Electrocution by 3-Way Switch Wiring?

Here’s one for the books.
I was using a non-contact tester to check for current in an outside fixture next to a sliding glass door, the bulb did not go on when I flipped the switch. With the switch on there was no current. As I reached inside to flip the switch, the tester indicated current, and I was source! As I moved my hand on the switch I touched the switch plate screw and the aluminum door frame and felt a shock. I decided to take the cover off and see what was going on, this was just too wierd. After turning off the Main Breaker I pulled the switch out and found that a 2-way switch was installed, and because the idiot that replaced the 3-way with a 2-way thought that the three screws were for the 3 wires they hooked up one of the travelers (Black Hot Wire) to the ground screw. Luckily it was not raining that day for me, and luckily no one else had that situation where you are well grounded and get all of the amps. I capped the Hot Wire, took a picture, and reported this in the report, somethings I just can’t walk away from, there were just too many reasons just reporting on this would not have been enough. I also have a lot of experience with electrical and have learned from some of the best.

Absolutely–you did the right thing! To knowingly leave a hazard such as that…I would have a hard time sleeping and I think you would to.

A few times in the past while on site, I have had my client’s agent call the vendor’s agent to report a life threatening defect that should be corrected immediately.

Last one was in January: A 4" X 1.5" rusted hole + weak rusted adjustable elbow on an oil furnace fluepipe…the joint could’ve failed and the pipe fallen apart at any time spilling combustion gases completely into the house. The vendor had stated in her disclosure form that the furnace was recently serviced!!!

Good thing that you didn’t get hurt.

I would refrain from using the term 2-way switch. A wall switch would be either a single pole, double pole, 3-way or 4 way.

…and a non-contact tester checks for voltage not current.