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Phil, Mechanical Engineer
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 7534
Experience:  Retired electrical contractor, 51 years experience.
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Everytime we shower and touch the bathtub faucet to shut it

Customer Question

Everytime we shower and touch the bathtub faucet to shut it off we get a 6volt shock. We have had 3 electricians and no one can fix the problem! Any ideas or suggestions to further try?
Thank you
Submitted: 9 days ago.
Category: Electrical
Expert:  Mike G. replied 9 days ago.

Hi, I'm Mike and I'll be assisting you. Please stand by while I review your question.

Expert:  Mike G. replied 9 days ago.

I see all the steps you made to correct the issue except one. You need to bond the cold water pipe with a #6 copper wire. If you have Pex plumbing, there should be a bond made at the first metal with a wire sized as a ground for any circuit close.

Customer: replied 9 days ago.
We have copper piping. all grounding goes through the hot water heater and it was grounded.
Customer: replied 9 days ago.
We have copper piping not Pex. All grounding goes through the hot water heater and the electrician grounded everything.
But still a 6 v shock while in shower when turning off the faucet.
thank you
Customer: replied 9 days ago.
Since we do not have sex plumbing this answer does not help. Any other suggestions. I will rate you only if I can get an answer that i paid for. thank you
Expert:  Mike G. replied 9 days ago.

You'll need a clamp meter to test the other grounding. What you are stating could be a neutral problem and the ground is completing the circuit.

Expert:  Mike G. replied 9 days ago.

Your impatience make me choose to opt out. Good luck.

Expert:  Phil replied 9 days ago.

Hello, I think I see the problem ... you mentioned that the ground goes through the water heater... that would be a problem if the required electrolytic unions were used (they are part of all such flex connections, if its hard piped there could still be an isolator in the loop.

Try clamping a 3 foot length of your bare #6 copper to each copper pipe, cold water in, hot water out at the water heater.

Let me know how that works. We can go from here without a time limit.

Expert:  Phil replied 9 days ago.

Note, clamp to the rigid copper copper only, not the flex connectors.

Customer: replied 9 days ago.
Ok we will not be able to get over to the house on Monday. Is that still ok to get back to you if we try that and it still doesn't work?
Customer: replied 9 days ago.
a # 6 soft copper wire?
Expert:  Phil replied 9 days ago.

Yes #6 soft copper wire, and clamp it *tight to the pipe... then try it, that should work, but if not get back to me and we can go from there.

When we finally get this resolved it will be time to locate the 'finish and rate' link and click on it, that is the only way the company pays me for my time. Thanks.

Customer: replied 7 days ago.
We got the #6 copper wire and clamped it to the hot and cold on the water heater. There was not a shock but our meter is still reading 5 volts. We are still very concerned because we have been told that the voltage could change higher. Every electrician we know and have had to the house are stumped!!
Expert:  Phil replied 7 days ago.

At least we solved the shock problem... you are now well grounded most likely.

The 5 volt meter read would be an an electrical leak due to a wiring error or defective appliance most likely...we can narrow it down to a single circuit by observing the meter as you turn one breaker off at a time.

Meantime look this video over.... the the cause of the electrical leak will be in that range.

After we identify the circuit, we can then disconnect or unplug one item at time from it until we get to the culprit.

Expert:  Phil replied 6 days ago.

Reverse polarity is a tricky issue, it takes most of us several viewings to understand

Customer: replied 4 days ago.
Ok we are away for a few days and will get on to this when we return. We appreciate it and my husband and the electrician definitely are in agreement that this may be a great next step to try.
Expert:  Phil replied 4 days ago.

That sounds like progress.

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