Can electrical current travel from my neighbour's shower?

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fondueman09 asked the Naked Scientists:
Suppose I live in an apartment and my neighbour drops something electrical into his sink or shower.

Could the current then travel along the piping to my sink or shower?

Are there standard safeguards built in?

Do the relative positions of the apartments matter?

Does the type of current, AC or DC, matter?          

What do you think?
« Last Edit: 22/02/2010 11:30:03 by _system »


Offline graham.d

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Can electrical current travel from my neighbour's shower?
« Reply #1 on: 22/02/2010 14:35:41 »
If the regulations are met there would be no problems. All piping has to be earthed so it should all be OK. If, for some (unlikely) reason his piping was connected to yours and there was no earth connected (and the piping did not go itself to earth i.e. only had a rising main in plastic and the regulations had not been followed) then it would be theoretically possible that a voltage could appear on your pipes (more if you were nearer), but I would not worry about it as it's very unlikely. It will be AC. I don't know anywhere that uses DC for a main supply.