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Thread: A shocking shower experience...

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    A shocking shower experience...

    Hey guys, a real week of what the hell's I've just had...thank goodness its weekend!
    Here's one for you...hopefully someone can help...?
    I have a client who has been complaining of getting shocked from the taps when he showers.
    He has 2 geysers. And 4 bathrooms.
    2 of the shower rooms are fed off of each of the geysers.
    Off of each geyser, 1 shower gives shocks when the taps are touched...the other does not...
    I did the original CoC on the premises so I know that the earth bonding is in place...checked it again tonight and it is perfectly bonded.
    I thought that maybe the earth from the earth bar to the geyser was faulty but once tested for continuity I realised that this too is still perfectly intact.
    Tested the geyser elements just in case and they are perfect as well.
    I got the multimeter out and tested voltage from earth to the taps... 8V AC.
    I get this 7.8 - 8V reading on the 2 showers affected but nothing on the 2 showers not affected! Yet they are using the same copper plumbing pipes as a feed, and come from the same geyser!!
    I have told my client that the voltage is certainly non lethal, but is no doubt not ideal.
    I have suggested rubber mats on the shower floor until I can come up with a solution.
    This is a holiday house so is only used twice a year, but is still not right.
    How on earth (excuse the pun) is this voltage existing when everything is earthed properly?? And how do I get rid of this voltage?
    I am thinking of knocking in an earth spike outside of the house in the locations of the geyser and running a separate earth from the pipes to the earth spike. Surely this would alleviate the voltage on the piping?
    Please help guys...my client is rather upset, but consoled that they will not die from the experience at least...
    Thanx
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    Diamond Member AndyD's Avatar
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    I evvy you, sounds like a great fault to get your teeth into and give your tester (and brain) a good run. One day when I'm in the mood for typing I'll tell you the story about a similar fault I one had with a shower giving shocks several years ago, lets just say it took me about 24 site hours to find the cause but I doubt it would be relevant to your problem so it's one for another day.

    You say you can see a small voltage (8V) between the taps and a known earth, this is great news because you've already shown that the taps are at an elevated voltage, not the floor or shower wall etc. Also if you can see the voltage on your tester it means it should be easy to localize where it's originating from.

    Have you tried knocking the MCB's off one by one at the DB to see which circuit is causing the voltage on the taps? If it's the geyser circuit, next question is does the voltage only appear when the element is heating or is it still there when the thermostat opens and the element stops heating? Finally did you IR test the geyser at 500v? If so what was the reading?
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    Electric Fence earth spike could be touching an underground pipe - fence could be kicking back causing the shock
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    Thanx for the response guys...
    I already thought it might be the electric fence, but the voltage is constant. If it was the fence, then it should pulse and disappear with the fence charge...
    I have IR tested the geyser. One of the 1st things I did. Element is perfect on both affected geysers.
    I have not tried knocking the circuit breakers off one at a time...this makes a lot of sense to try isolate which one is causing the voltage leak.
    I will try this in the next day or three when I get a chance to return to the installation.
    Cheers
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    Gold Member Sparks's Avatar
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    Another thought which might find the fault before or after you identify the guilty circuit.
    When some people add circuitry the do not adhere to the distance from the hotwater pipe. They just let the wire lie on top of the pipe ending in what your client is experiencing and gradually getting worse until the current exceeds the CB capacity.

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