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BANGKOK 18 April 2019 19:17
RZ Supra

Electrical Problem

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Hi everyone, would there be an electrician on here from either Australia , New Zealand, UK etc? I have a question about an air conditioner my fiancee had installed while I was in oz. The a/c is split system, the motor/compressor is outside near the garden. I returned home here in Chiang Mai, yesterday, and while watering the garden and admiring the work my fiancee had done when I leaned on the a/con unit and got a slight electric shock. I wasn't sure whether it was electricity stored from my body so I touched it again. Sure enough, I got another boot. I had wet feet and was standing on the wet ground, My fiancee said she had various workers here doing an extension on the house and thinks the sparky was not registered. My question is, what can I do to the unit to stop the electric shock? Do I need another electrician or can I put an earth strap somewhere or whatever needs doing to stop it.

Cheers.

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Is the house power supply grounded correctly ( meaning the breakers etc ... )  ??  were copper hods installed and connect to the box ?  Sounds like the AC compressor just requires an additional grounding.

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I couldn't say whether its grounded correctly or not. what is/are a copper hods? I thought the a/c just needs an earth put somewhere, but Im no electrician. I know in oz the houses have an earth wire staked into the ground.

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Posted (edited)
11 minutes ago, RZ Supra said:

earth wire staked into the ground.

No different here.

Copper rods or zinc-plated "spears" are available at the hardware stores.

Mostly quite hidden, needs a good search.

Use a 1 meter long type.

 

38575388.jpg

Edited by KhunBENQ

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Ah, ok. Do I just wire it to the metal unit then stake it to the ground or is there an earth connector, in the wiring box in the unit, that I connect it to?

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Posted (edited)
54 minutes ago, steven100 said:

Is the house power supply grounded correctly ( meaning the breakers etc ... )  ??  were copper hods installed and connect to the box ?  Sounds like the AC compressor just requires an additional grounding.

Breakers do not need grounding.

 

 

 

32 minutes ago, RZ Supra said:

Ah, ok. Do I just wire it to the metal unit then stake it to the ground or is there an earth connector, in the wiring box in the unit, that I connect it to?

I think (but there are people with more knowledge here) that when you ground only your AC, and the rest of your house is not grounded you are increasing the risk of a deadly shock. At least install a RCD before you start to ground anything. 

 

And, (IMPORTANT) When you connect your AC to the ground rod you have hitted in the ground, be sure you first switch off Main power. When it is really wrong it will be the last try for you to make a connection, or even make something.

When possible use a longer rod then 1 meter. We are on sand ground, and special in the dry season a one meter long ground rod does not provide any ground.

 

Wait for Crossy before you start to work.

 

Arjen.

Edited by Arjen
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46 minutes ago, RZ Supra said:

Ah, ok. Do I just wire it to the metal unit then stake it to the ground or is there an earth connector, in the wiring box in the unit, that I connect it to?

There is an earth connection in the outdoor unit which sadly Thai AC installers rarely use.

 

Having a decent ground is not only for your personal safety but is essential in the surge suppression and filter circuits of many inverter units.

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Ok, thanks everyone who replied. I will be off to Homepro for a copper rod and other bits tomorrow.

Cheers.

 

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It's actually a copper-plated steel rod.  Solid copper would be way too soft to pound into the ground (not to mention expensive).  You'll need at least a baby sledge hammer too.  An ordinary hammer will get you half-way down at best.

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A very easy way to get a rod in the soil is using a drill hammer. With an conventionel one just open the drill chuck complete and put th rod in it (So do not lock the rod in the chuck) Use the hammer function and it will quite easy penetrate your soil. 

 

Better works a drill with SDS system, but then mosly you most modify an drill bit. 

 

Arjen.

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All good stuff above.

 

But our OP would be wise to check the rest of the house wiring for correct grounding, particularly any water heaters. That tingle could be rather larger when you're in the shower and wet.

 

Also look for an RCD/RCBO, essential protection from electric shock.

 

Don't know what you have? Post some photos.

 

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15 hours ago, RZ Supra said:

Ok, thanks everyone who replied. I will be off to Homepro for a copper rod and other bits tomorrow.

Cheers.

 

Don't forget that if you put the rod into earth that is bone dry, or that can get bone dry, then it will be ineffective. Earth rods should be in permanently damp soil to work well.

 

My recommendation is at least 1 ½ to 2 metres.

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Hi everyone, thanks for all of your feedback. I bought a 5/16(8mm) x 6ft(1.8mt) solid copper rod plus a copper clamp and (copper?) bolt and 2.5mm square earth cable. I managed to belt the rod about 2/3rds the way into the ground ( 4ft or 1.2mt ) with a very small hammer that came in a cheap tool kit. I then wired, all 4 a/c units, with the 2.5mm cable and bolted the 4 wires to the rod. I noticed that only 1 a/c unit was giving me an electrical shock when I was playing with the cable. I can now touch that a/c unit, with wet feet and ground, and not get a boot from it. I feel much better now knowing I can leave the little lady, while I go back to oz to work, at home and not get electrocuted. I am guessing 2.5mm cable is sufficient in size? Thanks to all of you for your advise. It's the first time I needed to ask a question on here, no doubt it won't be the last. Cheers.

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You might want to take off enough of the skins on the AC unit giving you the buzz to check for ant/gecko infestation.  That could be causing the tingle and could eventually take out a relay and/or PCB.  So far I have had to replace 3 relays on my conventional AC's due to ants.

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Oh, Thanks for that. something else I didn't need to know. haha. I have managed to smash the the rod in the ground further. now it's down 5ft. I hope that totally fixes any problems. I'd sent pics but my iPhone doesn't want to communicate with my MacBook. haha. absolutely stoked with the help here. My next project is to fix the water leak somewhere in the mains line. The housing estate we live in is about 5 years old and now we have problems with the mains pressure. and leakage.😭

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