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I was using a microwave at work the other day and it's quite small, I was putting something in there with both hands and my right hand brushed against the section that is usually on the right that houses the light panel and has all the holes in it to allow the light through; when my hand touched said area I got a small electric (static?) shock.

Why is this? Is this just caused the same way you get static shocks from other things sometimes?

Also, I'm not sure if this applies but could it be because I wasn't "grounded" - the microwave is quite high up (on top of a fridge) and I had to stand on a plastic milk carton to use it.

  • Are you sure it was static and not a true "shock" (that is you were completing the circuit between the source and ground)? Do you have a multi-meter to test with? I suspect that your microwave might not be grounded properly, but that you might also have an exposed terminal that you is causing the chasis to be "hot". I don't think it was because you weren't grounded, but rather because you were touching something else that was (the path to ground did not travel through your feet to the milk carton) such as incidental contact with the fridge. – N8sBug Oct 17 '15 at 13:29
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    Alternatively, it it wasn't a shock and it was static, yes, you probably generated a static charge by climbing up on the milk carton that discharged through the first path to ground (the microwave). – N8sBug Oct 17 '15 at 13:33
  • You could also get a shock if the outlet was wired with a fake ground. Take a few voltage measurements and edit your question if at all possible. – Brad Gilbert Oct 17 '15 at 18:30
  • What did the shock feel like? Was it a sharp single jolt, or a pulsating tingle that traveled through your arm? – Tester101 Oct 18 '15 at 14:49
  • @Tester101 Sharp single jolt I'd say..... quite similar to a static shock. – Brett Oct 18 '15 at 15:25

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