Continue to Site

Welcome to our site!

Electro Tech is an online community (with over 170,000 members) who enjoy talking about and building electronic circuits, projects and gadgets. To participate you need to register. Registration is free. Click here to register now.

  • Welcome to our site! Electro Tech is an online community (with over 170,000 members) who enjoy talking about and building electronic circuits, projects and gadgets. To participate you need to register. Registration is free. Click here to register now.

Why did I get an electric shock from this?

John Jones

New Member
I recently bought a replacement battery for my camera, charged it up, then unplugged it after charging. When I picked up the charger I got a nasty shock.

Is this likely to be a faulty battery? Or could it be the wiring in my home? I need to know where the problem lies.
 

Nigel Goodwin

Super Moderator
Most Helpful Member
I recently bought a replacement battery for my camera, charged it up, then unplugged it after charging. When I picked up the charger I got a nasty shock.

Is this likely to be a faulty battery? Or could it be the wiring in my home? I need to know where the problem lies.
You give no information - what did you touch to get a 'nasty shock'?, and exactly what were you doing at the time? - and was it really a 'nasty' shock anyway, or just a minor tingle?.

Your camera battery is only low voltage, so can't give you a shock.
 

For The Popcorn

Active Member
Switching power supplies often have leakage at about ½ the input voltage. If your "nasty shock" was something similar to the shock you might feel on a cold day when you've walked across a nylon carpet and touched a door knob, you may have need in contact with one of the power supply's low voltage output conductors and ground.

This leakage is enough to surprise you, but not enough to harm you.
 

rjenkinsgb

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
Most likley the charger is badly designed and does not have a discharge "bleed" resistor across its AC input filter.

With such as that, if the AC cycle was at or near a voltage peak at the instant you unplugged it, the input filter capacitor could have anything up to 1.4x the AC supply voltage on it - and without the normal discharge resistor, that can stay on the plug pins for quite a while!

It used to be quite common, until regulations such as CE marking etc. came in.
 

John Jones

New Member
Thanks everyone for the replies. Sorry that my OP lacked detail, I didn't realise it was important. Let me answer a few questions...

• I live in the UK.
• I was standing on linolean kitchen tiles wearing leather slippers.
• Humidity is low, I don't like humidity and keep my home well ventilated.
• Initially, I switched off the outlet and unplugged the unit holding just the plug end. I did not get a shock when I did this.
• I only got the shock a moment later when I picked up the charger itself to carry it away. I was holding the charger but may also have made some contact with the battery
• The charger unit is this model: https://www.ebay.co.uk/p/12009556661
• I've used this charger for over a decade without any problems (with various batteries) so it's unlikely the charger itself is at fault.
• The battery is a replacement battery from a seller of questionable reputation on Amazon. For all I know, it could be very badly made, bootleg, and not conforming to safety protocols. Hypothetically, it could even be a malicious product.
• Sorry if my description of a "nasty shock" was too vague, I didn't think that detail was important. I don't care whether it's harmful or not, I don't want any electric shocks. I would compare it with someone jabbing a needle into my hand. It was painful, shook me up, and my hand hurt for a while after.
• I have no desire to physically troubleshoot this by experimenting with other devices using the same outlet, which is why I came here to ask!

Any more questions, please ask.

Your camera battery is only low voltage, so can't give you a shock.

If it's impossible for any battery to give a shock then the fault must lie with the outlet, which kind of answers my question I guess.
 
Last edited:

Nigel Goodwin

Super Moderator
Most Helpful Member
Thanks everyone for the replies. Sorry that my OP lacked detail, I didn't realise it was important. Let me answer a few questions...

• I live in the UK.
• I was standing on linolean kitchen tiles wearing leather slippers.
• Humidity is low, I don't like humidity and keep my home well ventilated.
• Initially, I switched off the outlet and unplugged the unit holding just the plug end. I did not get a shock when I did this.
• I only got the shock a moment later when I picked up the charger itself to carry it away. I was holding the charger but may also have made some contact with the battery
• The charger unit is this model: https://www.ebay.co.uk/p/12009556661
• I've used this charger for over a decade without any problems (with various batteries) so it's unlikely the charger itself is at fault.
• The battery is a replacement battery from a seller of questionable reputation on Amazon. For all I know, it could be very badly made, bootleg, and not conforming to safety protocols. Hypothetically, it could even be a malicious product.
• Sorry if my description of a "nasty shock" was too vague, I didn't think that detail was important. I don't care whether it's harmful or not, I don't want any electric shocks. I would compare it with someone jabbing a needle into my hand. It was painful, shook me up, and my hand hurt for a while after.
• I have no desire to physically troubleshoot this by experimenting with other devices using the same outlet, which is why I came here to ask!

Any more questions, please ask.



If it's impossible for any battery to give a shock then the fault must lie with the outlet, which kind of answers my question I guess.
How could it - when you had already unplugged it from the socket? - are you an American? - we don't call them 'outlets' in the UK. It's EXTREMELY unlikely to be a house wiring fault (even if it was plugged in when you got the shock), as the UK has exceptionally high quality electrical infrastructure.

Possibilities are you touched the plug pins with one hand, and something metal on the charger/battery, this could give you a minor shock from the safety capacitors inside. Or it could have been a static shock?, particularly as you keep your house very dry.

Just look at the mains socket - if it doesn't look physically damaged, or burned, then it's almost certainly perfectly fine - and there's no chance of a shock anyway, plugging something else in to make sure it still works.

But, as I've already said, if you got the shock after you'd unplugged it from the wall, then it can't possibly be a fault of the socket.
 

John Jones

New Member
Thanks, Nigel! That's really helpful.

Pardon my unintended Americanism! I normally call them 'sockets' but thought this term might be too imprecise here, since there are many types of socket.
 

Latest threads

New Articles From Microcontroller Tips

Top