why does my ground have current

Discussion in 'Electrical and Wiring' started by gavimobile, Oct 13, 2008.

  1. Oct 13, 2008 #1

    gavimobile

    gavimobile

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    ground cable is passing current,

    my diagnostics,

    i have one of these screwdrivers which lights up from a electrical current. I have an empty fuse open on my fuse box, so i took a new cable (about 2 feet long). positive goes on the top of the fuse and negative goes on the bottom where a strip of metal where all the other negatives are going, ground is not connected on either side just for my test. when i test both sides of ground my screwdriver lights up. i turned off all the other fuses in the house and same thing. is this normal? i am positive both sides of the ground are not in tact with anything.
    to prevent me from getting shocked from my refridgerator, i have currently disconnected all grounds till i solve this problem. negative is not showing any current.

    brown = positive
    blue = negetive
    yellow/green = ground

    tia
    gavimobile
     
  2. Oct 13, 2008 #2

    glennjanie

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    Welcome Gavimobile:

    We speak of 'hot' wires, 'common' wires and 'ground' wires. Yet the power companies only run hot wires and a ground to our houses and businesses. Yet we know that electric current for these uses is called AC or alternating current; that means the power goes both ways or alternates direction.
    Therefore, when power is traveling through the hot wire it is also traveling through the 'common' wire and the ground wire is typically connected to the same place as the common, so power also flows through the ground.
    I can think of one exception. In hospitals we are required to have 'dedicated grounds' in some instances. These wires are not interconnected with any others but go directly to a seperate ground. Since they have nothing to do with the power or common wires we would not expect to find any active current in the dedicated ground.
    I hope this hasn't added to your confusion but it is a lengthy subject and many still say we can't even prove the existence of electricity.
    Glenn
     
  3. Oct 13, 2008 #3

    Square Eye

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    I have no confidence in those screwdrivers that show voltage.


    90% of the time, when I find a hot ground, someone has made a mistake while wiring an appliance or a receptacle for an appliance. One mistake on a 240v circuit can cause a hot ground. You need to get a good voltage meter with 2 wires and find the ground wire that's causing the problem.

    If your only evidence of a hot ground is a light on a screwdriver voltage tester, it could actually be inductance caused by the flow of current in the close proximity of the ground wires. It's entirely normal to get a very low voltage reading from Earth ground to the household grounding system. Another cause for low voltage readings on ground is the difference in potential on the ground system caused by static electrical charges, improper grounding of household items.

    Bottom line, ditch the screwdriver tester, get a real meter. Find the problem, if there is a problem, through the process of elimination. One ground wire at a time, then trace the source of the offender.
     
  4. Oct 13, 2008 #4

    gavimobile

    gavimobile

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    thanks guys for the reply,

    maybe this will change your thinking.. There is 1 ground which is connected which does not have current. its pluged in to the outlet behind my refridgerator.

    heres the whole story... when i moved in i had this problem, so as one of you said, when one wrong wire is in place it can cause this. this is why i redid ALL the electric in my house from scratch. the cables were well over 50 years old AT LEAST. i found tuna cans in my walls for central electric meeting points. anyways i added new cable insulation and new central boxes (meeting points). I dont think this is static electric which is running through my ground, because i get shocked when i dont have shoes on if i touch metal in my house. Also, I have tried turning off all fuses except for the test cable i pluged in for my test. even if all the fuses were off, my ground still passed current. even if it was some sort of static, then why doesnt the blue (negative) pass current on test? im thinking the plastic of the yellow/green cable is made differently from the blue cable.

    anyone willing to go over my setup with my 1 by one?
    I have about 5 outlets and about 3 lightswitches, i have a 1 br house!

    thanks
    gavi

    update: i got a multimeter, how do i do this?

    correct me if im wrong
    black wire to com
    red wire to V

    the highest voltage is 600 so i set it to this volt (found out to set highest ac volt from google)
    " Set the meter for the highest range provided for AC Volts"

    when i put black cable to negative (com)
    and
    red wire to positive (V)
    it returns approx 235 for each fuse,
    what am i supose to test?

    gavi
     
  5. Oct 13, 2008 #5

    gavimobile

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    i decided to attach a photo so you guys can see

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Oct 13, 2008 #6

    Square Eye

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    If you have a metal water pipe in your working plumbing system, run a wire to that, scrape it clean and clamp wire to pipe. Water pipes will give you a true Earth ground. From there, one ground at a time, test for voltage between the pipe and the ground wires in your panel. The readings should be zero volts.

    When you find the offending ground wire (voltage), trace it back to the source and correct the problem.

    I have to admit, I have no idea what the electrical code in your country is like. I'm not sure what your voltage should be or what colors are standard for hot, neutral and ground. I can only help with basic ground and voltage testing. Anyway, find the bad ground, Make sure the ground from the electrical service is good, There should be no voltage between the water pipes and the ground wires.

    Do you have a ground rod outside, actually buried in the ground with the home grounding system attached to it?
     
  7. Oct 13, 2008 #7

    gavimobile

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    squareeye, thanks for the fast reply.... does this mean there is no point in testing without my ground to the waterpipe... I was already told to do this, but have not done so yet... That was my next step after i solved this, but maybe i just dug a big hole cause this was supose to be done first!
    also if all my grounds are connected and all my electrical appliances are unpluged and my ground is returning 2 volts on my ground section is that normal? and will this go away once i do the main ground connection to my main water pipe outside?

    thanks gavi
     
  8. Oct 13, 2008 #8

    speedy petey

    speedy petey

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    This is NOT true in many cases. In some cases this advice is extremely dangerous.
    A "true earth ground" is also NOT what he needs. He needs a ground bonded to the grounded conductor of the electrical system.
    Voltage does NOT seek <earth> ground! It is seeking it's source.

    Just because a water pipe is metallic does NOT mean it is a reliable ground source.
    In the US there are strong restrictions as to whether a water pipe can even be used as a ground. The main ones are that the water pipe MUST be in contact with the earth for at least 10' and it MUST already be used as a grounding electrode and that any "ground" wires connected to it are done so within 5' of where the pipe enters the house.

    I also do not know the codes over there, but I know the above advice is not safe.
     
  9. Oct 13, 2008 #9

    gavimobile

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    speedy, i appreciate your concern, but i couldnt really care less if this is to code or not. this isny my house, i am just renting... i would just like to not get a shock when i touch electical appliances when i am barefoot in my own home! my water pipe is much more than 10 feet long, and its underground!
    will this 2 volts disappear once i ground the ground to the waterpipe?
    thanks
    gavi
     
  10. Oct 13, 2008 #10

    speedy petey

    speedy petey

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    WOW! :eek: OK, real nice.
    It's a good thing you are not in the US then. Messing with the electric in a place you are renting would not be legal.

    Do they not have landlords in Israel???
     
  11. Oct 13, 2008 #11

    gavimobile

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    lol, its really a long story..

    i was paying about 1300 nis / 3.5 =$
    she reduced me to 1000 nis cause she wants to sell the entier property. she said she is reducting my rent cause she couldnt care less to improving the place since the property is for sale.. thats where i come in. i have a landlord who i dont ever see. i just deposit her money once a month via transfer..

    once i connect the ground to a metal pipe will the volate on my ground go away?

    gavimobile
     
  12. Oct 13, 2008 #12

    speedy petey

    speedy petey

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    Sure. Why not. :rolleyes:
     
  13. Oct 14, 2008 #13

    Square Eye

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    Just to clarify, since my post was so misunderstood lol...

    The wire from your water pipe was to be connected to one lead on the meter, the other meter lead was to check for voltage on each ground wire. I have no idea what you have as far as grounding, whether grounding rods or plumbing ground. But if you're being shocked when bare foot in your home, a water pipe ground is a good indicator of where the fault is in the grounding system. I never said connect the water pipe to your panel as a permanent ground.


    Dangerous advice? Try this one;
     
  14. Oct 14, 2008 #14

    speedy petey

    speedy petey

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    Square, I was merely stating that a "water pipe" is not an automatic source of ground as far as the electrical system goes. EVEN if it is in contact with the earth.
    If it is not bonded to the electrical system then it serves NO purpose and will not give any sort of accurate reading no matter what you are trying to test.

    And yes, if this ground is left in place it could very well be dangerous. It seems as if the OP does not care what he does as long as the final result is what he wants. Even in a place he rents.
    Oh well.




    I guess I was also misunderstood.
    I was being sarcastic since my attempt at giving safe advice was being ignored. See the little rollie eyes thing?

    Good luck with this guys.
     
  15. Oct 14, 2008 #15

    Square Eye

    Square Eye

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    Well speedy, what would you do?
    Why not help the guy out?
    Where would you start looking for the trouble?
    Why not help and leave the sarcasm alone when someone's asking for advice?
     
  16. Oct 14, 2008 #16

    speedy petey

    speedy petey

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    For one thing because I do sarcasm so well. :cool:


    I have NO idea AT ALL what the electrical systems are like in that part of the world, so I have no place giving advice on what he should do.
    I have some idea of things he should not do, but that's about it.

    Do you even know if this is 120/240v or 220V?
     
  17. Oct 14, 2008 #17

    speedy petey

    speedy petey

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  18. Oct 14, 2008 #18

    Square Eye

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    Well... ok
     
  19. Oct 14, 2008 #19

    gavimobile

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    any other helpful suggestions please???

    i just want to know if 2V for a ground wire is normal
     
  20. Oct 14, 2008 #20

    Square Eye

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    yep, that could be inductance. Could be anything. 2 volts shouldn't be shocking you though. By far, the best possible thing you could do, is to find a friend experienced with electrical.. Even better would be to get someone licensed to check your wiring. The things I suggested are merely a very basic test to see why you're getting shocked when you touch metal in your home. If you had found a ground wire that had full voltage or near full voltage, you would have been able to trace that circuit and fix the problem.

    You still might consider going back through and checking the wire inside your junction boxes and in your outlet boxes for skinned, even tiny nicks on the wire's insulation where the wire touches the boxes. Check for screws that could have penetrated the insulation, check the wire at the point where it enters the boxes. It doesn't take much to become a big problem.
     

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