Voltage on the washing machine body

Voltage on the washing machine body

While using the washing machine, some housewives feel an unpleasant tingling sensation when touching the body of the equipment. These are nothing more than small electric shocks. This situation occurs when there is voltage on the body of the washing machine. Let us figure out what to do in such a situation to reduce the likelihood of electric shock to the user.

Connecting to a two-wire network

If your automatic machine is connected to a two-wire power supply, then even if the equipment is in full working order, voltage may leak out to the body. The prerequisite for this is a certain feature of the operation of the surge protector, which is equipped with each washing machine. The network element is a pair of interconnected capacitors, one of which connects the shell of the machine and the phase, and the second – the housing and the neutral

Manufacturers of washing equipment usually produce equipment aimed at connecting to a three-wire network that has a separate protective conductor. In such a situation, the surge protector will function at full capacity, doing its job perfectly. So, the common cable takes on a potential of 110V, but at the same time the charge is completely removed from the washing machine body.

But in fact, out of ignorance, such washing equipment is often connected to the electrical network without grounding. In this case, a voltage of 110V accumulates on the body of the automatic machine. Using such a washing machine, you can easily feel an electric shock, which is usually short-lived, but very painful.

Frayed wiring

Exposed power wiring inside the washing machine is far from uncommon. Experienced craftsmen have more than once had to deal with situations in which the insulation simply wore off over time due to constantly experienced vibrations. Exposed cables can also be found in almost new machines; they can easily be chewed by mice or rats.

In this situation, the presence of a phase on the body is noted. At first the voltage may be small, but later it is easy to get a shock of 220 volts. Often the machine is installed in the bathroom, and with high humidity, the chance of electric shock becomes even higher.

If the inaccurate operation of the surge protector can only result in unpleasant sensations, then tired insulation can cause enormous harm to the user, so the cause must be eliminated as soon as possible.

It is important to build a potential equalization system in the bathroom. All equipment located here: pipes, shower cabin, ventilation duct and the washing machine itself must be securely connected to each other using an equalizing electrical connection.

However, there is not enough potential equalization system to ensure complete safety of family members. One circuit remains unprotected. We are talking about the system of the washing machine body – the human body – the floor covering of the room. What to do in this case for greater protection? There are 2 options:

  • Connect a residual current device to the electrical circuit,
  • Ground the body of the machine.

An RCD in a two-phase network will have a slightly different operating principle. It will not work if the wire is broken. The protection is activated the moment the user touches the shell of the washing machine. The fact that the RCD is triggered only after touching the body is not entirely pleasant, but the likelihood of electric shock will be minimized.

Since the current strength during touching the body will be minimal, the residual current device can be selected with a rating of up to 30 mA. Owners of houses and apartments with outdated two-wire electrics are better off purchasing sockets with a built-in RCD, so there will be much fewer problems with false activation of protection.

Organize the grounding of the machine.

Grounding household appliances is the most reliable option for protecting yourself and your family from electric shock. In the event of a breakdown in the supply wiring, the current will simply be redirected to the ground electrode and will be completely safe for humans.

When organizing protective grounding, you may encounter several types of problems. Water supply and sewerage pipes must not be used as a grounding element. The rules also strictly prohibit connecting the neutral and working cables without using a device that evaluates grounding. So, if your house has a two-wire network, you just must hope that the entrance electrical panel is grounded, otherwise it will not be possible to protect the washing equipment.

If you own a private house built on a plot of land, you can organize the ground loop yourself. However, keep in mind that this work will require a lot of effort and time from you, but in the end, you will receive a guarantee of complete safety for yourself and family members when using the washing machine.

The first step is to determine the location where the grounding loop will be installed. In the event of a breakdown in the electrical network, the voltage will go to the grounding pins, so the likelihood of a person being there should be reduced to zero. The presence of a living creature in a place where electric current is discharged into the soil can lead to its death. It is important to place electrical outlets in a place that is not visited. It is preferable to organize a grounding loop behind the house, no further than 1 meter from the foundation of the building.

Once the location has been chosen, you can proceed to creating the structure. The algorithm of actions will be as follows:

using a shovel, dig an equilateral triangle (each edge is about 1.2 meters long and the furrow depth is from 0.5 to 0.7 meters).

  • Dig a similar trench to the porch of the building,
  • Take the prepared reinforcement and drive a metal rod into each vertex of the triangle 2 meters into the ground, leaving only the upper ends. They will serve as electrodes,
  • Fold metal corners with a thickness of 3.5 mm or more into a triangle. The corners of the figure should touch the electrodes. After the structure is put together, start welding the tops,
  • In the trench leading to the porch, place a metal plate, one end of which should be welded to the top of the resulting triangle,
  • Connect the ground wire to the plate using a bolt,
  • Fill all trenches with soil.

It is important to pay attention to the quality of the soil in the area. If the area is dominated by a sand cushion, it is necessary to increase the conductivity of the soil with a saline solution. A special liquid should be poured into the base of the electrodes.

You will need to measure the resistance of the resulting grounding in the house. For these purposes, it is best to use a special device, but its price is too high. What to do if you cannot buy a multimeter?

It is possible to check the performance of the system using a simple lamp that consumes at least 100 W. Connect it with the first contact to the ground wire, and the second to the phase. A brightly lit lamp will indicate that the installation was carried out correctly. If the lighting is dim, it means the contact is weak and the joints of the structure should be redone. A completely unlit lamp indicates an error in the design; here the entire grounding circuit will have to be completely reconsidered. What conclusions should be drawn from this material?

  • If your house is equipped with three-wire wiring, and the machine breaks through to the body, make sure that the ground circuit connection is intact. To do this, check the voltage between the washing machine and the phase contact with a tester,
  • If the apartment has a two-wire electrical network, try to make a separate grounding for the washing machine and organize potential equalization,
  • If it is impossible to create a separate grounding, equalize the potentials in the room where the washing equipment is installed, and connect a protective shutdown device of at least 30 mA to the machine circuit.

If there is voltage on the body of the washing machine, it is necessary to take measures to eliminate it. This situation is extremely unsafe and can lead to electric shock to equipment users.