electric shock


Postby alastair mckie » Tue Jun 02, 2009 9:56 pm

Here in Spain if I touch metal parts of the cooker or washing machine
and the sink at the same time,which I suppose must be earth, I get a shock.
Does this mean the installation is not earthed? None of the sockets seem to have an earth wire.
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Postby kbrownie » Wed Jun 03, 2009 11:45 am

alastair mckie
No not at all, there could be a live conductor touching the metal work of the appliances, electric will find easiest path to earth, so if you are touching cooker and a fault is making the casing live, but there is no path to earth via you, depending what your in contact with. ie you may have rubber sholed shoes or the flooring may be a good insulator, you may not get a shock, until you do touch a good conductor to earth ie your sink via the metal work.
I guess there is no earth and not sure what voltage spain works of off.
KB
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Postby alastair mckie » Thu Jun 04, 2009 10:22 pm

[quote="kbrownie"]alastair mckie
No not at all, there could be a live conductor touching the metal work of the appliances, electric will find easiest path to earth, so if you are touching cooker and a fault is making the casing live, but there is no path to earth via you, depending what your in contact with. ie you may have rubber sholed shoes or the flooring may be a good insulator, you may not get a shock, until you do touch a good conductor to earth ie your sink via the metal work.
I guess there is no earth and not sure what voltage spain works of off.
KB[/quote]

Why should two new electrical appliances have an electrical fault?
Or does the electrical fault include incorrect house wiring?
Perhaps neutral and live reversed ? but then aren´t modern appliances
double insulated i.e. all external metal parts are electrically isolated
from current carrying components.
Incidentally Spain is now 99% 240volts though 125v still exists. When
I first came here 20 years ago no house was complete without its
transformer to enable people to use modern 240v equipment.
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Postby kbrownie » Fri Jun 05, 2009 9:55 pm

alastair mckie,
I hope you appreciate that not seeing things in it's real light, makes it a little difficult to diagnosing faults, it is not so straight forward as it may seem.
Modern appliance these days, if made to the correct standards are built so there is less of a risk of the outer casing becoming live, that does not mean it can't happen.
But you are right to querry two appliance giving shocks.
My original answer was offered in regards to the question you asked, not to diagnose faults but i'll have bash for you, so a few questions:
What sort of CU do you have and what devices are protecting circuit and installation?
For instance do you have MCBs and RCD protection?
At the fuse box/CU is there any signs of a mains earth supply?
KB
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Postby diydaveh » Sat Jun 06, 2009 2:49 pm

You have a potentially lethal situation there.
Get a pro. electrician to check your installation. I'm fairly sure that all the exposed metalwork should be externally bonded to earth, usually via the water supply pipe. If your appliances are connected via sockets, the earth connection may be in the rim of the socket which makes contact with metal tabs in the plugs. Even so, that earth connection may be faulty, and the bonding is only a back-up in the event of leakage.
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Postby diydaveh » Sat Jun 06, 2009 2:50 pm

You have a potentially lethal situation there.
Get a pro. electrician to check your installation. I'm fairly sure that all the exposed metalwork should be externally bonded to earth, usually via the water supply pipe. If your appliances are connected via sockets, the earth connection may be in the rim of the socket which makes contact with metal tabs in the plugs. Even so, that earth connection may be faulty, and the bonding is only a back-up in the event of leakage.
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Postby kbrownie » Sun Jun 07, 2009 11:32 am

If complying to BS7671. diydaveh is right, but I don't know the spainish electrical regs or the requirement that domestic electrical installation in spain need to comply to, may be diydaveh does?
KB
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Postby moggy1968 » Tue Jun 16, 2009 8:48 pm

it certainly sounds to me more like the water system has become live due to a fault. there are a number of possible reasons for this.
firstly it could simply be static. you need to measure how much current and volts is actually being produced
does the supplier provide a main earth? if so is this attached, correctly. Is there any bonding in place? if so is this applied correctly or is it rendered useless by plastic pipes or connections between the incoming pipes and sink.
also try and identify if there is a particular circuit that makes the sink live? pull all the plugs, then test for any current at the waterpipes, then switch on each circuit in turn and see which if any, energises the pipework. then, if you find a faulty circuit the fun really starts!!
the reason you are probably getting shock when you touch other appliances is that they are class one appliances and you are earthin the possible fault through their metal outer casing.
The last time I delat with one of these it was multiple faults which caused the piperwork and taps to become live

having said all that, I am not familliar with european electrical systems which can be significantly below the standards of the UK and of a very different design.
Andy
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