The furnace was originally installed so they would not have to
drain the pipes in the winter. We do zero F now and again, and
pipes do freeze.
From what I could see, the furnace guys did fine. I think it's
the electrician who made the run of wire to the shower building
that didn't put in adequate neutral / ground.
Christopher A. Young
You can\'t shout down a troll.
On Mon, 11 Jun 2007 21:06:16 -0400, "Stormin Mormon"
I'd call him then, and say the same sort of thing. So that he wants
to come out at no charge and fix the mess he left. You're not using
the furnace now so he's bound to be nearby sometime in the next month,
and it will take him 10 minutes.
Through the air. AC at 60hz acts like a radio wave in that it can
induce a voltage in a conductor near by. Any wiring, motor or
transformer will radiate electromagnetic radio waves. The plumbing
is the antenna that is being induced.
The felt voltage is not coming directly from the wiring.
The shower head is the hot lead of the voltage source and the wet
ground or drain is the other conductor. Electricity has to have a
path to be felt.
Short the two leads. The shower head and the floor drain.
On Jun 11, 4:30 pm, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
Yes, and of the billions of homes, office, business, etc buildings,
this one is the only one where this induced AC electromagnetic effect
through the air is occuring. And it's coming through the air from the
furnace to the bathroom shower? LOL
This is definitely a grounding problem of some kind. We don't even
know what the grounding arrangement is, whether it was done correctly,
or whether some grounding path has been interrupted. That's where
I'd be looking, not at EMI.
Yes, and of the billions of homes and businesses buildings, this one
is the only one where this induced AC electromagnetic effect is
On Tue, 12 Jun 2007 05:43:45 -0700, email@example.com wrote:
If the exposed shower plumbing is large and not grounded properly.
If a person gets wet and increases their contact surface area and thus
It definitely can be. The OP said that people can feel an electrical
charge. He didn't say that the charge knocked them down. Seeing how
these wet people standing on the wet ground are great conductors it
can easily be a induced voltage on the plumbing caused by a near by
transformer or motor.
You'd be surprised what voltage is induced on different conductors.
'Normally you would never notice. This one is different because
showering people can conduct much more easily. Grounding such
systems properly becomes much more important.
The easy fix is to ground the shower plumbing to the
Are the ground and the neutral separated in the new subpanel or are they
bonded together? Do you have a good grounding conductor from the subpanel
to the main panel? Is there a good ground at the main panel? By good
ground I am referring to two ground rods and a connection to the main water
Any chance of getting some pictures of everything?
: Are the ground and the neutral separated in the new subpanel or
: bonded together?
CY: The grounds and neutrals go to different bars. Beyond that I
Do you have a good grounding conductor from the subpanel
: to the main panel?
CY: There is a conductor. But the fellow who runs the camp didn't
seem at all pleased with the electrician. So, it may not be good.
Is there a good ground at the main panel? By good
: ground I am referring to two ground rods and a connection to
the main water
CY: The panel in the shower building has no signs of ground. The
wire goes out to a cement box, which sits maybe 6 feet from the
building. I see no connection from the panel to the water line.
: Any chance of getting some pictures of everything?
CY: That is a very wise question. I don't have a digital camera,
but been considering getting one.
I'm thinking that you need to get an experienced electrician to look over
the electrical system. There is obviously a hazard to human life. This is
not a situation for a do-it-yourselfer to play around with. You need to
make things right and soon! Get a professional electrician now! What ever
the cost it is still cheaper than a human life.
The neutral bar should be insulated from the box. It is possible there
is a bonding jumper from the neutral bar to the box. Sometimes a very
visible strap. Sometimes a very non-obvious screw - usually green.
Not obvious if you are saying there is no grounding electrode at the
shower building. It is code required. Rods are notoriously poor, but the
easiest if an electrode is not now present. Code is 8' (as someone said)
and 2 are usually installed.
A slight possibility - if you have no grounding electrode and have a
neutral-ground bond in the panel, the shower ground wires would lift
from earth potential. Adding a furnace could provide a path from the
shower ground wires to the shower valve.
Earth potential is not as fixed as is commonly assumed either, though a
remote church camp one wouldn't expect much variation.
Around swimming pools (and buildings for animals on farms) the floor and
accessible metal are all bonded. The equivalent would be connecting to
the reinforcing mesh in the concrete floor when constructed and bonding
to the valve, shower head, ...
Bond everything and make sure you have a connection to the earth at the
remote shower (as someone else said).
Also not established - separate shower buildings for girls and boys?
Could explain why girls get shocks, not boys. As a temporary fix you
could have the girls shower with the boys.
A competent electrician sounds like a real good idea.
And that could do it, too -- leaving that screw in, I mean, when it should
have been removed.
Actually, Code is 8' or to the depth of permanent soil moisture, whichever is
deeper. [Article 250.53(A)]
True, but not by itself sufficient to cause the observed problem. Apparently
the water pipes in the shower building are not properly grounded either. Code
requires metal water piping to be bonded to the electrical grounding system,
to ensure that there won't be any potential difference between the water pipes
Even more shocking. <g>
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
I misread your original post as 8' or moisture whichever is less. What
you wrote, whichever is greater, is right and is a good practice.
I doubt you usually know the depth to permanent soil moisture, which
makes the article a little hard to enforce. And I doubt it is enforced.
Fortunately the move is, in general, to Ufer/concrete encased
electrodes, which are far better electrodes.
Anyone been required to use a ground rod more than 8' in the earth?
Went back to the summer camp. Just simply can't get the shower to
shock. Yes, took off a shoe and sock, and put the wet foot on the
metal drain. Tried everything we could think of, and can't get
the shower to shock.
Turned on lights. Turn on furnace. Try a different shower.
Traced some wires. The ground is NOT tied to the neutrals. The
ground wire goes to a stake in the ground. The neutral goes back
to wherever neutrals go.
They are going to call in an electrician. In the meantime, we
unhooked the furnace in case that's the source of power. I
suspect a bad neutral. When they have a lot of lights, etc, going
in the cabins, the neutral might be higher than ground potential.
How that's getting into the shower pipes is still unclear.
I'll keep you posted.
Christopher A. Young
You can\'t shout down a troll.
True, and except for the fact he actually was able to measure a
potential difference and (iirc) feel it himself initially, I'd think it
a higher probability...
But, again, since it's a public facility, caution is the word of the day...
On Wed, 13 Jun 2007 19:44:55 -0400, Stormin Mormon wrote:
Well I am no electrician but I know a few and am an electrical engineer.
The neutral seperation from the ground does not sound right to me. The
ground and neutral should be at the same potential except when there is
current flowing through the neutral. The fact that they are disconnected
Of course I guess proper terms are in order. when you say 'ground' what
do you mean? The wire connected to the 3rd prong in outlets and whatnot?
That is the onlything I think you can call a ground. that should go back
to the panel and tie into the neutral, then from there they both should
hit a stake in the ground together. So they will always be at same
With that current layout, if that stake in the ground becomes a better
return than the proper neutral for whatever reason, you will be
shocking people. This can change based on earth conditions and maybe even
Im not electrician but it does not seem proper.
This is an interesting thread, although I don't know more than the very
basics of what is being discussed....but.....I can understand consulting
other DIYers if the writer was the only person being affected. So, a
bunch of campers are getting mild electrical shocks and you are diddling
about what to do or not to do? You have to be nuts! If there is any
possibility that there is a loose or crossed connection that could
vibrate or expand and make full contact, then what? Save $200 and
electrocute a kid? I will send $10 to the OP to help cover the cost of
a licensed electrician.
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