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  1. #1
    Thailand Expat superman's Avatar
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    Static electric shock off the shower.

    My wife keeps complaining about getting a electric shock off of our shower. She says it happens in the other shower room as well. I agree that when the shower is switched on we do get a static shock from the protective metal coated lead that carries the water from the shower unit to the plastic spray head. Is the solution to change the metal to plastic, same as a bum gun ? We don't get a shock off that. Or is my Earthing cable fcuked. My water pipes, as per most in Thailand, are blue plastic.
    Death is natures way of telling you to slow down.

  2. #2
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    I'd get an electrician in to look at it, better than being found dead naked in the shower and having pictures of your naked burnt body in all the news sites.

  3. #3
    Days Work Done! Norton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by superman
    Or is my Earthing cable fcuked.
    Probably.

    Quote Originally Posted by dirtydog
    I'd get an electrician in to look at it, better than being found dead naked in the shower and having pictures of your naked burnt body in all the news sites.
    Definitely.

  4. #4
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    Yes, call a good electrician, those shower heaters are efficient but electricity and water are an inherently bad combination.

    If it only has 2 wires going to it, you know it's bad, and even if it has 3, the ground may be faulty. A GFI switch is required in all bathrooms at home but TIT.

  5. #5
    I am in Jail
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    how can you tell if the ground is faulty ?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Butterfly View Post
    how can you tell if the ground is faulty ?
    It's a very cheap plug in device with 3 neon lights on it. When you plugged it in, if the correct lights came on, the outlet was wired correctly. It would indicate whether the ground was good or the polarity correct. For something like a shower heater that does not have a plug, you would use this device with 3 insulated wires with insulated alligator clips.

    Tried to buy one here, even took a picture of one off Google with me, several shops had never seen or heard of one before.

    If you want to see one, do a Google picture search "outlet ground checker".

  7. #7
    Thailand Expat baby maker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Butterfly View Post
    how can you tell if the ground is faulty ?

    ....watch Japan....your a electritian....butters....thought you know that..

  8. #8
    Valve Master
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    This is absolutely and ____DEFINITELY_____NOT_____static electricity.
    Get it checked out ASAP and get a plastic hose to replace the metal one.
    People have been killed in Thailand by malfunctioning heaters like yours.
    Remember it's 240 volts here.......not 120
    Just 2 yrs ago the 17 yr old son of a German man and Thai woman in Phuket was killed in the shower this way.

  9. #9
    crocodilexp
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    ^ Agreed, it's NOT static electricity. You're running a real risk of electrocution.

    Do not use the shower, turn off all power to the heater (flip the appropriate circuit breaker on the fuse box), so you don't use it by accident. Then, call a competent electrician you can trust (finding one won't be easy).

  10. #10
    disturbance in the Turnip baldrick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtydog
    better than being found dead naked in the shower and having pictures of your naked burnt body in all the news sites.
    I would have phrased it

    "better than you being found dead and naked in the shower and us having to view pictures of your naked burnt body in the TD news section"

    Quote Originally Posted by Latindancer
    and get a plastic hose to replace the metal one
    that may help if it is pure water

  11. #11
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    Depends... if it is an instantaneous unit I'd suggest 95% chance that it is not earthed.
    Only happens when the hot water it turned on?
    Happened to us a few months ago - prior to that, never had a problem.
    Cause was an earthing cable that had some how dislodged from the ground pole outside the house.

    1) Check the earth
    2) Have the heater unit checked
    3) Take a cold shower

  12. #12
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    This was only last month:

    A young Swedish couple was killed in Thailand after being electrocuted in the shower of their hotel on the island of Krabi, according to The Local.

    The 25-year-old man and the 23-year-old woman took a shower together on Saturday evening. After hearing a scream, friends staying in the next room rushed in to the couple’s room but found both of them dead.

    “One of the friends received an electric shock while trying to revive them,” the Aftonbladet newspaper reported.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtydog
    I'd get an electrician in to look at it
    Quote Originally Posted by crocodilexp
    (finding one won't be easy)
    Calling butterfly. Have you finished your own project. If so please help with this one.

    Quote Originally Posted by Butterfly
    how can you tell if the ground is faulty ?
    If you jump on it and sink through it it's quicksand and thus "faulty"

  14. #14
    Member EssEffBee's Avatar
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    The 'plug in' device with 3 neon lights, does not check the effectiveness of earth. It only checks for polarity, which is generally associated with TT & TN earthing systems (neutral at transformer is earthed). Also, if your power is being fed by an IT system (neutral at transformer not earthed), this device may or may not indicate an earth connection.

    The only way to test the effectiveness of earth is with an Earth Fault Loop Impedance tester. These are very expensive & require considerable knowledge of electrical theory in order to use them correctly. Also, this test is irrelevant if you are connected via an IT system, which is mainly found in rural &/or semi-rural areas.
    Many areas in Pattaya & on the outskirts of Pattaya are supplied via IT systems.

    Since this is all a wee bit complicated, the best thing you could do is invest in an RCBO (combination RCD & circuit breaker), which should be dedicated to the water heater circuit (supply cable). I wouldn't bother with that Safe-T-Cut brand (crap)...stick with a well known European brand. Expect to pay between 2200B (single pole - protected neutral bar required in consumer unit) & 4700B (double pole - protected neutral bar NOT required in consumer unit). These prices are 'list prices' from the Square-D 2008 catalog, which I believe is still current in Thailand.

    I'd opt for a 2 pole unit if possible (switches both neutral & active), particularly if you are being supplied by an IT system. This choice covers ALL possibilities.
    Idiots! I'm surrounded by idiots!

  15. #15
    Thailand Expat superman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EssEffBee
    the best thing you could do is invest in an RCBO
    I have one of these, it's made by 'Square D'.

  16. #16
    sabaii sabaii
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    As someone has said, turn off the power, then take a cold shower, bet your static problem has gone.

    It's strange how it's happening in both showers though.

    Get them checked ASAP

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by sabaii sabaii
    It's strange how it's happening in both showers though.
    maybe next to each other, or maybe one floor above, cost effective Thai way of saving on cable is to have them on the same run

  18. #18
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    Too bad the Thais cannot follow the most simple of rules; the idiot who installs it should be the first one to shower with it.

    I told the electrician I wanted a GFI switch. What I got is just a small wall switch type thing with "KKK Safety Breaker" in gold letters (I've seen them many places here). Now I'm wondering if it is a GFI/RCBO or is it just a 30 amp circuit breaker?

    Damn it, this place frustrates me sometimes.

  19. #19
    Member EssEffBee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by superman View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by EssEffBee
    the best thing you could do is invest in an RCBO
    I have one of these, it's made by 'Square D'.
    Some comments:

    1] When was the last time you pressed the 'test' button on the RCBO?
    2] Was there an electrical storm or power supply problem that may have caused your problem?

    RCBO's are electronic devices & as such, can easily fail due to voltage spikes (manmade or natural), harmonics or a problem in the general wiring.

    In your circumstances & if the RCBO is NOT tripping, I strongly suggest that this device be replaced. If the problem persists, further investigation will be needed.

    Further info.
    RCD's will not necessarily trip at their rating (i.e. 30mA). They are designed to trip FROM 50% of their rating but CANNOT trip past the maximum rating.
    For example, a 30mA RCD can trip anywhere between 15mA to 30mA.

    The problem may have more than one prong. It could be a faulty RCBO together with a problem with the neutral.

  20. #20
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    if you have an outside earth stake in the ground pour water on to wet it as the ground may have dried out and a then have a high resistants.
    Check also you have an earth cable on the shower.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by EssEffBee View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by superman View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by EssEffBee
    the best thing you could do is invest in an RCBO
    I have one of these, it's made by 'Square D'.
    Some comments:

    1] When was the last time you pressed the 'test' button on the RCBO?
    2] Was there an electrical storm or power supply problem that may have caused your problem?

    RCBO's are electronic devices & as such, can easily fail due to voltage spikes (manmade or natural), harmonics or a problem in the general wiring.

    In your circumstances & if the RCBO is NOT tripping, I strongly suggest that this device be replaced. If the problem persists, further investigation will be needed.

    Further info.
    RCD's will not necessarily trip at their rating (i.e. 30mA). They are designed to trip FROM 50% of their rating but CANNOT trip past the maximum rating.
    For example, a 30mA RCD can trip anywhere between 15mA to 30mA.
    Can please tell me; that "KKK Safety Breaker" I have, and which I've seen all over Thailand does have 2 wires going in and 2 coming out. Is it a GFI or just a circuit breaker?

  22. #22
    Thailand Expat superman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nevets
    if you have an outside earth stake in the ground pour water on to wet it as the ground may have dried out and a then have a high resistants.
    That is a good/great reply. My earth rod is located directly under my house. It's located where water wouldn't locate it if it pissed it down for 50 years. The water tables lies about 15 m down so there's a good chance you may be right. I'll give it a go. Thanks to all other posters.

  23. #23
    Member EssEffBee's Avatar
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    nevets,
    pouring water on the earth electrode will do nothing.
    An earth electrode in an IT installation is almost meaningless, if the installation is IT connected.

    BobR,
    I've never seen one of these things. Maybe it can be searched via google?

    Further info:
    If your earth electrode is a minimum of 2m long & is copper or copper clad steel (not copper coated), it should be doing it's job. The 'water table' has little effect on earth impedance.
    Ideally, the earth electrode SHOULD be placed;
    a] where it is exposed to the weather.
    b] where it will NOT be damaged.

    There are special methods for connecting the earth electrode to your system. These methods should be strictly adhered to.
    Last edited by EssEffBee; 10-05-2011 at 09:16 PM.

  24. #24
    Thailand Expat superman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EssEffBee
    It could be a faulty RCBO together with a problem with the neutral.
    Yes I did have after a power surge last year, but the shower problem started before that. I've since replaced the RCBO at a cost of 2,000 Baht but static stll persists.

  25. #25
    Member EssEffBee's Avatar
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    If the RCBO's have been correctly connected, they will detect an imbalance of current & trip accordingly.

    Without looking at your installation & also knowing the 'knowledge' of Thai electricians, it could be a number of things.

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