Pregnant and Electric Shock ..#2

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Lucy1997

Joined Aug 6, 2022
1
Good morning so tried using my electric kettle this morning and I held the side of the cover and on covering it I Felt a Zap on my hand from the cover and I'm 6 weeks pregnant can't reach my mid wife I'm trying not to panic right now
 

Ian0

Joined Aug 7, 2020
5,885
Sounds like it was quite a mild shock. It's telling you to get your kettle checked by an electrician (and possibly the rest of your house electrics) before you get a real shock.
 

MisterBill2

Joined Jan 23, 2018
12,704
A minor shock to a hand is a warning that there may be a problem. WHAT ELSE were you touching at the time? A shock requires two connections, the problem could also be with whatever else you were touching. Or was it the faucet, as you were filling the electric kettle.
To be totally secure in avoiding shocks, you could always unplug the kettle before touching it, or at least switch off the outlet. Many of the outlets in the UK have switches, I have observed. That would be a very simple option.
 

MrAl

Joined Jun 17, 2014
9,349
Good morning so tried using my electric kettle this morning and I held the side of the cover and on covering it I Felt a Zap on my hand from the cover and I'm 6 weeks pregnant can't reach my mid wife I'm trying not to panic right now
Hi and welcome to the forum.

That's actually good because now your kid will never get a heart attack :)

Ok seriously the current usually flows closer to the skin so it would have gone around the little babah.
He/she should be just fine. If you are really worried, you should only be casual about it and get an ultrasound but idoubt it would be worth it. if it was a knock out shock it may be worse but even that may not affect the little kiddie.

If you listen closely you may hear him/her shouting, "More, More" :)
 

DickCappels

Joined Aug 21, 2008
9,092
Electric appliances that are not connected (nor intended) to be connected to earth ground will often give you a tingle. This is usually nothing to worry about. If you kettle has a grounded power connector (three electrical contacts on the plug) then and your outlet is connected to earth ground, then you should worry.

I have many ungrounded appliances in my home (most of the low cost appliances do not come with grounding connectors) and I usually avoid the tingle by taking care to not be standing barefoot on a tile floor. A thick cloth mat or a rubber mat allow me to avoid the unpleasant tingle.

Even if I were pregnant I would not worry about this.
 

Reloadron

Joined Jan 15, 2015
6,826
I am not a doctor or even a midwife for that matter. Actually you should be asking a doctor. If you infarct received a small electrical shock something isn't right. I have no clue what country you are in so no clue what if any electrical codes apply. My own opinion is you have nothing to worry about but again my name is not preceded by Dr. or followed by OB GYN. Worry, as mentioned, will likely cause you more problems than a mild electrical shock.

Just My Take...
Ron
 

MrChips

Joined Oct 2, 2009
26,792
Welcome to AAC!

The responses given above are intended to remove any anxiety that you might have from the experience of receiving an electrical shock. I summarize what has already been stated.

1) Receiving an electrical shock from a household appliance indicates that there is something wrong with the appliance. You would be advised to discontinue using the appliance and have it examined by a competent electrician.

2) Receiving an electrical shock will not harm your fetus.

3) Inform your healthcare provider at their and your convenience. There is no medical urgency for you to do so.

I hope that this information helps you. Best wishes to you and your baby in the months ahead.
 

DickCappels

Joined Aug 21, 2008
9,092
Just a note: I have to be careful using my grounded scope with my Mac Mini which comes without a ground connection, otherwise I "do the dance" as one boss put it. Safety standards allow a certain amount of leakage current.

In the case of the mac (no pun) there is a switching power supply that needs a EMI filter to meet emission requirements. If you look at the values of the capacitors used in emi filtering you will usually find that the value of the capacitor will just allow the maximum permitted leakage current at 60 Hz and 220 VAC.

Other appliances may have leakage to ground as well, for example, one of my floor fans and my refrigerator come with screw terminals to which a ground wire may be attached (in this country, most houses don't have grounded outlets).

The point is it is everything probably ok if it was a small shock. If in doubt contact an electrician who can evaluate the danger of leakage current with your product. There are simple procedures for this test.
 

MaxHeadRoom

Joined Jul 18, 2013
25,636
When I first came to N.A., I was surprised at the amount of appliances that were not earth grounded.
Especially appliances that contain water, e.g. Steam Irons, Kettles etc.
That would never have existed in the UK at the time I left there.
How do you guarantee double insulation in those appliances?
The kettle in question requires a Megger test. !
 
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MisterBill2

Joined Jan 23, 2018
12,704
Presumably she was standing on the floor! :rolleyes:
One of the mire violent shocks that I ever git was "standing on the floor." Of course, it was a cement floor poured over moist dirt because there was no other kind of dirt in that area. But it did have asbestos tiles floor. And I was bare foot at the time. I was flipping on a light switch on the wall, and touches a bare screw that was holding on the cover. The ungrounded box was live because a sharp edge penetrated the insulation on a wire. Evidently the code for that area did not require boxes to be grounded.
I did repair that faulty wire the next day, wearing rubber soled shoes and being careful.
 

ThePanMan

Joined Mar 13, 2020
473
on covering it I Felt a Zap
Obviously the lid is neither grounded or connected to a source of power. I suspect that you felt a static shock. Static electricity will give you a zap but last as long as 1/10th of a millisecond. Just a snap and it's over. Static electricity has been around since the beginning of time. Since the beginning of mankind, there has never been a report of an unborn child suffering ill effects from a static shock.

I may be wrong, but I whole heartedly believe it was a static shock and not an electrical shock. Now, somebody is going to be smart and ask "What's the difference between static and electric shock?". In physics, nothing. There is no difference. In modern day practice an electric shock is when you're exposed to a voltage that carries both considerably more current (the flow of electrons) and is a continuous source. Hence, if you touch the wires of your household wiring - the bare part of the energized wire and either neutral or ground at the same time - you'll get a shock.

Most electrical shocks occur on just one hand. When you push the plug into the wall and encounter resistance and your fingers slip off the plug and make contact with both prongs of the plug. The probable next most common shock is when an appliance has developed a short circuit that doesn't go anywhere but the metal housing of the appliance. The shock comes when you touch that appliance AND are in one way or another touching ground. Ground could be the water faucet in the kitchen or bathroom. It could be you standing bare footed on concrete and you feel a tingle from your hand down to your feet. That's a bit more serious, but again, not likely to cause any harm to an unborn. After that is when you're working on the electrical wiring in the house and you manage to touch both the hot wire and either the neutral or ground with one hand. A surprising and strong shock, but not harmful to the child. After that is when you touch both hot and neutral wires, one with each hand. There the current passes from one hand to the other, through the chest. The only harm that could come from such a shock is if the mother stops her own heart beat.

There are many many more examples of shocks and shocks at vastly differing voltages. Being in the tub and dropping an electrical appliance into the water can cause death. That's why it's US code (and probably elsewhere - I don't know) - US code says that within six feet of a sink, tub or other plumbing appliance an electrical outlet must be a GFCI type plug. GFCI is Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter, and when it senses a fault it IMMEDIATELY shuts power off. Hence the person who makes the mistake of touching power and water at the same time doesn't suffer SADS (Sudden Adult Death Syndrome).

There are so many other nuances to electricity and electrical shock that to try and cover them all would mean writing a book on the subject. For now you don't need to worry about your unborn. I'm sure they are as healthy now as they were prior to the shock. And I'm still convinced it was a static shock, not an electrical shock. But electrical shocks DO happen. Under the foregoing circumstances, since you're well enough to ask the question I'd say you're probably well enough to not worry about the child.

Good luck to you and your bundle of joy.
 

ThePanMan

Joined Mar 13, 2020
473
Maybe, but do you want to take the chance, It is also possible that there is a fault on the kettle, in any event, it requires a check anyway.
At least I would. :eek:
True. And yes, further testing should be performed.

Personally I'd try testing with a meter set on AC and check for voltage between the metal case of the kettle and the kitchen faucet. Assuming the faucet is not lacquer coated or some other coating that may make electrical conductivity weak or blocked.
 

MisterBill2

Joined Jan 23, 2018
12,704
I suggested a fault that should be investigated back in post #4. Evidently I was not emphatic enough. That tingle could be a warning. Also, don't the outlets have a switch? The ones that I saw when I visited did have a switch. Quite handy, really.
 

ThePanMan

Joined Mar 13, 2020
473
Good morning so tried using my electric kettle this morning and I held the side of the cover and on covering it I Felt a Zap on my hand
What struck me in the opening comments, the TS stated that she was holding the side of the lid. That strikes me as a static discharge when the lid came close to the kettle and the flesh of the hand made contact with the top of the kettle, and thus a shock.

It yet has to be determined whether the shock was a snap or a continuous buzzing of the hand as when one contacts 120VAC. Also, there was no mention of touching anything else. I still suspect strongly that it was merely static. But yes, for safety concerns, the appliance should be tested from its metal housing to ground. I would not recommend testing to the neutral plug because there could be an open neutral, which, IF an electrical shock, could account for the sensation of a shock.

I've seen where people have connected the neutral and ground terminals of a two wire system on the outlet to give the false appearance of a properly grounded plug. Likely the kettle has only a two prong plug, not three. In the off chance that the plug is misfired, testing from case to ground may show a problem with the electrical wiring. I'd be most confident testing between the appliance and the faucet. If there's any voltage there at all then the appliance would appear to be faulty and should be repaired or removed from service and replaced.

My suspicions still remain with static discharge.
 

ThePanMan

Joined Mar 13, 2020
473
I suggested a fault that should be investigated back in post #4. Evidently I was not emphatic enough. That tingle could be a warning. Also, don't the outlets have a switch? The ones that I saw when I visited did have a switch. Quite handy, really.
Yes, testing has been mentioned. The TS describes a shock, not a tingle. To me the difference is a tingle is an indication of contact with house current and not static. The TS did not say a tingle. Only one hand on the lid (cover) and a shock. Also, IF - and we don't know this - but IF the outlet near the sink is GFCI as it should be per US code (don't know other countries codes) then in the event of a shock the power should have been interrupted so quickly that the TS should NOT have felt a shock.

Yes, a tingle COULD INDEED be a warning. We don't know what state of condition the electrical wiring in the TS home is in. When I bought this home it did not have GFCI's I've since added them to all locations where code would require them. Even in the basement where the washing machine and dryer are located. The dryer is gas, so the GFCI will protect that as well. I don't know if they have GFCI's for 240VAC Dryer Plugs or not. If not - maybe somebody should invent one.
 
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