Why is the washing machine drum electrocuted?

Why is the washing machine drum electrocuted?

It is necessary to operate household appliances in compliance with basic safety rules. Devices connected to the network can shock the user, and such a shock is extremely unpleasant and dangerous for humans. If the drum of the washing machine shocks even at the slightest touch to it, you need to urgently eliminate this problem. Let us figure out why an automatic washing machine can tingle the housewives’ fingers, how to find a way out of this situation and prevent breakdowns of the washing machine’s current.

No connection to ground

Even the most modern household appliances are manufactured since a small amount of electrical flow will be transmitted through the body of the device to the general house grounding system. The first and most common reason an automatic washing machine shocks a person is the lack of grounding of the home electrical network. When the grounding is not connected, a small charge will accumulate on the walls of the washing machine, and this is what the owner will feel when she touches the machine. Electric shocks will be felt more strongly when you touch the drum with wet hands.

This problem can be solved by grounding the electrical wiring in the home. Typically, electrical panels of high-rise buildings contain grounding terminals. However, some Khrushchev buildings may not have them, then you will have to ground the washing machine directly. There is another way to cope with the problem; we will discuss the second method further.

If the machine is installed in the kitchen, in the hallway or in the corridor, that is, in rooms with little humidity, the electric shock may not be felt at all. But when the washing machine is in the bathroom, it will not be possible to avoid the tingling of your hands; the transfer of the current charge to the body will be felt quite accurately.

Damage to the wiring or breakdown of the heating element

If the ground is connected, the washing machine is receiving a strong current due to some internal failure that has occurred in the system. Very often, charge accumulation on the housing occurs due to damage to the wiring inside the unit or failure of the heating element.

To diagnose the internal parts, it is necessary to disconnect the rear wall of the case, after first unscrewing the bolts holding it. After removing the cover, inspect the wiring of the machine for defects, kinks, or damage. If you do not find anything suspicious, proceed to checking the heating element.

The heater of different models of washing machines is in completely polar places. On appliances of the brands Ariston, Samsung, Indesit - on the back, in Bosch, AEG, Siemens washing machines - on the front.

To check if the heater is working properly, you will need a multimeter. Disconnect the wires from the heating element, set the tester to resistance determination mode, set the selector of the measuring device to 200 Ohms, attach the multimeter probes to the contacts of the heating element. If the tester screen displays a value from 20 to 30 Ohms, we can conclude that the heating element is working. A value of 1 or 0 will indicate its malfunction. One will indicate an open circuit inside the element, zero will indicate a short circuit of the heater.


After carrying out manipulations to check the serviceability of the part, it is necessary to test it for breakdown. Even the ideal resistance value shown by a multimeter does not mean that the current from the heating element does not pass to the body of the washing machine. There is a dielectric between the tubes and the walls of the heater, which can leak into the system.

You can also check the heating element for breakdown using a tester. Having selected the buzzer operating mode, attach one multimeter probe to the heating element terminal, and lean the second probe against its body. If the device does not make any sounds, the heater is working; if the tester starts beeping, a breakdown has occurred. The heating element is not repaired; a new, functioning part is simply installed in place of the old heating element.

If there is no breakdown, but there is a breakdown?

To maximally prevent the possibility of electric shock when using a washing machine, additional manipulations should be performed with the house electrical network. You can protect yourself using the following methods:

  • Connect to the network a residual current device with a rated load current in the protection zone from 10 to 30 mA. The RCD will trip even with the smallest current leakage, turning off the power to the device at the electrical panel. If the wiring in the apartment is old, two-wire, instead of modern three-wire, installing the device may cause some inconvenience. The machine will click often without much need, and you will have to regularly turn on the power at the electrical panel.
  • Create a system for balancing the potentials of household appliances.
  • Make sure the integrity of the ground. In certain cases, the washing machine receives electric shock even when the ground is connected. This may be caused by a damaged ground wire. It is worth finding where the break occurs, checking the conductor and restoring it.

If you feel a tingling sensation in your fingers when touching the faucet in the bathroom, you need to quickly turn off the electricity in the room and find the wiring fault.

Wrong methods to solve the problem.

If you decide to deal with the problem yourself, you need to understand what actions are not advisable to take. When studying forums, along with competent advice, you can come across incorrect recommendations from would-be experts. So, do not consider and use the following troubleshooting methods:

  • If there is no grounding, you can simply insert the plug into the socket, turning the plug over, and cover the floors in your visit with a rubber mat. This method, of course, can stop single impacts, but it will not solve the problem. The user may still be electrocuted.
  • Stop the washing machine's surge protector. This element is designed specifically to redirect the electrical charge to the body of the machine. Common people believe that turning it off will completely protect against electric shock when touching equipment. This opinion is wrong; the risk will decrease only slightly.
  • Connect the grounding conductor from the automatic machine to a pipe or radiator. Such actions are dangerous and can result in severe electric shock. Experts categorically do not recommend using this method.
  • Remove the isolated PE cable from the panel. Remember, you cannot install a separate grounding conductor and plug the equipment into an outlet without a ground. The correct solution would be to remove the three-wire wire from the distributor and connect a special, safe socket to the cable.

By finding out the reason the washing machine drum periodically shocks you, you can eliminate such a dangerous nuisance. It is important to conduct repairs consciously, observing all safety regulations.