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I've noticed when my jointer or planer is plugged in, I get a little bit of a tickle any time I touch the metal on either tool. I'm using a short extension cord with a ground to get from one end of my garage to the other. My planer sits on the ground until I can build a stand, but my jointer has rubber feet which I thought would serve as an insulator. I'm running it out of a conventional outlet (I'm sure if it was wired for 220 it would be more than a tickle.) I'm more worried about a fire than getting shocked or anything because I always unplug my tools when they're not being directly used. What can I do to stop this and how worried should I be?

My old freezer in the basement used to do this every time I grabbed the handle too, if that helps :)
 

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Don't touch it and you won't get the tickle. lol Sounds to me like you have voltage leaking to ground at some piont in your system. Could be faulty wiring or a faulty piece of equipment on the circuit. Just my .02 sure you will get more, maybe enough to make a dollar
 

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You need to have an electrician look at your circuits. Or if you feel confident enough. I'd check the breaker box first, Seems like it might be from there. Be careful, you HAVE to already know what you're doing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
That's the odd thing, it's both my Ridgid planer and Ridgid jointer, which were brand new out of the box as of two months ago. It just seems weird they would both have electrical issues, you know? I wasn't sure if it could be a setup problem, or maybe I'm just really unlucky. I'll have somebody who knows more than me take a look at it. Thanks.
 

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Your breaker box needs to be grounded to a ground rod, drivin in the grount outside. If not available, then to a copper cold water pipe that runs directly to the inbound main. These checks at nthe breaker box in the house. Sounds like the neutral, probably white) wire is "above ground at the box.
 

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You most likely have a stray voltage in your ground system. It needs to be found and corrected.

BTW, Most peole who think they are bit on 220 are only getting 110 to ground.
 

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Definately a bad ground;the power goes in and needs to get out just as efficiently. A dirty or loose ground won't allow the voltage to pass cleanly, causing you a minor shock. GFCI outlets "read" that leakage and cut the circuit. If you are just using a light bulb, it usually doesn't get you; higher amp useage, such as your planer, will cause a voltage "back-up" and let you have it. This is usually an annoyance, but then again how many chances do you want to take before getting a real shock? By all means, get it looked at before you use it further, and make sure the "safety ground" or green wire ground is just as good as the white. Electricians are expensive, but safety should be deemed priceless.
 

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one thing i have found and really don't like, is allot of times folks will put all the neutrals and the grounds onto the same termination block in the panel.

I'm not sure if this is standard practice or not i tend to put them on to separate blocks. i could be totally wrong
 

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Even if the tools are on rubber or synthetic pads, you are acting as the ground and carrying the current. Have it checked out before it can get worse.
DYLGW has an idea. Louisiana allowed it in a new house we built in 1983. Not really a good idea. That's not the way I was taught to wire a house or electric ranges.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks for all the replies, looking at the outlet it looks as if some kind of after-market work was done. It's an older house and I've always had electrical problems to various degrees. I didn't feel any current at all through either of them today but it sounds serious enough that it should get looked at. My father-in-law does a little contracting work and his father was an electrician so I'm going to have him take a look at it this weekend (the price is always right.)

I'll also try a different extension cord and see if that helps.

Knothead, thanks, I got a C in physics and electrical work has always dumbfounded me.

Topamax, the in-law used to be a 'volunteer apprentice' for his father before they had child labor laws. He said you can definitely tell the difference when it comes to 110 and 220. He was the canary.
 

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Rubber is an insulator and does not make a ground at all unless it's got a piece of metal sticking through it to complete the circuit. You've obviously got a bad ground, if the fridge has been doing it, too. Get that fixed ASAP! The only thing a bad ground does is get worse.

I USED to work on 110 without turning the breaker off, back when I was young and immortal. I crossed up 220 ONCE. That really smarts, and I got MY smarts and now I turn off the power (lock-out and tag-out) whenever I work on electrical things.

The different extension cord is a waste of time if the fridge has been doing it. Play safe! Especially if you have children in your workshop. Does this problem only exist in the garage? Maybe you haven't noticed it in the house due to most appliances having plastic covers. This problem has potentially lethal outcomes for people. Please, get it fixed right away!
 

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Sounds like the ground isn't.
New code allows/requires the neutral (white) wire and the ground (bare) wire to tie in to the breaker box, just not to the same block.
For a few bucks you can go to the HD or Lowes and get an outlet tester plug. Stick it in the receptacle (or the end of the extension cord) and the lights will tell you if there is an obvious problem (hot/neutral reversed, no ground, etc…)
 

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Anything over 120 to ground will definitely get your attention! :)) Good thing you can't get 220 to ground in a house!! Eurpeans must be more careful after they get their first one than we are.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
The garage, and with those two tools, is the only place I've noticed it more than once. The freezer in the basement did it for a while back when we were getting a lot of flooding, but at that point I was just happy I didn't get fried and I chalked it up to the water. Got that taken care of.

I've never noticed it anywhere else, though.
 

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Sounds to me like your service isn't properly grounded. A metal water pipe with at least 10 feet buried in direct contact with earth is an acceptable grounding electrode, but with a new service, it must be supplemented by another grounding electrode. My state has amended the NEC to require 8 foot ground rods seperated by at least 6 feet unless you hire an independant company to show that one ground rod has a resistance of 25 ohms or less. Needless to say, we always drive 2 ground rods.

And, you only need to seperate the ground and neutral wires when you are working out of a sub panel. (At the service the ground bar and neutral bar are bonded together.)
 

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You have had some good replies here. I am an electrician currently working in Iraq to fix the insane wiring. We see alot of this same stuff. First, is it the same receptacle or just the same circuit? You do have voltage leaking to ground(green wire). But to me it sounds more like a neutral problem. Maybe the nuetral and ground is crossed some place. If your house is not older than 20 or so years you don't need more ground rods. The only thing the ground rod is for is to reference neutral to earth and lightning protection. Electricity wants to find it's way back to it's source not the earth. It's a common misconception. Check the circuit, hot to nuetral, then hot to ground and then neutral to ground. The first readings should be between 115 and 120 depending on your transformer outside. If you get voltage on the neutral to ground test( pretty much anything over 2 volts) start to track it back. I know 2 volts don't sound like much but when you put 10 or more amps of load on it then it tends to grow larger teeth for more bite. You can also do a continuity test. It is more involved because you need to go into the panel and take the the neutral and ground from that same cable loose. I know this is a long and drawn out explanation, but it could be longer. It's a good chance it is not in your panel especially if it is your main because it is the only one that should be bonded. If all this sounds too much don't hesitate to call a competent electrician. Yes we charge money because we need to make a living to, but the $150 for the problem being fixed with a warrenty should be worth it. Oh one more thing the ground wire should not have voltage on it. It is really only a safety not the primary return path.
 
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