Shocks and tingles
If anyone in your property feels a tingle or shock from electrical equipment, a tap, or other metal fittings, don’t ignore it—it’s a sign that something’s not right and could be fatal.
If the shock is from using or touching permanent electrical equipment (like a stove or electric hot water system), contact a licensed electrician and stop using it immediately.
If the shock is from a tap, pipe or other metal fitting call Energex, Essential Energy or Ergon Energy immediately and ask them to check your property.
South East Queensland – Sunshine Coast to Esk and Gatton areas
13 19 62
Goondiwindi and surrounding areas
13 20 80
Rest of Queensland
13 16 70
Shocks, tingles and nuisance trips
Electricity is invisible, so you can’t see the danger… but it can kill.
Have you ever felt a zap, shock or tingle? Well it means something is not safe, so let’s investigate.
A minor electric shock might feel like a zap you get from static electricity or intense pins and needles – but it is the feeling of electric current running through your body. Even if it feels very minor, it’s not safe and you need to do something about it.
No matter the severity, or how infrequently it happens, you need to take this seriously as it’s a sign there could be a serious problem with your electrical equipment, wiring, switchboard or powerlines.
If you feel a shock or tingle from electrical equipment, stop using it immediately and contact your electricity distributor or get a licensed electrician to check it out.
If you feel a shock or tingle from a tap or metal fitting in your house, you need to contact your electrical distributor straight away to check out your property – for most people in Queensland, that would be Energex or Ergon Energy.
Avoid contact with the electrical equipment and any metal fittings. Keep away from the area, but don’t turn off your power as you may get an electric shock from the switchboard. If you think you’ve received an electric shock, seek medical attention. Even if you feel ok, an electric shock can have serious delayed effects.
Nuisance tripping is something else that shouldn’t be ignored.
Nuisance tripping is when your safety switch or circuit breaker regularly trips or flicks off for no apparent reason. This could be caused by circuits being overloaded or by faulty electrical equipment or wiring.
Circuit overloads are often caused by too many pieces of electrical equipment plugged into the same circuit ¬and all turned on at the same time.
To safely check the cause of a circuit tripping:
- Unplug all electrical appliances on that circuit.
- Reset the safety switch for that circuit.
- Then plug your electrical appliance back in, and switch them on one item at a time.
If the safety switch trips again, then the last electrical appliance you plugged in and switched on may be the cause.
Disconnect it from its powerpoint, reset the safety switch for that circuit and check any remaining electrical appliances by plugging them in and switching them on one by one. If everything functions properly, you’ve identified the problem. To prevent the overload you could try plugging the electrical appliance into a different circuit that is safety switch protected.
Now, if your safety switch on this circuit trips when the electrical appliance is plugged in and switched on, then the appliance is most likely faulty. In this case you should replace it, or remove and label it and store it securely until you have it checked by a licensed electrician or the manufacturer. So if you feel a zap, shock or tingle – don’t ignore it - get it checked out. Electricity is invisible, so you can’t see the danger….but it can kill.
Find out more at electricalsafety.qld.gov.au
Watch the Energex and Ergon Energy shocks and tingles advertising campaign