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Minor electric shock with the power off... faulty circuit breaker?

Discussion in 'Electrics UK' started by MagMrMax, 22 Dec 2020.

  1. MagMrMax

    MagMrMax

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    Apologies if this sounds ridiculous, but it's true.

    I've just moved a socket downstairs in the utility room. Turned every switch off on the circuit breaker in the garage, uncoupled the socket, moved the wires, recoupled, no problem.

    I then went to change a standard light switch in an upstairs bedroom. It's got two red live wires and 1 yellow/green Earth in the wall. I didn't turn the power back on or anything ridiculous like that, and I removed the old switch fine. On bending the wires to get them into the correct positions for the new switch, though, I brushed the tip of one of the red wires with my hand and got an electric shock.

    I couldn't say which red it was (or whether I touched them both), and I wasn't going to try and repeat the experiment, but I was rather taken aback that such a thing could happen.

    I can guarantee that every switch on the breaker was off at the time I was shocked, so have I:

    (a) got a slightly faulty circuit breaker,
    (b) just been unlucky and some residual current or static buildup was left in the system, or
    (c) something else.

    Thank you
     
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  3. terryplumb

    terryplumb

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    Show pics of your consumer unit and all the breakers that you think we're turned off.
    Do you have a multimeter ?
     
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  4. MagMrMax

    MagMrMax

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    Hi Terry.

    I literally turned off every breaker. I always do.

    I switched everything back on an hour ago and everything's been working fine since then.

    It's pitch black outside now (the wife's cooking as well), so I'll take a pic tomo in the daylight and post it here.

    I can get hold of a multimeter, yes.

    Thanks
     
  5. crystal ball

    crystal ball

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    Could be a capacitor discharging, I assume it wasn't full on shock
     
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  6. MagMrMax

    MagMrMax

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    No, but my right bicep is still aching a fair bit, although the ache in my right pec has subsided.
     
  7. crystal ball

    crystal ball

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    Sounds a bit more than a discharge
     
  8. flameport

    flameport

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    Not checking that the circuit was dead.

    Never assume anything - circuit breakers can fail, circuits can be supplied from unexpected places, things can just be installed wrongly from the start.
     
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  9. terryplumb

    terryplumb

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    You told us that you turned off EVERY breaker. Did that include the main switch ???
     
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  11. MagMrMax

    MagMrMax

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    Yes, every breaker. There are perhaps 9 small black breakers and 1 large red one, all in a horizontal line.

    I had turned all 10 of them off.
     
  12. terryplumb

    terryplumb

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    Is there more than one consumer unit ,or another such as a fusebox somewhere ?
     
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  13. MagMrMax

    MagMrMax

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    Yes, a small 2 or 3 switch secondary breaker was added last year to power an upstairs shower.

    I felt safe ignoring that little one, though, as :

    A. I didn't see how it could affect the bedroom light switch, and
    B. The secondary takes its power from the primary, which I had fully switched off.

    Thanks
     
  14. terryplumb

    terryplumb

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    Show pics when you can.
    The " secondary" may not be connected the way you think at the consumer unit.
     
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  15. crystal ball

    crystal ball

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    Are you thinking what Im thinking?
     
  16. terryplumb

    terryplumb

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    What ! Your thinking about what to get my missus for Xmas ?:LOL::LOL::LOL::LOL:
     
  17. crystal ball

    crystal ball

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    Yes, that slinky black number
     
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