in Shower

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by pixelrat, Jun 28, 2010.

  1. pixelrat

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jun 28, 2010
    I came across some reports on the deaths of US soldiers from electrocution in the shower.

    One read:

    • “when Maseth turned on the shower, an ungrounded water pump short-circuited and electrified the water pipes. The current travelled through the pipes, the shower head and the water itself, electrocuting Maseth. He was dead within seconds.”
    Here's my interpretation of this:


    If there was no earth, wouldn't it effectively be the same as diagram No 4 In Vol I, Ch 3, Section 3 ? If so, I don't see how the shock would occur.

    Another reads:

    “was electrocuted on Jan. 2 when an improperly grounded electric water pump short-circuited and flowed through the pipes. Since the coiled hose was touching his arm, he was hit with an electrical jolt and went into cardiac arrest and died”

    Again, here's my interpretation of this:


    As before, I don't see how a shock could occur.

    Am I missing something, or are the statements wrong ?
  2. Markd77

    Senior Member

    Sep 7, 2009
    Unfortunately the water flowing down the drain would have been earthed so there was a path.
  3. Wendy


    Mar 24, 2008
    Someone screwed up major. Pipes are normally grounded. If they had been in this case that man would still be alive.
  4. PackratKing

    Well-Known Member

    Jul 13, 2008
    I will not try to explain the screamingly :eek: obvious to you pixelrat, but simply guarantee that if you were in the soldiers' shoes, you would be just as dead.

    My passtimes often require me to work with live standard 120v ac 15 amp household mains. Whatever I am working on, a lamp, a paper shredder, air conditioner, dehumidifier, ad infinitum, it has a major metal component of the chassis connected via a # 10 flexible jumper cable to a 1/2" copper rod drilled thru my house slab, driven 4' into the ground. Sort of like the ground for a lightning rod.

    When measuring volt or amp specs of a live chassis, I keep one hand in a pocket, and my probe is heavily insulated.

    Still, I have been jingled or outright nailed more times than I should admit to :rolleyes: It certainly ain't no fun, pilgrim !!

    Markd77: Yes. there was a path, but unfortunately the dude was a "parallel resistor"
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2010
  5. Wendy


    Mar 24, 2008
    Come to think of it, why wasn't that pump casing and motor casing grounded? Somebody really, really screwed up, to the point of criminal manslaughter. We'll probably never know, but I smell a courts martial.
  6. TanTJ


    Mar 6, 2008
    I spent a year in the sandbox and you would be surprised how common this was. Well, not the death part, but I know of a number of people who would get a little tingle from the shower when they touched the metal shower heads due to no earth grounding. It's definitely a scary reality over there.
  7. R!f@@

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 2, 2009
    TSK TSK...and I thought I was the one dealing with under professionals working around god knows what.
  8. retched

    AAC Fanatic!

    Dec 5, 2009
  9. R!f@@

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 2, 2009
    Seems to me that bush really planned everything ahead
  10. gerty

    AAC Fanatic!

    Aug 30, 2007
    It might have been grounded, back to the generator, but the generator not properly grounded. With the soil (or lack of) in the desert I'm not really sure
    how effective a ground rod would be.