Get paid faster with card payments | Go Paper Free - Save Hours | Offer Finance to Customers
This official sponsor may provide discounts for members

Discuss Earth Bonding In A Bathroom in the Electrical Forum area at ElectriciansForums.net

F

frank11

DIY
Welcome to ElectriciansForums.net - The American Electrical Advice Forum
Head straight to the main forums to chat by click here:  American Electrical Advice Forum

Hi Electricans,
I am a homeowner with an earth bonding question I am receiving conflicting advice upon and hoping someone can help point me in the right direction.

A few years ago I had a full bathroom replacement via my insurance company and a bathroom installation company they supplied.
Earlier this year on a Thursday evening a bath was left on an overflowed for a few minutes or so.
On the following Sunday evening my wife got an electric shock when handling the taps in the sink, I worked out that if I turned the ground floor hallway light off the shocks stopped so I taped off the light switch so the light wasn't turned back on.
I called out a qualified electrician who was able to attend on the Thursday, by that time the offending water must have dried out as there was no longer any shocks coming from the tap but he carried out a number of tests which involved running cables from my fuseboard to the bathroom and concluded that the pipework running to the taps were missing an earth bond as plastic connectors had been used (which were added by the plumber who installed the bathroom a few years back) so from his testing he said beneath the plastic connectors his tests show a 'good' earth bond but above the plastic connectors there isn't an earth bond - I have included an image of the pipework beneath my sink so you can see the layout.
photographs.jpg
The electrician said that to remedy the situation I would need an earth bond adding from beneath the plastic connector to above the plastic connector which is relatively easy for him to do.
The problem is he has stated the same problem applied to the bath taps which don't have an earth bond either so is assuming plastic connectors were also used on the piping to the bath taps.

There is a difficulty in the fact the bathroom fitter fitted a full tiled side to the bath instead of a bath panel so to access the pipework to the bath taps I need to rip off the tiles which form the bath panel and also then need to replace the side of the bath again.

I contacted the insurance company who have been in touch with the bathroom fitter who has disputed the electricians view that his plastic connectors are the cause of the problem and after I suggested to the insurance company that they appoint an independent electrician to provide a report (which I would pay for initially and to be refunded if their electrician said the lack of earth bonds are a problem) and they then said if I get quotes for the work they will get it sanctioned and cover the cost.

The electrician who initially pointed towards the need for earth bonds indicated a price of £140 for him to add earth bonds in but I had to find someone to quote to take off the 'bath panel' tiling and then replace it after the electrician has done his work. I have now contacted 2 separate bathroom fitters and on explaining the above background they don't agree that the earth bonds are needed so I am left wondering what to think.


Could any of you guide me as to whether these earth bonds are needed as although the taps do not give electric shocks now my worry is that an unseen leak occurs somewhere, connects the pipework to a live electrical connection somewhere and my 9 year old lad gets an electric shock.

So very long winded but thought it good to let you know all the info.
 
Aico 3000
Scolmore Electrical Products
This official sponsor may provide discounts for members
James

James

-
Mentor
Esteemed
Arms
Supporter
Patron
Was there any electrical work done when the bathroom was fitted?

If so, was a certificate supplied?
 
C

ChrisElectrical88

-
Mentor
Esteemed
Arms
I gave up reading as soon as I read an electrician wants to install supplementary bonding in a bathroom, we’re not in the early naughtys now. Get us a picture of the mains board, with the cover on will be fine.
Post automatically merged:

I’m going to guess every circuit apart from the downstairs lighting has 30mA RCD protection.
 
snowhead

snowhead

-
Mentor
There's a bit of the investigation missing from all this.

In order to have got a shock there needs to have been a source of power involved not just a lack of bonding.

Either the taps and pipework became live as a result of the bath overflowing in which case somewhere above the plastic fittings and I note there are 2 more closer to the taps, there was contact between a live cable through the water to the pipe.

Alternately I supect there's a nail or screw through a live cable in the floor and there is enough of an earth through the non bonded pipes to have caused a shock.

Is the floor tiled?
Was your Wife touching anything else as well as the tap?
 
C

ChrisElectrical88

-
Mentor
Esteemed
Arms
There's a bit of the investigation missing from all this.

In order to have got a shock there needs to have been a source of power involved not just a lack of bonding.

Either the taps and pipework became live as a result of the bath overflowing in which case somewhere above the plastic fittings and I note there are 2 more closer to the taps, there was contact between a live cable through the water to the pipe.

Alternately I supect there's a nail or screw through a live cable in the floor and there is enough of an earth through the non bonded pipes to have caused a shock.

Is the floor tiled?
Was your Wife touching anything else as well as the tap?
You can get a voltage through those plastic push in plumbing connectors. Got to be under the floor for me.
 
James

James

-
Mentor
Esteemed
Arms
Supporter
Patron
Could be wet floor, wet joists, direct path to light fitting below through wet timber and debris in ceiling void.
 
snowhead

snowhead

-
Mentor
Could be wet floor, wet joists, direct path to light fitting below through wet timber and debris in ceiling void.
Agree.
And what it's not is absence of bonding.
In fact if the bonding was put in place and the same event happened again it could make the situation worse.

Having read the O.P again, it could be a cable / connection under the bath that the water made contact with.
And reading again, the answer is in the O.P, it's the switchwire for the downstairs light or connection at the light
 
Last edited:
C

ChrisElectrical88

-
Mentor
Esteemed
Arms
I’ve read it in full now, I agree with James.
I think the wet floor has tracked to the hallway light and then in turn touching the taps has provided a path back to earth through you. I like to think when they have done the bathroom that they added additional protection to the bathroom circuits but not the downstairs lights as there would be no need. 30mA RCD protection to the hallway light would have prevented this.
however I await to be told I’m wrong 🙈
 
F

frank11

DIY
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #10
20200915_174045.jpg

There was no electrical work done when the new bathroom was fitted
 
F

frank11

DIY
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #12
No underfloor heating.

Appreciate all your comments and guidance.

I'm not too concerned to find out where the offending section is where the issue was created when I had the leak as its now dried out (and I don't plan on having a leak) but more looking to find out whether having an earth bond would stop the taps getting live/producing an electric shock if there were a leak in the future.
 

Reply to Earth Bonding In A Bathroom in the Electrical Forum area at ElectriciansForums.net

Top Bottom