electric shock

On 7 Oct, 14:35, snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

Replacing the socket will be a lot cheaper than calling a professional. Please buy a cheap test meter while you're at the shop, as testing using your heart is really not a good idea, and my taxes pay for the ambulance service.
It's not unknown for plastic switches to "leak" electrically, either due to careless cleaning as others have suggested, or a bad batch of plastic which is porous, especially problematical in humid rooms like kitchens.
Chris
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wrote:

This is wrong, funny, scary and sad on so many levels.
On one level it's Darwinian. You obviously don't know enough or care enough to protect yourself from the most basic of dangers. According to Darwin there will always be risk-takers and natural selection will ensure that the more extreme of them have their genes de-selected from the pool. We're watching natural selection in action, the question is which side of the line are you?
On another level you have mis-understood the meaning of DIY. The purpose of DIY is to provide an excuse to buy expensive tools not to be one. There are a number of tools for testing electrical circuits but the human body is not one of them.
On yet another level it's people like you that encourage the Nanny State to impose ever tighter and sillier rules on the rest of us to prevent stupid accidents. Part P came about precisely because the government believed that by tightening the rules they could prevent or at least ameliorate the effects of stupidity. And to a large extent they were right. Clearly they don't understand the long term need to allow failure.
Please stop. Right now. Then choose which of the following (both accurate) pieces of advice to follow:
1. Don't attempt to fix it unless you understand the safety implications. Isolate the circuit before working on it. Call a professional if you are unsure.
2. The human tongue is sensitive to electricity and can be used to check for voltage. Try it first on a 9V battery then progress it higher things.
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Thanks for the reply, but I disagree as no matter how much government legislate people will still do stupid things. If I injure myself then I have no one else to blame other than myself. Did the introduction of building regulations stop unsafe construction?
This is one of the main problems with modern society in that its never your fault. For example people who are in serious debt or purchased property and are now in negative equity blame the banks or property programmes for their problems and never themselves.
It's all down to individual responsibility.
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On Wed, 07 Oct 2009 15:09:57 -0700, geoffr wrote:

You miss the point. When you kill yourself, you give the state yet another excuse to interfere.
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On Wed, 07 Oct 2009 22:47:27 +0100, Calvin Sambrook wrote:

Nah, doesn't work with AC - it just hurts in alternate directions, back and forth 50 times a second; they cancel out, and you don't feel a thing.
(smiley unnecessary, I hope)
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Jules wrote:

I'll do it for you. :)
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Jules wrote:

50 hurts?
Pete
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Pete Verdon wrote:

100 actually. Both peaks.
Andy
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Calvin Sambrook wrote:

Part P seems to have resulted in an *increase* in accidents and fatalities (as many of us predicted). So aside from adding cost, complexity, and bureaucracy to stuff it has hand no effect in eliminating natural selection!
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John.

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Part P was never intended to reduce accidents. Its there to make sure the trade associations make more money to donate to Labor.
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dennis@home wrote:

more likely, it was hoped to sweep much of the black economy into trade body membership, whose records could then be used to identify additional sources of hitherto untapped tax.
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and convert mere trade Registration Bodies into Regulation Bodies. - Charitable front writes regs under guise of false safety statistics - Commercial backend trots round the companies engineering "opportunities"
Extension of "MP writes broad law, stakeholder companies write the detail with a justification page if ever the civil servant is pulled up". The bog standard modus operandi of business is to fund research promoting their product/service/strategy once-removed from the company, which is then pushed by PR as "independent".
It is securitisation of electrical safety - regulation, education, certification, engineered upgrade cycle, commercial product push advertising, commercial product endorsement "because it exists you have to use it to comply with BS7671 correct materials & workmanship", affiliate advertising. American marketeer's wet dream.
Just like the health & safety engineered market, some good ideas taken to extreme levels. Then again, consider the VAT, Income Tax & NI, Business Rates and so on created by the monster H&S industry. Next one is Green... then food... then water... energy in its various incentive, penalty, carbon tax trading, goldman sachs is having a field day.
Who is doing the 18th regs, I thought BS were no longer to be involved?
Reminds me: that dodgy SWA cable I sent to BASEC about a month or two back? After useful replies nothing further, no replies to two recent emails. I suspect the Turkish manufacturer (Demes Kablo) is not playing ball with BASEC, leaving them in a rather embarassing position. Worse, I've now seen similar with other cables elsewhere and Atom Kablo (another Turkish manufacturer). Wonder when the electrical industry gets a shock :-)
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So you got a shock straight through the chest/heart (i.e. finger-arm-chest-arm-finger) and you went back for more???!!!
Seriously - if you have these problems with your electrics, and you don't know what could be causing it, turn off at the CU, and get a sparky round fast!
JW
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geoffr wrote:

Assuming the water pipes etc are equipotential bonded, then the shoes become somewhat irrelevant - the main path to earth is through the tap.
I will echo what others have said here - please don't test this stuff by touching it - especially when holding the tap. Without an RCD to save you, this really is in the "one zap and you are dead" territory!

Is this a metal switch? If not then it must have enough conductive stuff contaminating it for it to have become conductive.

As mentioned above - this shock scenario is *usually* fatal. (my guess is that you have not got a hard connection to live here, but a resistive one. Hence your ability to post without the need for a seance!)

Not necessarily - but the cause needs investigation urgently.

It sounds like is more than one fault here. The toaster test shows that the earth connection to the socket is not earthed - if it were you should not have got a shock, and more importantly a fuse should have blown. Its possible the earth is intact on the circuit - but disconnected (or high resistance) into the socket terminals. It also sounds like there is a bridge to live somewhere. This could be accumulated water etc in the socket switch itself, it could be a damaged cable either in a socket box or in a wall somewhere, or an insulation failure. It could even be a failed mains input filter on an appliance.

You need to isolate the circuit *NOW*
Then you need to set about finding the fault methodically and safely, or getting in someone who can.
If you are confident that you can DIY, then you need some test gear; at least a basic multimeter.
If you want a set of basic tests to carry out, then post back and I will list some.
There is also some guidance here:
http://wiki.diyfaq.org.uk/index.php?title=Electrical_Circuit_Faults#Detecting_circuit_faults
--
Cheers,

John.

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Thanks John. I've read the information in the link you posted, but if you can provide a set of basic tests then that would be great.
If the tests prove negative then I assume that it's simply a tracking problem as some of the other posters have suggested. The sockets have been wiped a few times and there does appear to be a fair amount of debris around the edges of the switch.
I have isolated the circuit by removing the fuse.
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geoffr wrote:

TFFT.
--
Dave - The Medway Handyman
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wrote:

So you are prepared to put yourself, and your family, at risk because rather than call in a professional? There are probably other things wrong just waiting to kill somebody.
Peter Crosland
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geoffr wrote:

OK, isolate the circuit as you have done. Unplug everything from it. If there are any fixed appliances connected to it, then turn them off with their isolator switches.
1) First test, visual inspection; take the socket off the wall, and check the wires are in the correct places, and correctly inserted in the terminals and the insulation is undamaged, the screw terminals are tight. Check the earth wires are sleeved.
2) With a multimeter on its highest ohms range, measure the resistance between earth and live on the socket terminals. It should show an open circuit.
3) Measure between live and neutral. Again it should be open circuit.
4) Measure between live and the place on the switch that you touched. Again, open circuit.
5) Measure between earth and switch, and again expect an open circuit.
6) Now with the meter on its lowest ohms range, measure between earth and neutral - you should get a low reading - under an ohm.
7) Now measure between earth and tap, you should also get a low reading (assuming you have metal plumbing to the tap).
A failure of 1 alone, or 2, 3, and 6 suggest a circuit wiring fault that needs further investigation. The article mentioned before covers the next steps (i.e. checking ring continuity at the consumer unit, and an insulation resistance check)
A failure of 4 or 5 above suggests you must replace the socket. (Although I would replace the socket anyway). Note however that these are not conclusive, since if there were a high resistance path to live, you may not see it at the low volts the multimeter tests at. If you have access to an insulation resistance tester, then that might show a fault that is otherwise not visible.
A failure of 7 suggests further investigation, depending on your plumbing etc.

Once thing to bear in mind, is that the process of inspecting etc can actually alter the results - for example a poor connection can become good just by moving the socket on its wires etc.

Now assuming all of the above pass, don't just pile back in and assume everything is ok - take a cautious step by step approach. First check the connection between the toasters earth pin and its case (low ohms range - should be near enough zero). Between live pin and earth (high ohms range - open circuit).
leave everything else disconnected, but plug the toaster in and switch it on at the socket.
*** Make sure there is no one who might go near it while testing ***.
Replace the fuse and use the multimeter on a 250V or higher voltage range to measure between case and tap. You should see near enough nothing.
Let us know how you get on.
--
Cheers,

John.

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wrote:

I would suggest buying a meter and checking the other switches
--
Michael Chare


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On Wed, 07 Oct 2009 15:31:41 +0100, John Rumm wrote:

No, it shows that the toaster is earthed:

instead
metal
He is getting the shock when *touching the switch* and something earthed, be that the tap or the metal toaster.

No, I don't believe there is a fault with the wiring or toaster. Just a lot of grunge around/in the switch. Have you never had shock/tingle from a switch when you have wet hands or from a dirty switch?
--
Cheers
Dave.




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