wet area - shock from switch cover screw

homeboundSeptember 23, 2010

Neighbor is getting shocked (not static) from switch plate screws in the bathroom after a remodel (they touched the light switch while standing barefooted). It's a 40's house with BX cable, plus some other remodeling work done by a "house flipper". There was evidence of improper wiring done by that owner that has already been corrected (found in the bathroom ceiling near the half-witted install of a non-working vent fan).

As for this energized switch (and two others in the adjacent room), the electician says the boxes (metal) are grounded, but that he suspects the neutral and ground were co-mingled or misconnected somewhere when they did the work. He says that it's hard to find, and that it would be wiser to pull new wire for the circuit. Are there other ways to fix this without opening walls, etc? (He says not.) Thanks much.

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If it was a real remodel, then they were required to entirely re-wire the bathroom with a new circuit. Not just junction box the old all over the place and make it work. Time to go after the electrician and get it re-wired on his dime, assuming the electrician knew it was a remodel and not just a service call/ repair.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2010 at 9:17AM
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Yes, there is a way to stop the shocks without ripping the walls apart.

It's just as much of a hack as the one that caused the problem, so forget it.

Pull a new cable. At the very minimum, back to a point where you KNOW the existing wiring is good.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2010 at 6:18PM
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"Real remodel". Not exactly. Everything on the sly. The current electrician had nothing to do with that work so he has no idea what short-cuts the remodel got. He'll pull new cable if they give him the job, of course, but they are looking for cheap outs.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2010 at 9:53PM
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Unfortunately a frequent problem with wannabe contractors. Don't let this one go, tell them you're calling the city codes department to ask if their work is ok. That aught to get an interesting response.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2010 at 10:45PM
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