help with shocking problem


Joined Sep 9, 2010
Did the guys from the power company experience the shock too?
If they did I would expect them to fix the problem.
Haha, yes, you would think that would get their attention.

Having just done some battles of my own with GFCI, wouldn't a GFCI circuit breaker (or circuit tester) be a useful diagnostic tool here?

I liked the idea to toggle the breakers - even the main - to see if the spurious voltage can be tied to one circuit. If you could, it would eliminate so many things.

It does sound like the problem is in the supply before the meter, though.


Joined Apr 24, 2011
Electrician is coming on tomorrow and I intend to do the following:
- check all neutral connections in the main panel.
- check all breakers and neutral connections in the pool/hot tub sub-panel.
- totally replace the main panel neutral ground rod and wiring.
Make sure the electrician understands and has successfully dealt with problems of this nature, then let him at it to see what he wants to do.

Then perhaps call in another guy and see if their solutions agree.

I wouldn't expect 100% agreement from any two professionals as finding and fixing this isn't an exact science, but there should be some common ground as to the work to be done and the cost to perform such work.


Joined Nov 30, 2010
I believe that electricians are not schooled enough to diagnose ground loop problems. A good electronics technician, like a lot of us, or an electronic engineer (BSEE), with at least several years of practical experience, might be able to do the job.

The irony of it is that people like us, and BSEE's, are not even allowed to take the test to be an electrician until they have spent years as an under-study to a licensed electrician!


Joined Oct 3, 2010
I have a mech eng friend who is also a licensed electrician. He got his license in 2 years, working in the field with electricians. He said if you have an engineering degree, there is a separate, less stringent set of requirements.


Joined Nov 9, 2007
A simple calculation that your electrician should be able to perform, (don't employ one who can't) is as follows:

Could you be drawing enough electricity to electrify the ground, through faulty apparatus of your own, sufficiently to achieve the voltages and shocks you are reporting?

What is the area of ground affected by the problem?

What is you average daily electricity consumption (on the meter)?

I doubt very much that the average household supply could do this.

ian field

Joined Oct 27, 2012
Maybe drive a grounding rod into topsoil that was being stood on at a recent shock and measure the voltage from that to whatever was touched to get the shock.

The trick is; to get everything to the same potential - that includes the wall outlet earths, any concrete hard standing, the plumbing and any surrounding topsoil.


Joined Jul 7, 2013
As I said before run the same test with your meter as before and as you watch the meter start shutting down circuits by fliping the breakers off and if that does not change your readings then flip the mains and if you still have voltage call the power company and explain to them that you and your lawyer are just getting back from the hospital after being electrocuted while gardening to dicuss the hospital bill and the bill to have your hair straightened. What 5 wires? behind meter? three from pole to house/meter three from meter 2 switch gear. 6 if you want to count themthat way. Or 2 hots and a neutral or you have a three phase drop to your home?