Hot tub electrified. It’s stumped 2 electricians so far.
After spending 20 minutes in the hot tub, I exited the tub and went to check the chemicals with a test strip. I got zapped hard. I had the spa guy come take a look and he got zapped at the dedicated breaker box for the spa. The screws to the cover were hot. He said it was a problem in the house and left.
I called out an electrician and he checked the house breaker box and said everything in the box was fine so he left.
Soo, I called out another electrician and he spent approx 3 hours trying to figure it out. Nothing. He even called out the electrical company to check the transformer next to the house and he pulled the meter. The electric company said it wasn’t on their end. So it’s somewhere in the house.
About 3 months ago I got a slight tingle from a chicken plucker while processing chickens out in the yard. The plucker was plugged into an extension cord that plugged into a exterior gfi outlet. Nothing tripped. I figured it was because water had got into the plucker motor.
So here is what I’ve tried:
– checked every outlet with a tester and everything is wired correctly.
– checked the ground rod and there is constant voltage that varies from 20-90 volts. (It depends on what is being used in the house.)
– I had the wife turn off 1 breaker at a time trying to isolate the circuit but there wasn’t just one circuit that shut the power off to the grounding rod or spa. Some of the breakers dropped the voltage down 5 volts,12 volts and so on. It seemed random. The main breaker did kill all the power to the spa and ground rod.
– with the main power on, I shut the outside breaker off to the spa and still had 12-20 volts in the water.
– tested the spa water with and without the jets going and the jets increase the voltage in the water to 80volts.
– checked the spa water while my wife used the oven in the house and it read 112volts.
– checked the voltage on each breaker with a multimeter and they all had approx 123 volts.
– all lights and appliances work in the house.
-the electrician bypassed the feeder wire between the meter and the electrical panel just to rule out an issue there. Everything stayed the same.
The electrician said he was going to talk to his boss and see if he had any ideas. I’ve got about 2 feet of soil before hitting bedrock so I’m thinking I need to upgrade my ground to start with. Other than that, I’m just going to wait for the electrician to try and figure it out.
My guess is that I have a Brad nail/screw through a wire and a crappy ground. Or this place is haunted.
Thanks for your time.
We had a floating neutral that caused some strange things. A tree fell on the line to the house broke the neutral line, but the hot line stayed intact.
What do you mean by this --– checked the ground rod and there is constant voltage that varies from 20-90 volts. (It depends on what is being used in the house.
I've seen this problem twice. Both times it was a short from one of the hot legs to the earth. Not to electrical ground but to the earth.The earth becomes electrified. One time it was a well circuit some 50 yds from the house. You could get shocked at the house that far away. I disconnected the ground connection at the house an put a volt meter across this gap. I got noticeable voltage. When I tracked down the short it was easily fixed. The other time an underground circuit was damaged. The short is not enough to trip a breaker but enough to cause problems. If you have voltage from your system to ground this is probably the cause of your problem. Good luck. Keep us posted.
Thinking about it it seems possible that a short in a neighbors system could be the cause.
I’m not that knowledgeable with electrical but I thought I would put the multimeter red probe on the copper ground wire that connects to the ground rod and the black probe pushed into the dirt. I’ve done it a few different times throughout the day and it changes depending on what is on in the house. For instance, I just checked it and it read 15.7 volts. I turned on the oven and it went up to 46.3volts. I had the wife turn off the oven and it dropped to 16volts. I did the same process with the hot tub. 70.1 volts while the jets were on and 19.6 volts when I shut the jets off.
There should never be any potential between your electrical system and ground. Contact your power supplier and have them investigate. Turn off your main breaker and check it. Check voltages on each circuit between legs and from each leg to neutral. Between legs should be 240 to neutral should be 120. If a leg to neutral shows greater than 120 your problem is probably in that circuit.
One other thing I find odd is that we’ve had 3 vehicle batteries go bad, 2- quad batteries and our gate battery go bad in the last few months. I’m sure it’s just coincidental since the batteries were getting old but it still seems odd.
The neutral wire could also have a problem
After the electrician came back for a 2nd time. He pulled every wire out of every breaker and tested each circuit. He concluded it was on the power companies side. The power company came out and ran tests on the meter, transformer, and some test at the pole. They figured out it was a buried concentric wire that carries current back to the pole transformer from the house.
The remedy was to disconnect the underground power line, then install 3 power poles on my property and run a temporary power line to my house transformer until they can run a new underground power line. It looks like it might be a couple months until everything gets completed.
Now we will see if I have to pay the electrician or if the power company will pick up the bill since they said it wasn’t on their side.
Thanks for all the tips and suggestions!
Let's keep in mind that "Earth Ground" is not what we really think it is. Yes, EARTH is ground. But we're only connecting at one point...the rod. From a consultant's seminar on this, the impedance through the ground rod to earth is around 25 ohms, passing about 4 amps at 120V. This isn't enough to trip a breaker, should the "ground" get energized.
Another point: This happened to me years ago, growing up. My house had an electric water heater. One element blew, but the element separated and was able to put about 80V onto the galvanized plumbing (which was grounded to the panel). Standing barefoot on the ground outside, I attempted to connect a hose to the spigot, and was promptly shocked. A ground rod would not have completely eliminated this "stray" voltage.