A shocking experience!

Yesterday, I inspected a 1955 home that had been updated somewhat. The previous owner had some extra electrical outlets installed in various strategic places. There was a metallic surface mounted exterior type box in the garage with a GFCI outlet installed in it. I opened the cover and held it open with my left hand and inserted my 3-light tester with GFCI test button. When I pressed the GFCI test button I got lit up! The metallic box cover I was holding shocked the bejesus out of me. Obviously, I wrote it up but, for the life of me, I can’t envision a fault that would permit that. So much for GFCI protection, huh?

You thankfully live to see another inspection huh

Open ground? Your tester will energize it if so.

Very possible. Much of the home was on a two-wire system but the newer outlets indicated proper ground when I was testing them. But, your right of course, when pushing the GFCI test button it would energize the ground and if that ground were not truly grounded then it would float and I’d be the path to ground. I’m thinking the current in that case would be limited to the GFCI 5-8 ma so the shock I got was probably not as serious as I thought it was at the time. Still…


Guess you didn’t get the news?


I warned about this possibility about a year ago.

Easier to link to it again rather than type it out:

Yeah, that article on ‘ole sparky’ reminds me of the half-wit that broke into an Austin Energy power sub-station last week, climbed a huge transformer and proceeded to attempt to remove the copper wiring going to it. He was subsequently fried with 80kva and lived a few hours at Brooke Army Burn Center in San Antonio before going to visit the great frying pan in the sky.



Well, just damn! Now you tell me :slight_smile: …btw, I think my shoulder was resting up against the garage door track when I pushed that button & that’s how I was grounded.