I bought a lampshade from a market. I live in a country with 220V supply. It gave me an electric shock when I touched the dimmer control while plugged in, but I'm not sure if it was a static shock. Please help me look at these photos to determine if the wiring is faulty, and what I can do to fix it? Or if the design itself is faulty?

That black part with the 3 legs, could it be because it sometimes touches the outer cover?

Could it be because the exposed wire touches the board here?

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  • Hello, and welcome to Home Improvement. There's no way we can tell from pictures; have you tried measuring resistance from the shade to either plug prong? And, you should probably take our tour so you'll know how best to participate here. – Daniel Griscom Nov 4 '19 at 9:45
  • Thanks. I just moved so it's hard to get the tools I need, will do that eventually but was hoping someone eagle-eyed could spot something right away. – Jinren Nov 4 '19 at 12:40
  • touch it several times in succession ... static shock would occur only on first touch – jsotola Nov 4 '19 at 16:29
  • I'm too scared to touch it. Do you think the potentiometer is missing its 3rd-pin connection to somewhere? – Jinren Nov 5 '19 at 6:59

With a very high degree of confidence, that dimmer was not part of the original manufacture. The way the cable has been split to bring the live wire out looks very much like a post-consumer hack.

Having said that, the box and the dimmer knob both appear to be plastic, so it is hard to see how you could have got a mains shock from the unopened dimmer.

On the other hand, given it looks very dodgy, I would cut it off and throw it away, and replace it either with a simple on-off switch, or a proper inline dimmer. I searched for "inline dimmer switch for lamp" and got lots.

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  • Appreciate your answer, thanks. – Jinren Nov 4 '19 at 12:39
  • So there's no way I could've gotten a mains shock, and the shock I got was probably a static shock? – Jinren Nov 4 '19 at 12:41
  • @Jinren I can't think of a way - which doesn't actually mean there isn't one. – Martin Bonner supports Monica Nov 4 '19 at 13:58

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