Weird tingling "feeling" ?

waterl0gged

Well-known member
May 12, 2014
195
Central PA
Ok, here is a weird one for the electricians in the house (maybe its not even an electrical prob !,lol) .

So ....... Newish Strong 400 gallon hot tub . About a year old , located inside (garage hot tub !) , never had any notice of this problem before .........
Hot tub is a salt tub, running the Saltron Mini , and is working great . 240v tub .

Put my hand in the tub today while doing some water testing, and felt a slight tingling feeling on my ONE hand that had a few minor cuts on it . The other hand with no cuts........nothing . To narrow it down , it only happens when I am standing ON the concrete floor around the tub. If I step onto the carpet , or steps of the hot tub , tingling feeling does not happen . To narrow it down even more , I turned off the main breaker for the tub in the main panel AND the hot tub sub panel located close to the tub . NO power to tub AT ALL , and I STILL get that tingling feeling ! WTH ?!?!?

I did not notice it until I put a small dose of Sodium Thiosulfate to bring down the high FC . (long story short , I wasnt paying attention to the Saltron Mini in use , and we hadnt used the tub for weeks with the hot weather , and the CL ran up a bit high . Used some Sodium Thiosulfate to bring down the FC) .

How can I get the feeling of an electrical tingle if the tub is completely turned off of all electrical source ? Tub is "dead" , but if I stand on the concrete floor and stick my hand with the slight cuts on it, I STILL get the feeling of an electrical tingle ! Perhaps its just a reaction from the Sodium Thiosulfate dose and the slight cuts on my hand ? But why then does it only happen when my feet are on the concrete floor ? Even with no power to the tub (and yes the saltron mini is also "out" of the water) .

Any ideas , I am stumped here ????
 

waterl0gged

Well-known member
May 12, 2014
195
Central PA
You have an electrical problem. Maybe not with your home’s service.

First thing I would do is check the rounding electrode at your service entrance.

Is this an attached garage? City or rural? Wells nearby?

Thanks JohnT for the reply .
This is an attached garage , older house about 40 y/o . Rural , well pump is approx 50' from garage (not sure how deep) . 200amp panel is in the garage bay that the hot tub is located , approx 20' away .
Checked the grounding electrode ......from the main 200amp panel , solid copper wire runs directly into the ground .

Strange how I get the tingling feeling even when all power is removed from tub , and only when I am standing on the concrete with bare/socked feet . Hot tub is on a plastic base , and pretty isolated from the concrete floor .

Perhaps I have some stray voltage in ground unrelated to the hot tub ?

The only place I can feel any tingling is in a couple very small cuts in my one hand, and only when my bare or socked feet are touching the concrete garage slab the tub is sitting on . Power to tub - on or off - doesnt make a difference .

If I were to enter the tub from the plastic stairs , I would never feel anything ........prob been doing this for a long time !

Thanks again for any ideas ....... may have to call an electrician , even though the prob. is likely, not the hot tub .
 
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JohnT

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Perhaps I have some stray voltage in ground unrelated to the hot tub ?

The only place I can feel any tingling is in a couple very small cuts in my one hand, and only when my bare or socked feet are touching the concrete garage slab the tub is sitting on . Power to tub - on or off - doesnt make a difference .
This is pretty well a classic case. Rural area. Only feeling it on cuts is extremely common. It can be caused by phone line, a neighbor with a defective well pump, or issues with utility grounding practices.

Your power provider may have someone knowledgeable, especially if livestock are common in the area.

I'd check the power source for nearly 0V between ground and neutral, and for 120V between each hot and both ground and neutral. I know it happens even with the power off, but ding this is a way to check the quality of your ground connection.
 

waterl0gged

Well-known member
May 12, 2014
195
Central PA
Thanks John , will bust out the voltmeter and check to make sure the tub is at least wired correctly , and a proper ground .

Oh and Yes, rural area with livestock in the vicinity . Not sure if we are dealing with electrified fencing or anything .

It could have been like this for a long time, and I only noticed it because of the factors involved (cuts on hands, barefeet on the concrete , etc ) .
 

JohnT

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Thanks John , will bust out the voltmeter and check to make sure the tub is at least wired correctly , and a proper ground .

Oh and Yes, rural area with livestock in the vicinity . Not sure if we are dealing with electrified fencing or anything .

It could have been like this for a long time, and I only noticed it because of the factors involved (cuts on hands, barefeet on the concrete , etc ) .
The thing to be concerned with is that something else could happen that energizes things at a much higher voltage.
 

waterl0gged

Well-known member
May 12, 2014
195
Central PA
Still have to make a run and get the voltmeter from my shop , will do that today .

RD , yes the hot tub is on a GFCI breaker sub-panel (per code) , and tested it this morning. It does trip if I push the test button .

Is there anyway to test stray current in the hot tub water via voltmeter , instead of sticking my hand in it , lol ? Maybe sticking a probe in the water, then the other on the concrete floor while testing for A/C milliamps ?
I did check it this morning, and I can barely feel any "tingle" feeling now . Trying to figure out electrical "things" that turn on and off throughout the day that I can zero in on that may be giving out some stray current .

Thanks for the help so far guys .......
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
28,291
Can you show a picture of the hot tub and the electrical wiring compartment?

I would suspect that the voltage is coming in on the ground wire.

Did you have a licensed electrician wire this?

Note: Do not allow anyone to get in the tub until this is fixed.

Do not do anything unless you are 100% sure that you can do it safely.
 

waterl0gged

Well-known member
May 12, 2014
195
Central PA
James, I will get some pictures .
This was a self install as far as the wiring goes . I am not a licensed electrician , but am fairly well versed in electrical systems . Also had an electrician look over the wiring and he said it looked fine .
I also suspect there may be some stray voltage coming in from the ground , knowing that even if all 240 power is killed/dead .......the only other wire "hooked up" would be the ground .
Going to do some testing with the voltmeter and report back .

Thanks ,
 

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JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
28,291
Disconnect the ground and test for voltage between the ground wire and the ground lug where it was connected.

Check the voltage between each incoming line in your main breaker panel and the neutral to see if they are equal and in spec.

Note: Get an electrician to do anything you are not 100% sure that you are qualified to do.

Do not do anything that you are not 100% sure that you can do safely.
 
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waterl0gged

Well-known member
May 12, 2014
195
Central PA
Voltmeter in hand ........
Solid 120v at each leg , and 240 between to the tub .
Looks like I am getting anywhere between 1 - 1.5 ac volts between the tub water and concrete .
Disconnected (not just turned the breaker off) , the 240v going to the tub and still have the 1-1.5 volts . Disconnected the neutral (big white wire) going to the tub .......still have 1-1.5 v in the hot tub water . Disconnected the ground (small cooper wire from the tub) and voltage dropped to minimal levels in the tub .
Think I am getting stray voltage in the earth ground , from what I can tell . I am getting 1-1.5 volts directly between the earth ground )big copper wire) and the concrete floor ........weird . Hot tub is completely disconnected ........all 4 wires . I dont feel that the hot tub and its wiring are actually the problem at this point , the tingling feeling just made me aware of "a problem" . I think I have a little bigger problem with stray voltage coming into the earth ground .
We do have a power pole on the corner of our property with a transformer . I also turned off the breaker to the well pump and it did not effect the 1.5v reading .
Yep, 1.5v between the earth ground wire and the concrete floor .

May be calling in my electrician and/or power company to check it out .

ANy other ideas on what could be causing this ?

Thanks all for your help .
 

JohnT

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Voltmeter in hand ........
Solid 120v at each leg , and 240 between to the tub .
Looks like I am getting anywhere between 1 - 1.5 ac volts between the tub water and concrete .
Disconnected (not just turned the breaker off) , the 240v going to the tub and still have the 1-1.5 volts . Disconnected the neutral (big white wire) going to the tub .......still have 1-1.5 v in the hot tub water . Disconnected the ground (small cooper wire from the tub) and voltage dropped to minimal levels in the tub .
Think I am getting stray voltage in the earth ground , from what I can tell . I am getting 1-1.5 volts directly between the earth ground )big copper wire) and the concrete floor ........weird . Hot tub is completely disconnected ........all 4 wires . I dont feel that the hot tub and its wiring are actually the problem at this point , the tingling feeling just made me aware of "a problem" . I think I have a little bigger problem with stray voltage coming into the earth ground .
We do have a power pole on the corner of our property with a transformer . I also turned off the breaker to the well pump and it did not effect the 1.5v reading .
Yep, 1.5v between the earth ground wire and the concrete floor .

May be calling in my electrician and/or power company to check it out .

ANy other ideas on what could be causing this ?

Thanks all for your help .
So what this is telling you is that the soil under your garage floor is at a different voltage than your grounding conductor feeding the tub.

A few likely causes:

Your grounding electrode isn’t doing it’s job. They can corrode, and sometimes soil resistance requires the use of more than one. A loose connection at the box could be the issue as well. How far is the electrode from the garage? What size wire goes from the service entrance to the soil? This is probably the easiest to fix. Add another electrode or two within 6ft of the first.

Another possibility is you have significant current in the soil causing a voltage between the garage and electrode. Probably time to call the power company if you suspect this.

Is your garage between a phone junction box and your service entrance?
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
28,291
We do have a power pole on the corner of our property with a transformer .
Part of the problem is that the house neutral is grounded and the transformer neutral is also grounded.

This provides a parallel path for current to return to the transformer neutral instead of the house main neutral.

If the house neutral is compromised, the current going through the ground will increase.

Even with a good main neutral, you will always get some current through the ground.

If you improve the main neutral, that might help.

Balancing the current on both hot legs will reduce the current on the neutral wire.

Get and electrician to check the amperage going through both main hot legs and the neutral.

The total current should equal to zero.

For example, if one hot leg is carrying 23.57 amps and the other hot leg is carrying 37.91 amps, then the neutral should be carrying exactly 14.34 amps.

If the balance is not exactly zero, the rest is going through the ground.

The measurements need to be very carefully done with the right equipment and with steady loads on each side of the 120 volt supply.

All three have to be measured at the same time individually.

You can also measure all 3 at the same time using a big clamp ammeter to see if the balance is zero.
 

waterl0gged

Well-known member
May 12, 2014
195
Central PA
Thanks for all the great info and advise ........
No phone service at the house . Garage is ground level under the house basically .
A few more details ........... checked the pool (saltwater) that is much further from the earth ground / main Panel / transformer on pole than the hot tub . NO stray electric between pool water , concrete , coping and railings . Getting a zero reading .

Also, about a year ago had a micro tornado come thorough that toppled several trees that actually ripped the main power wire/ meter-box , right off the house . Had an electrician come in and replace all of it . Electric company came in to re-hook up the power afterwards . I noticed that the main neutral coming into the house was reclamped together with only about 50% of the individual strands . I figured if the power company did this .........it was ok that way .........maybe NOT !

I will take a picture of the MAIN nuetral coming into the house to see if you guys have an opinion on that !

Thanks again for all the help !
Also thanks James for this ........... "If the house neutral is compromised, the current going through the ground will increase" . This was a big help and could be the problem potentially .
 
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waterl0gged

Well-known member
May 12, 2014
195
Central PA
Sorry if the picture is too large .......
Basically , this is how the electric company "re-hooked" us up after the power supply was ripped off the house . That is the one and only main neutral coming into the house . I counted a total of 5 strands of that main neutral are connected .
This could be the problem ..........or part of it for sure .
The lack of neutral could be causing the return path to go through the earth ground / concrete back to the pole .
 

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