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Small shock from shower

(10 Posts)
Mitsi10 Sat 08-Feb-14 20:38:43

Been in my rented house for a month now was giving my DD a shower when I was about to shut off the shower my DD handed me back the shower head to which I felt a small shock on my left hand nothing major like a wee nip I'm sure it was a shock as sometimes when I unplug the socket for the tv if you just happen to come into contact with the metal part of the plug you feel a wee nip
I'm now refusing to use the shower at all as this is the first and last time that has happened
Getting in touch with letting agent ASAP
Does this make my home dangerous or unliveable?

specialsubject Sat 08-Feb-14 21:23:31

no, but make sure something is done before you use the shower again. There's a dodgy earth somewhere, or a fault with the shower unit.

BTW do be more careful when unplugging things! That 'wee nip' is 240V!

Mitsi10 Sat 08-Feb-14 21:32:53

Thanks never had this prob with sockets etc back at my mums doesn't happen all the time and my hands are dry just seems to be the darn shower and this one socket

PigletJohn Sun 09-Feb-14 08:27:25

It is evidence of an electrical fault. Bathrooms are especially dangerous in the event of electrical faults, because:

Your skin is likely to be wet which improves its conductivity
You are likely to be naked so do not have the protection of insulating layers of clothing or shoes
You are likely to be in contact with metal pipes, taps or bath which provide a path for the current to run to earth through your body.

UK regulations for electrical installations and protection from shock are especially stringent in bathrooms. Correctly done it should be impossible for you to get a shock as you describe.

Today the shock might have been slight and momentary. Tomorrow it might not be. Stop using the shower at once and report it as a dangerous fault immediately. I recommend you di it in writing as it will be more difficult for the agent to pretend they did not receive it. Agents really dislike getting notifications on danger in writing because it puts them in a very embarrassing position if it comes out at the inquest, that they did not respond correctly.

If it is an electric shower, turn off the MCB for the shower in the consumer unit, but depending on the type of fault that might not make it safe, so do not touch it. If a person comes to your home who purports to be an electrician, ask their name and ask which self a certification scheme they are a member of (you can verify this on the scheme website). They are required by law to be qualified to carry out most electrical work in bathrooms in E&W. A qualified person will not mind being asked. An unqualified or incompetent person might get arsy. Write down the conversation and copy it to the agent.

Mitsi10 Sun 09-Feb-14 10:39:12

Thanks I'm not using the shower till it's sorted I'll just go to my mums for one just now last night was the first time I noticed it
Will be writing a letter today incase they do say they never got my message even if I have to pay for a electrician myself

MrsTaraPlumbing Sun 09-Feb-14 12:22:47

Can I support what piglet said:
Legit qualified people are delighted you have asked for evidence and are checking them out.
If everyone did this the world would be a much better place for legit qualified tradesmen.

Also - I was alarmed that you describe getting shocks as a normal part of your life - what are you doing!
Getting a mild shock is NOT a normal part of un-plugging items.

Mitsi10 Sun 09-Feb-14 12:36:01

I'm getting the shower checked just as a precaution as I have really dry cracked hands so not sure if it's the hot water getting into the cracks on my hands and making them nip or if it was a shock as mum has never experienced this prob when using my shower

Dont think getting shocked is a part of life just happened a few times never since but will get everything checked out

PigletJohn Sun 09-Feb-14 16:28:18

A UK square-pin plug is a masterpiece of ingenuity. If you look at one made in the last 30 years or so you will observe that the two smaller pins (which carry the current) are protected with plastic insulation at the plug end. The result is that when the tips of the pins are inserted into the socket deep enough to make electrical contact, your fingers can't reach the metal part of the pin, therefore you can't get a shock.

However, the larger earth pin can be touched. The earth pin should never have any voltage on it that can shock you, it should be perfectly safe to touch an earthed connection and a water pipepipe or radiator, or to touch an electric kettle and put your hands in a sinkful of water.

If you are getting a shock from the earth pin this is indicative of a severe and very dangerous fault.

PigletJohn Sun 09-Feb-14 16:34:05


It is not at all relevant that your mum has not had a shock. She might have been wearing socks, which insulate, or rubber soled shoes. Or perhaps she was not touching e.g. a metal bath at the time.

Mitsi10 Sun 09-Feb-14 19:49:09

DD was in the shower as I was washing her hair clothed and on a mat wasn't till she handed me the shower head I felt a nip on small finger ( it's either a shock or the heat from the water irritating my hands) I'm getting it looked at anyway to be on the safe side

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