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Thread: Help! electricity leak

  1. #1

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    hi guys,

    I know that this is really dangerous so i want to consult you guys before doing any testing and stuff.

    I dont know anything about lights and stuff.

    Apparently, electricity is leaking from one of my lights, and my metal rack is conducting it. (pitchers conduct electricity too! wierd) I bought one of those electrical screw drivers, and it lit the glow thing, so... uh oh!

    is there a way i can fix this myself? Does water have anything to do with the problem to start with?

    help!
    A lady went into a grocery store and looked into the turket section. She needed a bigger one for her family, so she asks the stock boy: \"Do these turkeys get any bigger?\"

    The stock boy replied: \"No ma'am, they're dead\"

    Msn/email - wezx1@hotmail.com

  2. #2
    Nepenthes Specialist nepenthes gracilis's Avatar
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    Its not grounded by the sounds of it.

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    herenorthere's Avatar
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    If this is serious it's a dangerous situation and you disconnect the power from that light. Otherwise it's like James Thurber's aunt who ran around the house making sure something was plugged into every outlet so the electricity wouldn't leak out. Ozzy, who knows a thing or two about electricity and jokes, can get to the bottom of it.
    Bruce in CT

    Madness is something rare in individuals but in groups, parties, peoples, ages it is the rule. Friedrich Nietzsche

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    A Cajun(isc) Carnivore CP30's Avatar
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    It is a grounding problem. Are you using a socket adapter (perhaps to plug your lights into a timer)?
    I have this issue, but the leakage is extremely minimal and I have 7 4' double fixtures plugged into a powerstrip that is adapted into a timer. I plan to ground the adapter to the screw in the outlet but have not gotten around to it yet.
    I will be watching for the answer to your problem.
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  5. #5
    SirKristoff is a poopiehead Ozzy's Avatar
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    I think these guys have dianosed your problem correctly. It sounds top me that your lights are not grounded.
    First unplug the lights NOW. Then connect a wire to the metal part of your lights and run that to any ground source. A ground source is any conductor that is connected to the earth. It can be the bottom round socket on a recptical or it can be almost any green or bare wire or it can be connected to a copper water pipe.
    I don't know what kind of screwdriver ou used but if it has an induction meter (a meter that detects the presents of electricity without coming in contact with a live wire) it could have been set off by the lights themselves.

    If you have any questions you can send me a pm. Or if you want to talk to me about it send your phone number and I'll call you.

    This could be a serious lifethreatening problem, so I would not take it lightly.

  6. #6

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    Thanks alot guys!

    i called the electricity guy as well, and he said it might be the ballast or the starter that is not working. Can this be the case?
    The problem you suggested, to ground the lights, is it sort of an 'easy way out'? I suppose after grounding the lights electricity will still leak, but will leak to the ground instead of my metal rack? Am i right?

    The electricity guy told me that it;s probably not the adapters too, (i have 2 timers and 2 adapters), i dont know who to listen to right now.

    Also, i don't know where the electricity is leaking from. I have normal shoplights and they don't seem to conduct electricity (when i touch the induction meter on the white, metal like case, it dosen't light up, strange), but it must be from the lights because those are the only things connected to the metal rack.

    Thanks guys, is there a way to test exatly what is leaking/not working so that i can fix it? may be the starter/ballast, the adapter or the lights, im a little confused now...

    wezx
    A lady went into a grocery store and looked into the turket section. She needed a bigger one for her family, so she asks the stock boy: \"Do these turkeys get any bigger?\"

    The stock boy replied: \"No ma'am, they're dead\"

    Msn/email - wezx1@hotmail.com

  7. #7
    Let's positive thinking! seedjar's Avatar
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    If your lights have three-prong plugs, get three-prong timers and plug the whole shebang into a three-prong outlet. If you don't have three-prong outlets, you'll need to run a line from the adapter to a ground (like Ozzy said, a water pipe or something.) The adapter should have a little metal ring on it where you can attach a ground line.
    That third prong is a built-in ground; if you're using an adapter to plug your lamps into a two-prong outlet, then the problem should fix itself when you plug them into the right kind of outlet. Three-prong to two-prong adapters interrupt the ground built into three-prong wires, so your lights may already be properly grounded and you've just accidentaly un-grounded them. It could be your ballast, or starter, or even bad wiring in your fixtures, but it sounds to me like you don't have the lights set up the way that they were supposed to be operated. It's perfectly normal for many types of electrical devices to produce an excess charge; that's why modern electrical outlets all have ground connections built in.
    A friend of mine used to have a bunch of grow lights in a house that only had older, two-prong outlets, and when I went over to his place I would regularly get shocked by excess static or whatever it is that the ground normally carries away. The ground is very important - if too much electricity builds up in your rack, it could discharge to another metal object nearby and the sparks might start a fire. Or it could discharge into you and do things that are much more unpleasant. I used to have a link to a more educated treatment of the whys and hows of grounding, but I can't find it. Wikipedia does a decent job.
    ~Joe
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    herenorthere's Avatar
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    And don't forget that a lot of thoughtful people have replaced inconvenient two prong outlets with three prong outlets in older homes/apartments without bothering to provide a ground. But is that screwdriver just showing the electric field created by your fixture? I've only noticed a ballast/starter problem when a light didn't light or took a while. I can't see that charging your fixture.
    Bruce in CT

    Madness is something rare in individuals but in groups, parties, peoples, ages it is the rule. Friedrich Nietzsche

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