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Random facts about home electrical safety in Thailand


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Electrical earth and ground mean the same thing and are relative, not absolute, references of electrical potential. Good grounding practices are not adhered to widely in Thailand but that does not necessarily mean you will be electrocuted anytime soon!

Random facts and suggestions about home electrical safety in Thailand:

  1. Un-grounded washing machines are VERY dangerous; much more so than un-grounded inline water heaters. Why? Because unlike water heaters, you routinely touch internal metal surfaces of a washing machine (drum) which can be ‘hot’. For washing machines, do not trust the house wiring safety/ground - run a good ground wire directly from the appliance to a proper ground rod.
  2. Shower water does not conduct electricity. This urban myth has been disproven conclusively (unless it is salt water and even then very little chance of being evenly mildly shocked). However, standing bath water IS a weak conductor of electricity.
  3. PVC plumbing (widely used) is safer (high electrical resistance) than copper/metal plumbing when using un-grounded inline water heaters. (this actually requires some explanation)
  4. Amateurish grounding/earthing can be more dangerous than NO grounding/earthing at all. Consider the case when metallic plumbing pipes have been mis-used for ground-earth (common) and you (the victim) grab the bath faucet handles during a fault.
  5. Most of the stories of people being electrocuted in the shower are cases where (1) an unmaintained central water heater is used instead of individual wall-mounted units (think older hotels) and (2) cases where metallic feed or drain pipes have been mis-used as earth/ground and the victim is standing in drain water or touching metallic faucets, or (3) unfortunate lightning strikes.

-NG (B.Sci.EE/IEEE) Personally, my wall-mounted water heaters (new units) are not grounded and I feel quite safe smile.png (being aware of the existing two-wire runs, which I toned out, and the PVC water pipes used.)

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Sorry, important subject it may be, but we don't need yet another thread regarding grounding or lack of same.

Please post in one of the existing threads:

http://www.thaivisa.com/forum/topic/648257-how-safe-are-wall-mount-water-heaters-without-earthing/

http://www.thaivisa.com/forum/topic/642020-do-we-really-need-ground-in-thailand/

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