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Getting shocked touching usb/case/keyboard

This is a discussion on Getting shocked touching usb/case/keyboard within the Diagnostics, Utilities and Other Software forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. *Please move to correct forum if this isn't it I recently moved from US to Spain and had my custom


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Old 02-23-2020, 04:48 AM   #1
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*Please move to correct forum if this isn't it

I recently moved from US to Spain and had my custom built pc shipped over, as well as the monitors and peripherals. I never had any issue with the pc in the states. Spain of course has 220v outlets, which is no problem because my PSU and two monitors have a 110~240v range.

I have a Spanish power strip plugged into an outlet, and then 3 basic adapter plugs plugged into the strip so I can use my American cords, with the PC and two monitors are plugged into. The tower itself is just sitting on the floor which is concrete/ceramic.

I turned on the pc and monitors for the first time in two months (took a long time for it to be shipped), and everything worked fine. I then went to plug in a simple USB wifi adapter, and got a constant shock. Not a quick static shock, but the type that made my hand go tingly as long as I was touching it.

I then touched my keyboard's metal frame and got the same shock. This was already plugged in via two USB ports.

I turned everything off, unplugged the cables, and got a multimeter to test the outlet first. It seemed to be okay, it was showing ~240. I then plugged the power strip back in and tested the adapters, all showing ~240.

I then plugged everything back in, but did NOT turn my PSU switch on. The only thing on was the power strip itself. I then touched a metal screw on my PC case and got the same shock.

Does anyone have any guesses on what this could be? I have an electrician coming soon, but there is a language barrier so it might be slow going. I'm worried my PC got damaged in the transit but I have no idea how/what to test.

Here's a link to the build: https://pcpartpicker.com/user/Pfinferno/saved/LLB2FT
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Old 02-23-2020, 09:14 AM   #2
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Outlet not properly grounded. Neutral and ground could be reversed. An electrical tester would show this.
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Old 02-23-2020, 09:26 AM   #3
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I'd let the electrician have a good look.

It shouldn't matter if neutral and ground are reversed as far as what you're experiencing not occurring at all.

This is definitely in the "not normal" category and it makes me wonder if something's up with the way things are arranged inside your case.
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Old 02-23-2020, 09:36 AM   #4
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Thanks for the replies. I'll take some pics of the inside and upload them. I haven't really opened it up since I built it (2016) besides adding/swapping some harddrives. Is there anything specific I should look for?
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Old 02-23-2020, 09:51 AM   #5
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Is the PSU grounded to the case and is the case grounded to the ground wire in your cord?

Essentially, you must ensure that anything that should be grounded ultimately is grounded. When you have a situation like the one you describe going on you are the thing acting as a ground, which is never good.

It also suggests that something is not hooked up the way it should be in order for that to be happening in the first place. What that something is can vary.
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Old 02-23-2020, 10:01 AM   #6
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Look at the connection for the power cord (inside the case). If not wired with the correct polarity you will be sending live power through the case via the ground system. DO NOT USE the unit until it has been confirmed it is wired correctly. If that is not the reason, then it is in the house wiring not being polarized......I've see it happen many times. I had it happen in my house. The feed wire was pinched in a kitchen light.....the electrician switched the feed wires to correct it. I did some work on the light and noticed the wires were 'crossed'....when I corrected the problem it blew the circuit breaker. I found the pinched wire and fixed the problem. Reversed polarity sent the power through the lamps first and then to the neutral/ground......correct wiring sent the power straight to ground through the pinched wire. Correct polarity is very important......it sends the power through the proper route in the device. You're lucky you weren't well grounded when touching the case......you wouldn't be here today.

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Old 02-23-2020, 10:22 AM   #7
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I took some pics outside and inside of the case. Uploaded to google drive here:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1lx0-XpBQ9vLM0h3xCyxSYiEJRreFo0SJ

I didn't notice anything that looked broken. I checked all the cables and none were loose.

How do I know if the power cord in the case isn't wired with the correct polarity? And how can I make sure the PSU is grounded to the case and the case is grounded to the ground wire in the cord? If there was an issue with above, why would it have worked for the past few years with no issue?

Funny you mentioned a kitchen light...An electrician was here last week because the kitchen light kept literally shattering and after he fixed it he said something was reversed or something with the wiring for it.

Another thing to note, the power company was here a few weeks ago to "increase the power" so more than one high powered electronic could be plugged into the house without blowing the breaker. So because of these other problems with the house I'm leaning towards it not being my PC.
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Old 02-23-2020, 10:28 AM   #8
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Sounds like they put a higher amp breaker in. I wouldn't want to live with this "patch". Reminds me of the penny behind the fuse. When house burned down, Insurance Company wouldn't pay claim.
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Old 02-23-2020, 10:33 AM   #9
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I'd say the problem is with the house wiring or the power adapter. I forgot the PSU takes a dedicated cord that's premade in a factory.........

I don't get inside of a computer case too often.....but I've worked on plenty of house wiring.
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Old 02-23-2020, 10:34 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Corday View Post
Sounds like they put a higher amp breaker in. I wouldn't want to live with this "patch". Reminds me of the penny behind the fuse. When house burned down, Insurance Company wouldn't pay claim.
They did install a new breaker in the house, but did a lot of work outside where the power was coming into the house, and ran some new wires.
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Old 02-23-2020, 10:35 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SABL View Post
I'd say the problem is with the house wiring or the power adapter. I forgot the PSU takes a dedicated cord that's premade in a factory.........

I don't get inside of a computer case too often.....but I've worked on plenty of house wiring.
I ordered some new wires coming tomorrow that fit directly into a spanish outlet so no adapters. Will eliminate one possibility at least! Although I don't think I'm going to plug it back in to test it until the electrician comes lol.

Thanks for the replies folks!
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Old 02-23-2020, 10:37 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Corday View Post
Sounds like they put a higher amp breaker in. I wouldn't want to live with this "patch". Reminds me of the penny behind the fuse. When house burned down, Insurance Company wouldn't pay claim.
I worked on a house like that. Wasn't pretty but the house wasn't totaled.....garage was.....: I found a penny behind the fuse in the panel.....
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Old 02-23-2020, 11:56 AM   #13
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It never ceases to amaze me that many people simply cannot understand that fuses are a safety feature. You can blow one every once in a great while, most likely because you've overloaded the circuit, but if they're blowing constantly you either need to have the circuit itself upgraded (which can be done), lower the load, or have an electrician figure out what's wrong with the circuit.

Making a circuit "blow-proof" by putting in a penny or any conductor that wouldn't "blow" even if the wiring itself turned into the equivalent of an electric resistance heater coil is just plain insane.
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Old 02-23-2020, 05:11 PM   #14
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Sounds like someone connected the ground wire to the neutral bussbar instead of the groundbar inside the box. Very dangerous. About 25 years ago I was renting a house and moved in, moved my washer and dryer in, plugged them in and although I didn't get a shock when I touched the appliance, when they touched each other, they welded together in seconds and tripped the breaker. If my memory serves correctly, this was what the electrician told me had happened.
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Old 02-24-2020, 08:04 AM   #15
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Quick update. Electrician was here and said there was literally no grounding wire in the outlet (from what I could translate). It was disconnected or taken out somehow lol. He is running a new wire now.
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Old 02-24-2020, 08:39 AM   #16
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I hope that takes care of the problem.

Is it an older house that was converted to the new 220V system?
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Old 02-24-2020, 09:25 AM   #17
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In a correctly wired computer, functioning properly, the ground is superfluous (and this is true in general). Something is wired incorrectly in that machine.
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Old 02-25-2020, 04:15 PM   #18
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I was going to suggest that maybe the wall outlet wasn't earthed.
I live in Australia where we have 240v as standard everywhere, and very high electrical standards. You are not even allowed to change a plug yourself without breaking the law.
But i have traveled to Europe on a few occasions and was shocked with what I saw. In Sicily there were uncovered wires running from one house to the next. No conduit and it wasn't even standard insulated three core..... just insulated single wires. I crossed the road.
Simply amazing and a reason why I always suspect any electrical issues in Europe to be checked at the mains source first. Very old buildings, a lot predate electricity itself.
Happy that you have solved this and hope you are having a ball in Spain. What an adventure.
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Old 02-25-2020, 04:20 PM   #19
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It’s just a hidden advertisement:>
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Old 02-25-2020, 04:32 PM   #20
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Quote:
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It’s just a hidden advertisement:>
????? The OPs link is to the hardware on his computer.
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