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Old 05-08-2017, 04:27 PM   #21
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There's quite simply no way the trailer frame can shock you if the safety ground is functioning all the way through the system. Read Kirchhoff's laws to see why I say that.
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Old 05-08-2017, 04:32 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by steve dunham View Post
Most of the problems I have encountered with campground wiring is from the owner or some maintenance man do their own wiring.
I agree.

I got a job doing apartment maintenance back in 1980. They wanted me to add some outdoor spot lights at the gable ends of the two story units; they had been adding these to various locations over time.

The first question I asked was if they wanted me to use up all of the old short pieces of cable when we ran the circuit through the attic, rather than use a fresh box of Romex. I guess I figured I could just make some nice, tight splices with wire nuts and wrap them well with electrical tape. Fortunately, they knew enough to tell me no.

I was absolutely clueless. I didn't even have a clue as to how much I didn't know. What they were asking me to do was unsafe and illegal. It's frightening to look back on. Today, I still don't know much of anything about a great variety of subjects. But at least I know that.

I have worked on several old houses as remodeling is something of a hobby of mine. One place I owned was built by tradesmen with hand saws in 1917. The roof framing was a lot lighter than today's codes would require, but the house was substantially square and true and the construction was basically sound.

The house was about completely ruined in 1980 by what we would call a flipper today. Not that all flippers are bad, as many hire out the work to competent tradespeople. But this place was an impressive catalog of what not to do. From re-plumbing the entire house with 1/2" soft copper with strategically and deliberately concealed leaky solder joints, to much more than anyone wants to hear on this forum...

The leaky plumbing rotted out six pairs of floor joists over the course of several years. The house was 8" low in the center when I bought it and I jacked a new foundation and framing under the house.

By contrast, bad wiring work can ruin your whole day in a milli-second. And that might just be the last day you know.
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Old 05-08-2017, 04:43 PM   #23
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I tend to think it's a 120 volt issue. Certainly, that's not certain. But, that's what I tend to think.

Approaching the problem that way, at least focusing on the 120 volt system first, is the more conservative approach as the 120 volt system generally has a higher capacity to do harm.

It's not uncommon to get a "mild" shock from 120 volt sources.

On the other hand, I still put my tongue across the terminals on 9 volt batteries as a quick check to see what shape they are in, just as my older brother taught me when I was 8 years old. Yes, 9 volts is a bit less than 12, but I still think the comparison makes sense as these two voltages are much closer together than 12 and 120 are.

I've had many cases when I've received mild shocks from 120 volt household wiring sources due to improper wiring and leaky devices. I ran across this quite a bit when I did maintenance work on older rental properties, particularly in the winter working on old places without grounded cable systems.

A poor or non-existent bond between the frame and the ground bus in the 120V panel definitely sounds like it could be a factor. On the other hand, it's still very important to figure out where the current is escaping from the 120 volt "hot" wiring to the frame and step in the first place, and also finding why it is not flowing through the ground to the service you are plugged in to.

Starting at the source where you are plugging in is the way to start. From there, it takes a combination of knowledge, care, perseverance and sometimes a bit of luck to trace these things.

The axiom of electrical testing is "if it tests good, it might be good" because some faults and shorts are intermittent.

Consulting an electrician generally has value. Getting advice on a forum can result in a wide variety of responses, not all of them necessarily good or safe.

My two cents is on sale today. It's worth exactly what you paid for it.

By the way, my brother once got locked up when he contacted 120 volt power while laying under a sound mixing board some 50 years ago. He told me that if someone hadn't pulled him out from under there, he would not have been able to do it himself as his muscles and grip were locked up due to the current flowing through him.

At least he never told me to lick 120 volt wall receptacles. I think he likes me.
You don't lick a receptacle to see if it's hot with your tongue , you use 2 fingers on the same hand. Done it many times on 120 & 240 VAC . ( Doesn't work well on 480 VAC )
Byron hit the nail on the head , you can not get a shock off the trailer frame if the frame is intentionally and adequately connected to ground through the equipment grounding conductor ( safety ground) "Electricity takes the path of least resistance."

Standard GFCI's are designed to trip when there is a leakage current of .005 amps and even that's too high of a level for coronary care units in hospitals. If you can't repair it now then buy a 30 to 15 adaptor and plug your trailer into the pedestal's GFCI 20 amp receptacle. Won't fix the problem but it is safer.
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