Shock from Power Tool - What is tooo much? Tips on fixing this?


I have a power tool that occasionally gives me a little tingle when I touch it with an abraded area of skin or maybe the cuticles of my fingers. It doesn't shock my through dry skin. I tested the device with a volt ohm meter and got a current....as did just my body and a plant I tried on a whim. How much leakage is too much? What can I do to fix this problem? I don't mind the "Shock" (it really isn't enough to even call it that) but don't want the kids to find me dead on the floor one day electrocuted.
I don't have a GFCI ( Y E T ) on the circuit but will put on one there soon. Suggestions on trouble shooting and fixing this problem?
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On Apr 25, 3:20 am, snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

Information is not complete .............. but ......... Will assume for moment this is in a North American situation? Sounds as though the (metal?) frame of the tool is not grounded????? (Or there is something very wrong with the power supply or generator or inverter that is supplying the power?) If not grounded and even if there is not an actual metallic fault within the tool there may be sufficient capacitance between the live windings/wiring etc. inside the tool and the frame to couple a few micro-amps/milli-amps of detectable current to a human hand touching the frame. It only takes a few thousandths of an amp to shock and perhaps kill ... hence GFIs which disconnect with a few l milli-amps of leakage. Potentially very dangerous; because even at North American voltages (probably 115 volts) and frequency 60 hertz) sufficient current could flow, perhaps suddenly and without warning to kill someone. The worst situation would be if one was wearing say leather shoes standing on a damp surface such as concrete or bare earth (or metallic ladder) and the hands were a little sweaty from physical activity; all providing an excellent path for current to flow through the trunk of the body, thus stopping the heart! IMO if a GFI was used there might be sufficient such leakage to unbalance and operate it; at very least the frame of the device should be grounded. If it has metal frame, tool does have a 3 pin plug into a properly grounded outlet?????? maybe the grounding wire (usually green!) inside the tool has broken off! Personally I wouldn't use the tool until situation corrected. Or replaced.
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The accepable amount of current coming through the case and into your body is zero.

You have a short circuit, that has to be fixed.

Good idea. Even if it is not the kids that find you dead on the floor, fixing the problem now is a really great idea.

Two kinds of tools exist, those that have grounded cases and three prong plugs, and those that are "double insulated.
The first type no part of the wires or any electrically "hot" conductor is supposed to connect with the case of the tool, and if it does, then the ground is supposed to carry the current back rather than your body.
The double insulated type of power tool has a plastic shell between you and the wires inside.
Since you are getting zapped, you probably have the first type and there is some internal short like a wire that the insulation is worn, or the switch inside is broken. Split the case and inspect, or take the tool to the shop for repair.
Also inspect the cord. If damaged it is possible that the leak is between the hot and the ground and back feeding to the case of the tool.
You can buy GFIC extension cords also but that does not fix the problem.
--

Roger Shoaf

About the time I had mastered getting the toothpaste back in the tube, then
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Sounds like the tool is dangerous. I'd be thinking to cut the cord off, and put the tool in the trash.
--
Christopher A. Young
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*When I worked for my dad hundreds of years ago he had corded tools that would occasionally have the same problem. It was always in the cord where it entered the power tool. That part gets a lot of stress and the insulation on the cord wears out. The solution at that time was to either shorten the cord or replace it altogether.
BTW that is an accident waiting to happen. Don't use that tool until it is fixed. There is no such thing as acceptable leakage through a human. Install a GFI today.
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John Grabowski wrote: (snip)

I was gonna say, it is a Darwin filter in the making. But by the time people start hanging out on here, they usually already had kids, so it doesn't apply. But yeah, DUH! If a tool is 'tingly', you fix or replace. And if you replace, you throw it away in pieces so somebody else does not get hurt.
--
aem sends...

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*Sometimes kids emulate their parents. If his kid decides one day he needs to drill or cut something and helps himself to dad's power tool.....
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or if the guy forgets about it and uses it where there's a puddle,or while touching a good ground. then....ZAP!....thud.
--
Jim Yanik
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On Apr 25, 12:20 am, snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

Somewhere inside the case a hot wire is touching the case. I smiled, as I thought back to the drill I used as a child. That drill would go for weeks at a time just being a drill, then it would bite, and bite hard, I couldn't just open my hand and let it drop, it would stick fast with the electricity & sometimes shaking it off wouldn't even work. I'm sure i was a comical sight dancing around with the drill defying gravity off of my palm. I had no replacement, and it happened infrequently, so I kept using it. Times were different, folks didn't try to child proof everything. I can tell you it was much worse barefoot, than wearing tennis shoes.
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Probably before they had polarized plugs, too.
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Christopher A. Young
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Stormin Mormon wrote:

And ones with grounding pins, too too.
Jeff
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Jeffry Wisnia
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wrote:

Yeah, before all that I turned 10 in '59, so around that time. I liked to build stuff, boats, cars & such, crude, but entertaining. There was no shortage of wood scraps with a cabinet shop in the basement. I still don't know it the shocking drill gift was to encourage or discourage me, Dad was a hard man to read.
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