• We invite you to join UKWorkshop.
    Members can turn off viewing Ads!

Can feel electricity in my lathe

UKworkshop.co.uk

Help Support UKworkshop.co.uk:

OldDave

Established Member
Joined
27 Dec 2018
Messages
22
Reaction score
5
Location
Bradford
Hiya.
Been getting a few static shocks from my tool rest recently and pretty sure I can ‘feel’ electricity through it.
Kinda hard to explain but even when the lathe’s not running there’s a vibration in the tool rest that just ‘feels’ like electricity.
The shocks have been really mild; usually when I’m sanding and the banjo is pushed back to the tailstock and I’ve just brushed my arm on the
Toolrest.

Any ideas?
 

Trevanion

Greatest Of All Time
Joined
29 Jul 2018
Messages
3,764
Reaction score
555
Location
Pembrokeshire
I actually had a similar problem not too long ago, probably not related to your problem but I'll explain:

For about a month I had been getting these weird very little electric shocks which I had been putting down to static, shock off a 2 post car lift, shock off a metal fitting on a hose, just loads of little weird shocks. I was having a shower one day and I managed to turn it on fine but when I went to turn it off I touched the metal fittings and had a hell of a belt off of it. Enough was enough, must be something wrong I thought so I got Western Power out to check it out because we recently had a new leccy pole a couple of months prior. They came along, checked out the pole, completely fine, went and checked the box on the house, 50V coming into the earth line... Ok that's not right. By process of elimination, they decided it wasn't anything on our property and when down to the transformer for the street (3 houses off 1 transformer) and decided to cut power to the other two houses and see if that solved the earth leak, Bingo, no more 50v. Turns out the neighbour had some dodgy builder out to do some work which involed a little electrical work and they just taped up some wires they cut up and left them in a place where they would get damp and the live somehow managed to connect to the earth, sending voltage back to the transformer and back to my shower because of the bonded pipes with earth wires attached.

Crazy really.
 

bodge

Established Member
Joined
18 Feb 2012
Messages
284
Reaction score
0
Location
Long Eaton
I would suggest getting an electrician in to do a Portable Appliance Test (PAT) on your lathe Dave, that should highlight any abnormalities. It does sound odd though.
 

porker

Established Member
Joined
15 Oct 2009
Messages
702
Reaction score
76
Location
Butlers Cross, Buckinghamshire
bodge":2s3r9m96 said:
I would suggest getting an electrician in to do a Portable Appliance Test (PAT) on your lathe Dave, that should highlight any abnormalities. It does sound odd though.
I'd agree with this. Had a similar issue with a dishwasher recently and there was a fault on the earth to the socket. I have a plug in socket tester that identified the fault so it was an easy fix but potentially dangerous so please don't take any chances.
 

HappyHacker

Established Member
Joined
1 Jan 2016
Messages
424
Reaction score
34
Location
Chester
Dave, All the above are right. It could be the supply, the wiring in your house or the machine itself. You urgently need an electrician to do the appropriate tests and determine where the fault lies and he/she or you can then fix it.

Bearing in mind that you are probably not going around barefoot with wet hands and feet when you get tingles, as your body resistance is quite high you can only feel a tingle. There may be other locations in the house where you may feel more than a tingle as you will provide a better earth return with wet feet or hands depending on the fault.

Until then I would unplug the machine and be careful around anything metal in the house until you know what is wrong. Probably something simple on the lathe but better safe than sorry.
 

Trevanion

Greatest Of All Time
Joined
29 Jul 2018
Messages
3,764
Reaction score
555
Location
Pembrokeshire
HappyHacker":23bc5mwf said:
Bearing in mind that you are probably not going around barefoot with wet hands and feet when you get tingles, as your body resistance is quite high you can only feel a tingle. There may be other locations in the house where you may feel more than a tingle as you will provide a better earth return with wet feet or hands depending on the fault.
That's why I had such a whack off the shower, Wet and barefooted! The strange thing was that It was only me that could feel shocks off the shower, everyone else was fine but were getting the occasional shock off other things.

But as in my case, it might be no fault of OldDaves own supply but rather someone else on his street, Might not be the case if you live in a town/city with more modern power supplies with proper RCD Boards etc... but out here in the sticks not much has changed in the past 50 years. It was truly an eye-opening experience, someones dodgy wiring 300+ yards away was giving another person electric shocks back through the earth wire and the transformer! The WP engineers said it can take days to figure out where an earth leakage is happening in a more built-up area such as a large village with 100+ houses that all run off 1 transformer, we were very fortunate that there was only 3 :)
 
Top