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Old 06-29-2013, 05:54 AM   #1
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Shocking question !

So I usually leave the van plugged in to shore power when sitting in the driveway , yesterday I went to open the driver door and...WACK... 110v to my left arm! Any of you electrical wizards have an idea why this is happening ? I haven't performed any mods or altered anything in the van it just sorta happened , bad ground maybe ??? Any and all suggestions greatly appreciated !
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Old 06-29-2013, 09:13 AM   #2
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Re: Shocking question !

Don't know about the van, but might want to make sure that the receptacle it's plugged into at your house is grounded properly, and is a GFI type receptacle. If there is a 120v short to the chassis of the van, it should trip the GFI.
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Old 06-29-2013, 11:21 AM   #3
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Re: Shocking question !

I would check your extension cord carefully.

Use a voltmeter and check for voltage at the ground terminal. Use a metal water pipe for a ground reference.

Open any added cable ends (molded on ends should be good if it is a UL or CSA or TUV approved cable) and make sure a single strand of wire isn't connecting the ground and hot terminals. Or the ground and neutral either, since there is no guaranty the outlet or extension is properly wired.

If that checks good, start checking the van. The 120V connections in the van could have the same issues as the extension cord. Unplug from shore power, turn off any inverters and ohm out the shore power connector and any 120V outlets.

Usually 120V wakes you up, but it rarely kills. 240V hurts a lot more and has a better chance of doing you in. 480V and above make me very cautious.

Another way to check it, would be to turn off the power, connect the shore power, ground the van (jumper cables frame to water pipe) and turn on the power. This may cause a minor explosion or fire, so it is not recommended. But, it will find a hidden short.

Mike
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Old 06-29-2013, 04:00 PM   #4
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Re: Shocking question !

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ford_6L_E350
480V and above make me very cautious.
Understatement of the day And I like the method of finding the short. There have been times when I've been THAT frustrated.
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Old 06-29-2013, 08:13 PM   #5
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Re: Shocking question !

Mike summed it up well. Stray voltage can come from several sources though. It can even come from an appliance or a problem from inside your house. At times the ground itself can be hot. I've had people getting shocked off their water pipes and found the cause was from their neighbors house across the street but I doubt that is your problem and it's probably something much more simple. Start at the source (test it as posted) and work your way into the van. Test voltage between the van body to the house ground if the shore power and the extension cord plug checks OK. Have somebody turn the power on after you get into the van and turn off all the breakers before powering up the van. Turn the shore power back on. Test between the van body and house ground. If no voltage is present turn on and off each breaker to test each circuit one by one. If you find it's coming off one circuit you'll need to look over everything from the breaker to the plugs. It could be a wire rubbed raw or a screw through the wire. One of these might help speed up things. I'd also take a close look at the vans shore power plug. You might have to pull it out to look at it.



On the average 110 kills more than 220 mainly because it's more common. For the most part it's the current that kills you and just a couple of years ago we lost one of our apprentice lineman to 110v. 110 has a tendency to make you freeze on to it where 220 usually makes you flinch. But Mike is correct in that for how many times people are shocked, being electrocuted is fairly rare.
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Old 07-01-2013, 07:41 PM   #6
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Re: Shocking question !

Thanks for all the feedback, haven't had time to test anything yet but I threw on a GFI wall adapter. Hasn't tripped yet and I'm not getting shocked so it'll do for now. It's also been raining here for about 10 days which doesn't help.
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