Shocking Shower

Page 3 of 3  
On Jun 12, 8:18 am, "Stormin Mormon"

I hope you're joking here. Norminn has a very valid point. I'm an electrical engineer and I would not self diagnose and fix this. What I would do is close that shower, leave the furnace off, make everyone that should know aware of it and get a licensed electrician out there ASAP. There is the very real possibility that something very bad could occur and if it does, the liability here is extremely high. And if you fool around and try to fix it, that liability could extend for years. Say 3 years from now, something changed or got worse and then someone got electrocuted in that shower. Or even in that building. Don't you think someone is gonna say, "gee, I remember Stormin was working on it...." And then, even if you did nothing wrong, you could be ruined.
If you want to do something, make a donation to the church to pay for the licensed electrician.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Stormin Mormon wrote:

Since this is the church camp, I think you have an obligation to do this right and immediately also. Which is why I suggested that _surely_ there's an experienced electrician in the congregation. I certainly disagree with the last sentence and think you're opening yourself and your church to a serious potential liability problem.
imo, etc., ...
--


Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Stormin Mormon wrote:

But you have no license, and altering the work done by the furnace co. might be bad for warranty issues, etc. I appreciate the loss of confidence in the contractor, but that is where I would go first. Call the owner of the company and tell him your campers are getting electrical shocks. Bet it gets his attention. I'm am all for DIYers trouble-shooting leaky pipes, missing shingles, busted windows, but when there is an issue of potential danger to the public - people with no reason to expect a hazard, and much worse if they are children - then the duty to remove the hazard is much greater. My kids roughed it at camp, at a tender age - bugs, heat, cold, long walks in the dark to the outhouse, poison ivy, etc. - but if they called and told me they got electrical shocks in the shower, I'd be there pronto to take them home.
Since you don't know the problem, you have no way of predicting what might happen. Loose wire that vibrates enough to make more complete contact and electrocute somebody? IMO, that is an urgent matter.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Norminn wrote:

...
All of the above and more...
Not shutting the power off or blocking the use of the shower until this is solved and known to have been solved correctly is foolhardy and irresponsible.
As a Trustee of our church, if we had such a situation and a responsible camp director who didn't take _immediate_ action to protect the safety of the the campers and correct the problem, that person would be strongly admonished for their inaction to the point of dismissal.
This is a situation that is NOT the same as futzing around in one's own house -- one has the obligation and duty to ensure the kids are as safe as can possibly be.
A youngster drowned in a Y day camp near here the first day of the season this spring -- needless to say, that organization is going through hell just now and will be for the foreseeable future. While probably not a high probability of serious injury or death from this as described, it's a risk that simply should not be taken as it would, in retrospect, be VERY hard to explain to both law and insurance investigators why such a situation was allowed to continue when it was known to exist if something were to happen.
--

--

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Good question. Note that in order for someone to be shocked as described, there must be a double fault. That is, a live conductor must be energizing some metal parts, which are themselves not properly bonded. If you ensure that all the metal parts (hot and cold water pipe, gas pipe, furnace frame) are properly bonded to the EGC in the building service, then a fault in the furnace should trip the breaker.

If there is a return path that parallels the proper neutral path, some current will always flow on it. So a person will get a mild shock when standing on the shower floor and touching the plumbing because they complete a circuit, one that is fairly high resistance compared to the "usual" return path.

This in and of itself will not help you, and under bizarre circumstances it could make the problem worse. You having a bonding problem, not an earthing problem. Earthing provides protection in the case of overvoltage; bonding provides protection in the case of accidentally energizing metal parts.
Cheers, Wayne
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Bonding without proper grounding can still get you killed. You could have all the nearby metal parts bonded together, but without a proper earth ground the metal could all be at an entirely different potential.
Take for example a spa. Code says all the metal components must be bonded together. And for good reason. You don't want the possibility of one piece of metal that you could touch to be at a different potential than another that you could contact. However, if there is not a proper earth ground back at the service panel to which the spa is grounded, then you could step out of the spa and complete a path between the bonded parts of the spa and the earth, which could be at different potential.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.