getting a shock at the sink

peonyfanMarch 4, 2011

I don't know anything about electric wiring. In our new 1960s house (we've not moved in yet as we'll be doing renovations) we've used the bathroom sink at least a dozen times. My husband has gotten shocked at it twice. At first he thought he hit his funny bone because he was leaning on the vanity with his forearms while washing hands. Then it happened to him later that day, but after that wasn't able to repeat the problem and even thought he might have been imagining it. I'd been using it without a problem, but today, I shocked myself (these are slight shocks, enough to cause a tingle in the hands). I wondered if I could repeat it. I was wearing running shoes and was cleaning off some plastic eye protection. I turned off the intercom radio and tried again. I was able to repeat the problem. I turned off the only light that was on nearby. I was able to repeat the problem. After this, we decided not to use that sink anymore and wonder what the problem is. We are in the planning phase of our kitchen remodel and are doing things like taking out carpet now. We'll be having someone come to upgrade the electrical panel and do some lighting, later but I wonder if there is anything we should know about this problem and if just not using the bathroom is good for now. We are not planning on remodeling that bathroom, except to paint. Our home inspector said the electrical panel was old but 200 amps and in pristine condition.

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kudzu9

Could be dangerous...or not. Take a look at this thread and then maybe get an electrician involved.

Here is a link that might be useful: Faucet has current

    Bookmark   March 5, 2011 at 12:35AM
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brickeyee

Use an extension cord plugged into a grounded outlet.

Measure form the ground of the cord to the faucet, drain, etc.

A failed electric water heater element is a common cause of leakage voltage on the water supply lines, and the drain lines are often well grounded if metal pipe was used.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2011 at 9:30AM
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civ_IV_fan

do you have an electric water heater? where is it installed?

    Bookmark   March 11, 2011 at 1:18PM
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xracer

getting a shock around water is nothing to mess around with.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2011 at 3:13PM
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brickeyee

"i think this current should be comes from you other electrical equipments those installed in your kitchen just like water geezer, electric toaster etc. you must recheck your kitchen wiring."

\Not very likely if you are not touching them and the faucet or a metal sink at the same time.

A broken water heater element is notorious for causing problems like this.

The current flow is way below the typical 30 amps of the water heater circuit breaker.
It is very possible for an otherwise working electric water heater element to electrify the water.

Unless you want to try hit or miss repairs, figuring out what is actually electrified is a good first step.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2011 at 8:24PM
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