Electrical Wiring in the Home/Very Unusual problem


I replaced a light within the bathroom and was shocked even though the breaker for the bathroom was off....and was shocked through the neutral! Apparently, the hot is being fed by the bathroom and neutral by the den breaker.  This problem did not occur on the first light I replaced, so what is the difference?  Two days earlier Comcast technician was shocked in the den while dealing with cable issue on the cable wire and disconnected TV.  So I tested the den and bathroom and apparently, I get voltage from neutral to ground in both circuits if the TV is NOT plugged in and connected through cable.  With the TV unplugged everything in the outlets is fine?!?  Only the TV connected with cable fixes it.  The home inspector plug indicates all fine with TV plugged in and revered polarity on both circuits with TV unplugged?!? Help!

Hi Andrew,

That doesn't sound to be too unusual. There is an issue with the return path of your electrical circuit. When a house is wired correctly that path is clearly determined by the electrician. Electricity follow the path of least resistance. In your case the electricity doesn't have a clear path back to ground so it is doing all sorts of weird things looking for the path of least resistance.

This is a repair for an electrician. I would think it is a grounding issue, bad neutral bug or some non-electrician messing up the wiring. It can become dangerous so now it the time to call in a pro.  
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Electrical Wiring in the Home

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Bill Lutz


Any questions about being an electrician or doing electrical work. I can help advise people on their wiring needs, what kind of outlets and switcher to use, explain what an electrical service is and how their breakers work. I can also help them with their lighting needs. . I CAN HELP YOU UNDERSTAND WHAT YOUR LOOKING AT.


My Father apprenticed to his Father-and I apprenticed to mine, repeating an invaluable tradition of child labor and a great place to learn a trade. Beginning at the age of 13, I worked with my dad every weekend and summer vacation in homes throughout Philadelphia repairing and rewiring all levels of residential electrical systems. Studying electrical engineering and earning a degree in architecture has given me a solid advantage in solving the myriad of residential electrical problems. Generation 3 Electrical, Inc. takes pride in every job - building confidence by how we do things - by being prompt, thorough and leaving every job site finished and clean.

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