Electricity in Faucets?

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I don'thave much to offer in the way of advice, but I can attest that this *does* and *can* happen. I had that situation in an apartment I rented once.
If I was using the shower, so problem, but if I was immersed in the tub and grabbed the handle to recharge my warm water or grabbed the spout or whatever, I had the tingle, too. Definitely some voltage there.
good luck fixing it!
Ray wrote:

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I bought a radial arm saw at an auction some years ago.
Unit was in good condition, so I plugged it in. Cut a few pieces of wood, it was fine.
Next day, noticed I got a slight tingle when touching the frame. H'm, something to check into.
Later I made the mistake of touching the RAS frame and the frame of an adjacent power tool.
When I regained consciousness...
The ground wire inside the RAS plug had fallen off and was contacting the hot wire.
So the frame was hot.
Perfectly okay to use, if you were wearing rubber soled shoes and didn't touch anything else.
Not.
Tingles in showers mean something is badly wrong.
--
Chris Lewis, Una confibula non set est
It\'s not just anyone who gets a Starship Cruiser class named after them.
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The only electricity I know of are the two light fixtures on the ceiling. No outlets in the bathroom
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Most likely surface scum interrupting connectivity flow until you scrape it.


You need to hire someone to take a look at the situation. I _suspect_ your voltmeter is confusing you when you test your vanity, but the tingle on the shower is _definately_ wrong. Don't trust the meter, get a pro in to check.
Either an electrician or plumber should be able to find out what's wrong.
--
Chris Lewis, Una confibula non set est
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Agree with other posters that hiring a proffesional is wise. I once sold a new dryer to a lady who called me the next day and complained that there must be something wrong with it as she was getting a shock when she touched it. I checked it with my meter and it was indeed hot. However, there was a separate ground wire from the dryer to a water pipe behind it and when that was disconnected, no current detected. To make a long story short, her electric water heater had a shorted heat element and was feeding current to the water which was making the pipe charged. Found out her electric bill had jumped drastically the last 30 days and she occasionally felt a tingle when touching the basement shower controls. Apparently the old dryer didn't have the ground wire.
Tom G.
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wrote:

I knew they were no good. I'm cutting off all my ground wires.
But I think you're right, that the pipes are touching the electricity, and that could be almost anywhere in the house that there are pipes.
Maybe he only notices it when he's standing in a puddle in his bare feet, with the dirty conductive water extending to the shower drain. (dirty and soapy water conducts better than clean water, which conducts better than distilled water.)
I guess I would be very careful touching any faucet in the house, and anything else metal that's could be grounded, at the same time.
When I was 12, I had a crystal radio my father left me, and in order to have an "antenna" I connect the antenna alligator clip to a tv antenna, becuase it was an antenna. And I connected the other wire to a heating vent, because I thought it would be grounded. Boy, was it! I got a pretty big jolt, even though afaik now, the antenna should have been neutral, and only inductively coupled to the rest of the tv. Is that right?
I never did it again, and eventually the tv broke.

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How does he find voltage from one faucet in his bathroom to another? One is hot and the other is grounded?

Distilled water does not conduct at all.
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mm wrote:

In a lot of TV sets, "ground" is 55V from either side of the power line. Since neutral is connected to ground at the "service", that means you'd measure 55V from TV "ground" to wall-socket ground and/or heating vent ground.
In older sets, the chassis was connected to the neutral. If you plugged the TV into a socket that was wired wrong, such that the neutral was actually hot and the hot was actually neutral, the chassis could be 110V above earth ground (and heating vent ground).
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I remember now that this was our first tv, from about 1953. I'm almost sure it didn't even have a polarized plug.
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mm wrote:

We owned an early Admiral "portable" that was hot-chassis, but didn't have a polarized plug. Polarized plugs didn't get popular until the late sixties or early seventies. Many early OUTLETS weren't polarized, and some older homes still have those.
The idea was to have the case insulate the user, but they never isolated the antenna terminals from the chassis electrically. So it was easy to touch (for example) the telescoping internal antenna (when connected to the terminals) and a radiator and get a good shock.
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I was actually surprised to see how far back polarized outlets went, seemingly decades before there were any (many?) polarized plugs!

Wow, for the last 45 years, I thought this was a fluke** or a part failure. **Although I have no idea what a fluke would be in this case.
I'm by no means a safety fanatic. I'm not even sufficiently concerned by most people's standards. But this seems like a truly risky design. It's a good thing I wasn't wet also***.
BTW, this was before there were internal antennas. Only rabbit ears and outdoor antennas. The house had an outdoor antenna, but we hadn't put a line to the den yet, or that side of the den. My mother eventually had a tv guy put an antenna line in her bedroom and we bought a "portable" Zenith with remote control for the den.
Years later when I was in the attic, I notice that even though there was a flat-lead antenna splitter hanging right there, the tv guy had just twisted the 3 sets of wires together, for two outlets.
At first I thought he was cheating us, but now I wonder, maybe he found he got the best pictures without the splitter, but left the splitter there since we had paid for a splitter? What do you think?
(Or the splitter might have been there already, from the previous owners, but I' not sure if they had two antenna leads (no connector, just a piece of flat lead coming out of the wall.))
***I've gotten other shocks that were worse, but those were always by violating rules. I had installed a receptacle on the board my Lionel train was mounted on, and I plugged both transformers into it. I used no box, didn't know much about boxes, and one time I grabbed the receptacle on both sides, got both wires of course. Got the full 110 volts that time, and other times. But always my fault, not like with this antenna thing, which I don't consider my fault.
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wrote:

It first happened to me in an old building, where one receptacle was bent so that to plug anything into it you had to squeeze the prongs together while inserting it. This building was supposed to be a hospital.
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Mark Lloyd
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mm wrote:

I think the guy was cutting corners. If he got a better picture without the splitter, that means there was something wrong with the antenna or the lead wire coming from it. If he didn't, then he was just being lazy.
You might have gotten lucky. Some of the old Zenith portables had a power transformer, therefore no "hot" chassis (and no "hot" antenna leads to attach to other sets).
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Was the antenna line disconnected from the TV set?
If so, the heating vent was somehow above ground potential. I've found supposedly grounded metal in houses such as water pipes, sewer pipes, heating vents and metal structural elements all above ground potential. The usual problem is that the pipe or metal is not grounded correctly or was never grounded at all and some device had a full or partial short to the metal.
The worst situation ocurred when an electric hot water heater element shorted (because of a lightning strike) into the hot water and made the water pipes electrically hot. They had a poor ground as it turned out, so the circuit breaker didn't trip. Touching any water faucet was a shocking experience to say nothing about the discomfort of some cows in a nearby barn. The water line to their automatic drinking cups was also electrically hot so they got a nose shock each time they tried to get a drink of water. The problem wasn't taken seriously until the cow's milk production dropped substantially.
TKM
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No. It was rabbit ears that *were* connected to the tv. I'll admit I could have disconnected the rabbit ears, but I had touched them every day without getting a shock. Who knew? I was 12.
The crystal radio did work without this. But it only got one station, WIBC. It had a tuning know and I was hoping to get more stations. But it was meant for emergencies, and unless WIBC was off the air, in a real emergency, all the stations would be saying the same thing. My father was definitely not a committed "survivalist". We had no bomb or fallout shelter or anything, but I can certainly see why, before transistors, he wanted a radio that would run without AC.
He also had a table radio that had a handle and used vacuum tubes, but those that took only 1,2, in one case 5 volts to heat up. It was powered by AC or by batteries. Actual A and B batteries, which were left in the radio and were dead by the time I looked at them. When I came across Allied Radio when I was 18, I found I could buy replacement batteries, but the 45 volt battery was something like 45 dollars. And that was in 1964! And I didn't actually need a radio that ran on batteries. So it was much too much money.
It was just as well. By 1966 I may have seen a transistor radio and by 1968, I think transistor radios were cheap enough that I could buy one, and it ran on a pretty cheap 9 volt carbon zinc battery. But I don't even use that. I only listen to the radio in the house and the car. Outside I listen to nature.

There's that guy in a thread yesterday who got a shock in the shower.

Very interesting. Do you know how long that took? Did they stop drinking entirely? Or did they get so thirsty they drank some anyhow?

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As I understand it, it can happen quite quickly. Cattle and horses _really_ hate getting zapped. Our electrical code has special provisions for milking parlors for this reason. If the zaps are above an imperceptable tingle, they may quit drinking altogether, and get quite nasty about it. You can imagine how much worse it is if the milking parlor has stray voltages on the milking machine heads. Bessie abruptly deciding she _really_ don't want to be hooked up. Farmers get hurt that way.
About 18 months ago there was a long thread in this group about a guy with a heated auto-refill watering tank for his horses. Recounted how his two (I think) horses stopped drinking, and one of them would kick the crap out of the watering tank whenever it tried to drink.
Took him several days with lots of suggestions from this group until he finally found the problem. Did many experiments with a multimeter. Took quite a while just to confirm it was a stray voltage pissing off the horses.
[Hint: ISTR tank was plastic - getting a voltage measurement you can trust between water and dirt is quite challenging]
As I recall, it turned out to be a very subtle wiring problem that put neutral (not ground) into the _water_. Just a few volts was enough to get the horses annoyed. Despite there being GFCIs in the circuit.
We never did find out if the horses ever trusted that watering tank again.
[Google for it if you want a retelling of the tale not subject to my memory lapses ;-)]
--
Chris Lewis, Una confibula non set est
It\'s not just anyone who gets a Starship Cruiser class named after them.
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On Fri, 07 Apr 2006 05:58:11 -0000, snipped-for-privacy@nortelnetworks.com (Chris Lewis) wrote:

Thanks. I may do that tomorrow.
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Chris Lewis wrote:

The NEC also has provisions (in the article on agricultural buildings) to avoid stray voltages. It includes bonding the wire mesh in concrete floors. Hooved animals are supposed to be sensitive to quite small voltages and may not enter a building if they get a small shock while doing so. And IIRC all the metal (including wire mesh in concrete) has to be bonded around swiming pools to protect other livestock.
Re: rabbit ears on live chassis TVs - they were electrically isolated and anything which was likely to be contacted was isolated or insulated.
bud--
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Bud-- wrote:

No, they weren't. Every one of them had a balun with a grounded tap. The "ground" went to chassis, which could be hot.
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Chris Lewis wrote:

A pig farmer told me that pigs are different and a lot smarter. They find it only hurts for a second. He said he put up a fence and it wasn't long they discovered how to beat it. The little ones would get a running start, going under the wire squealing before they even touched it.
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