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Thread: Refrigerator is Hot - 120 Volts at Handle

  1. #31
    DIY Senior Member molo's Avatar
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    Default Request for more interpretation

    I may be misreading the posts, but although the outlet has been rewired, can the fridge still shock someone?

    Thanks,
    Bill
    "Any American who is prepared to run for President should automatically, by definition, be disqualified from ever doing so."
    Gore Vidal.

  2. #32
    DIY Senior Member BobL43's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by molo View Post
    I may be misreading the posts, but although the outlet has been rewired, can the fridge still shock someone?

    Thanks,
    Bill
    It definitely is possible. Take a voltmeter and take an AC volt reading from the frame of the fridge to a ground connection (water pipe, or ground from another outlet that has a ground). If you can measure (hard for me to say how much voltage will give you a feelable shock) 24 volts or more, than you might feel a tingle if its just capacitance as I said above. If there is a real short circuit from the hot circuits in the fridge to its frame, then it will be dangerous. I guess your electrician must have checked this out for you in the name of safety?
    I am definitely not a pro plumber, but I am a pro crastinator

  3. #33
    DIY Senior Member kreemoweet's Avatar
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    @molo: Unless there was some connection between the fridge frame and one of the electrical conductors, it would not be possible for
    anyone to get a shock from it. That is the root cause of the problem. If the receptacle was miswired (reverse polarity), it is all well and good
    to correct that problem, but the fault in the fridge remains. If, for instance, there is a short between what is now the grounded conducter (neutral)
    and the fridge frame, then at present there is no shock hazard; however, by simply reversing the power cord plug in the receptacle the fridge frame
    would again become energized. More indirectly, any modifications to the circuit feeding that receptacle that alters the polarity (very common in ungrounded
    house wiring systems, unfortunately) would also recreate the shock hazard. I am rather astonished that the electrician did not address the fridge wiring
    problem, where the real problem lay. A receptacle with reversed polarity in an ungrounded wiring system is really a minor defect, and extremely common.

  4. #34
    DIY Senior Member molo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobL43 View Post
    It definitely is possible. Take a voltmeter and take an AC volt reading from the frame of the fridge to a ground connection (water pipe, or ground from another outlet that has a ground). If you can measure (hard for me to say how much voltage will give you a feelable shock) 24 volts or more, than you might feel a tingle if its just capacitance as I said above. If there is a real short circuit from the hot circuits in the fridge to its frame, then it will be dangerous. I guess your electrician must have checked this out for you in the name of safety?
    Shouldn't the shell/handle be insulated from the current conducting components of the fridge (motor, wiring)? It seems a very dangerous design otherwise. The hinge on the freezer handle caused the original shock. Can this happen without a short in the fridge?
    "Any American who is prepared to run for President should automatically, by definition, be disqualified from ever doing so."
    Gore Vidal.

  5. #35
    Electrician ActionDave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by molo View Post
    Shouldn't the shell/handle be insulated from the current conducting components of the fridge (motor, wiring)? It seems a very dangerous design otherwise. The hinge on the freezer handle caused the original shock. Can this happen without a short in the fridge?
    Can this happen? Yes

    Can this happen without something being wrong with either the fridge or the circuit it is plugged into? No.

  6. #36
    Electrical Contractor Bobelectric's Avatar
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    I can't understand the replys to this tread. Sounds like repair guy f*** up. Refers don't bond to frame. A circuit with an adapter to plug into a non grounding receptacle.Hot frame.

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