Go Back   iRV2 Forums > TRAVEL TRAILER, 5th WHEEL & TRUCK CAMPER FORUMS > 5th Wheel Discussion
Click Here to Login
Join iRV2 Today

Mission Statement: Supporting thoughtful exchange of knowledge, values and experience among RV enthusiasts.
  This discussion is proudly sponsored by:
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about their products on iRV2
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 05-05-2016, 08:35 AM   #1
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 36
Shock when draining hot water heater

I was draining my hot water heater yesterday and noticed when I touched the water as it was almost finished draining, I got a small tingle. It felt like I was getting a very small electrical shock. I have drained the heater several times and not noticed this before. Any ideas?

kimbashaw is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 RV Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

iRV2.com RV Community - Are you about to start a new improvement on your RV or need some help with some maintenance? Do you need advice on what products to buy? Or maybe you can give others some advice? No matter where you fit in you'll find that iRV2 is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with other RV owners, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create an RV blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 05-05-2016, 08:51 AM   #2
Senior Member
YC1's Avatar

Holiday Rambler Owners Club
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 6,193
I bet you are plugged into shoreline. Do a search for "Hot Skin" and you will find lots to read.

Myron & Deborah
08 HR Endeavor 40 SKQ
2012 Ford Edge Limited FWD 3.5L
Aluminator tow bar, Demco base plate
YC1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2016, 08:51 AM   #3
Senior Member
Bobb.25's Avatar
Rexhall Owners Group
Join Date: May 2011
Location: South Central Ohio
Posts: 416
I don't have direct experience with this, but I would suggest that it can be caused by a faulty electric water heating element. If you have one of these, for safety, first disconnect power to your rig, then unhook the electric heating element. After you restore power test to see if problem goes away. Water and electricity is a dangerous combination, so please be very extra careful.
2003 Rexhall Rexair, 3550 Ford V10 with Banks
2014 Honda CRV-AWD via Blue Ox
Travel with SWMBO and Golden Doodle co pilot
Bobb.25 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2016, 08:56 AM   #4
Senior Member
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 183
You may have two issues:

1) Primary Issue: Electrical bonding to ground isn't correct. If there was stray voltage somewhere in your unit it should find its way to a ground where it will dissipate or trip the breaker that is feeding the stray voltage. For now do not correct this so that you can pinpoint failing circuit.

2) Stray voltage: It may be at your water heater but I'm betting you had he electrical turned off to the element if you were draining it. Stray voltage can be a fun challenge to pinpoint. I would tag a VOM meter to the water heater case and the other to a known good ground. See what sort of voltage you read. Turn off breakers until voltage drops real low or to zero. When you drop then you have ID a suspect circuit. Leave this breaker off and turn on the ones you turned off one at a time to see if voltage comes back up. You may have two or more circuits failing.

Once you have corrected the failing circuit go back to the first problem and make certain the boning from the circuit that failed is good. Again, with a proper ground you never should have felt a tingle as the current would have a much easier path to ground via bonding. If your supple is not properly grounded this would be a major issue. Suppose any hot wire were to come loose and fall onto the frame of the unit. With the rubber tires, wooden blocks and all that your unit may be electrically isolated from ground. Your unit is now like a hot wire on an electric fence. Now someone comes up barefooted and step on the steps with wet feet in the grass. Mr. Redi-Kilowatt may very well say hello to this person in an unpleasant way.

There are other methods to trace it out. You could have four qualified electricians do this and you would come up with five different methods.

We have had cases where the short was tripping a breaker but the wire from that breaker went all over the building. We would put a large wire wound resister in series to the breaker and turn the power on. Then we would trace out the current flow using amp meters.

Good luck.
"Of all the things I've lost, I miss my mind the most"
2016 Forest River Wildcat 28SGX Fifth Wheel
2016 F250 CrewCab 4x4 6.7 oil burner
Parrott_head is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2016, 09:10 AM   #5
Senior Member
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 7,010
If you have a good ground to neutral bond then it sounds like the classic calrod failure. The outer tube pinholes from corrosive water letting the inner heat transfer medium absorb water forming a high resistance short to ground. I'd start by pulling the element and taking a look. You can try to measure the resistance to ground at the terminals on the heater element but the resistance may be higher than your meter can read.
nothermark is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2016, 08:44 PM   #6
Senior Member
rbleau6885's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Mass
Posts: 292
Lol take your shoes off and on wet ground touch metal on the rv I beat you'll get shocked had this Happen at a lot of places it's on there end not yours I alway have a ground rod in my bumper
Rich,242014 wildwood 27RLSS travel trailer
2005 Chevy Silverado 2500HD crew cab
2005 GMC Sierra 3500 single cab dump
rbleau6885 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2016, 10:14 PM   #7
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 36
Thanks to all. I am plugged into shore power and I think that is the issue. My ground broke off of my 15 Amp plug and I am thinking that is the issue. I had already ordered a new one from Amazon. I will try it again next week. I think the mystery is solved. Thanks all. It had me worried.
kimbashaw is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2016, 10:41 PM   #8
bobf46's Avatar
Monaco Owners Club
Holiday Rambler Owners Club
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Arizona
Posts: 97
I'm just curious why you would touch the hot water at all. Its pretty hot!! LOL Glad you found the problem.
Bob and Saing USAF Retired
Porky the bird & Pudder the dog
2008 Holiday Rambler Ambassador
bobf46 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2016, 06:38 AM   #9
Senior Member
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 361
Hi KIMBASHAW, glad you found the broken ground blade. BUT, don't stop there ,you still have a problem. There should be no ground current flowing,something on board has a defect and that's a bad thing. I suggest you follow some of the suggestions mentioned above and track it down.

clifford j is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2016, 08:26 AM   #10
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 36
I will do that Cliff . Thanks everyone for the suggestions.

kimbashaw is offline   Reply With Quote

heat, heater, water, water heater

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
My hot water heater quit supplying hot water. LML RV Systems & Appliances 8 10-13-2014 06:29 PM
draining hot water tank nomad10th Class A Motorhome Discussions 18 10-30-2013 03:31 PM
draining hot water tank after returning home. Horizonchase iRV2.com General Discussion 18 08-28-2012 05:41 AM
Winterizing= Draining Hot Water & Fresh Tank sprintnut 5th Wheel Discussion 11 12-28-2010 08:41 PM
Draining hot water heater davydee RV Systems & Appliances 6 05-05-2009 07:17 AM

» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:08 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.