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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Posts
    1,248

    Shock law suit-now worried

    I read the headlines about a person winning milliions when she was shocked in the shower.

    I had the same problem. We bonded everything, added multiple g rods and 30' lateral copper line ground. water-gas-and sewer is metal and buried in the ground

    Since shock was intermittent, it was hard to trace and shock would reappear.

    Now that I see megabucks here, what else can a landlord do to protect the tenant from more shocks? e a

    Problem was eventially found to be a disconnected neutral, at the pole. What else can be done to be assured this could not happen if the utility drop could fail again? Power company sent me a letter stating their contract holds them not liable for problem with power quality, such as this.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    69
    You've done all that you can do. You're only responsible to the point of attachment to the utility

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Southeastern Pa
    Posts
    17,897
    You do realize that all those extra ground rods and buried stuff means nothing in a problem such as a shower shock, right? In that case, you are trying to make a better secondary connection to the center tap of the utility transformer, using an inherently poor medium, the earth.

    Ground rods have one purpose: to help protect the building wiring from direct and nearby lightning strike potentials. Those potentials are ground seeking, ergo, the ground rods.

    Utilities ARE protected from liability. When Wisconsin dairy farmers experienced stray current problems that bothered their dairy herds, the fix was not to improve power distribution, but instead to have the farmers install equipotential planes in and around their farm buildings.

    So, always start with the basics. I have seen at least two ungrounded conductor connector failures at service heads, so it is no surprise to see the grounded conductor connections fail, too. Remember, the triplex has two ends, so there are two possible failure points for the neutral.

    Hope this helps.
    [Avatar photo from a Florida training accident. Everyone walked away.]
    2 Tim 3:16-17

    RSES CMS, HVAC Electrical Specialist

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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Phoenix, AZ
    Posts
    198
    Quote Originally Posted by timjimbob View Post
    Power company sent me a letter stating their contract holds them not liable for problem with power quality, such as this.
    Power quality is not the same as safety, I would think.

    Bonding the tub to cold water piping?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Southeastern Pa
    Posts
    17,897
    Here is the bigger thought.

    WHY was there a potential at all on the pipes in the shower?

    There was a very high resistance between the building and the transformer, and an intentional (and certainly correct) connection between the pipes and the panel neutral connection block, and thus, the bonded piping is energized by the many circuit neutrals of the building loads.

    At that point, the building piping is energized because it cannot be pulled down to a zero potential, in reference to the transformer secondary center tap, since that connection relies nearly 100% on the service neutral. Instead, the building piping is floating above ground, and the sewer is just slightly closer to a good ground connection because its exposure to the earth is exponentially larger, and because the transformers all tie to a ground rod at their individual poles, as well.

    What you end up with is a potential, however small, between the sewer line and the building piping, because the piping is not being tied down to the same potential as the transformer secondary center tap.

    Moral: whenever you have a situation like this, remember that each 120 volt circuit is referenced to that neutral! If is is not there, those electrons will try anything to find their way back to that source.
    [Avatar photo from a Florida training accident. Everyone walked away.]
    2 Tim 3:16-17

    RSES CMS, HVAC Electrical Specialist

    AOP Forum Rules:







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