I've long wondered this but have never had a knowledgeable bunch of
people sitting there with idle time just waiting to jump up and offer me
an explanation... ;-)
What is that vibrating sensation you get when you lightly touch the
metal on a mains appliance?
What causes it? Is it a sign of inadequate earthing?
dave @ stejonda
"To materialist eyes, India is a developing country;
Get your wife a cordless vibrator, it'll solve the problem. Alternatively,
lower the light switch to buttock height and get her to turn the lights on
with her cheeks, you'll then have a happy wife and no need to worry about
On Tue, 18 May 2004 19:30:52 +0100, in uk.d-i-y "dave @ stejonda"
Well, I thought that after I posted, possibly not. But it wants
checking to make sure it is functioning correctly. It depends what the
leakage on the appliance is, you could measure it with a meter to
check it against the RCD In rating.
We used to have an electric kettle - back in the sixties and it ws second
hand even then - which we knew was switched on because it gave us a buzz if
We also had one of those electric one bar fires, with the curved back, which
received the Home Service.
No, straight ...
As others have, said it's leakage current; what you're feeling is mild nerve
stimulation as you form a path to earth. The cause is almost certainly
capacitive coupling to an ungrounded conductor. If the equipment is double
insulated it's absolutely normal to get this effect, if it's not double
insulated (i.e. it's supposed to have a ground wire) then check the earthing
and treat it with care.
New meters (digital) are only around a fiver, but if not abused,
it should be fine.
If it's two appliances, it's less likely to be a fault with the appliance.
As a basic check, take the plug out, and measure on a low-ohms range
the resistance between the earth pin (the long one) and the metal of
It should measure under an ohm or two.
If this is so, then it's likely that the appliance is not at fault.
It works fine - except that the high Ohms range doesn't work any more
since the 15V battery it requires is no longer available. I still find
it more satisfying to see a swinging needle rather just an LCD readout.
Check out Ebay for a spare battery. What type is it?
Trouble is most measurements given these days assume a high impedance
meter, so you might have a problem there.
DVMs are now available with a bar graph extra readout which gives some
semblance of a swinging needle.
*42.7% of statistics are made up. Sorry, that should read 47.2% *
Dave Plowman email@example.com London SW 12
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