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Just bought Dell T-7500 Workstation.

When installation technician came to Install the workstation, he got an electric shock when he touched the Start Button.

He also got shock when he touched Front Panel.

No shock when touching rest of the Chassis.

He called Dell Support & tried to troubleshoot by taking out various wires etc. but did not help.

I touched the same places & I also got shock.

We checked everything possible including connecting to various outlets but it didn't solve the problem.

Installation subcontractor said that they are not supposed to troubleshoot anything on new system, just install it & they made notes & left.

I called my sales guy & it was weekend so he said he will take care of it on Monday.

Here are my concerns:

  1. Why does that happen? Although it is a mild shock & it won't kill you but might damage other parts of workstation?

  2. Is this common for workstations?

  3. What should I do? Of course Dell will try to troubleshoot again but should I let them do that OR ask for a New System?

  4. Wheat would happen if I continue using it till the new system arrives?

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That's a clear grounding problem. (also fixed tags) – Dan D. Mar 25 '12 at 7:01
That's not normal, don't accept that as normal. If they can't fix it they must replace it. It's too late now, but I wouldn't have signed for receiving a working workstation. – Raystafarian Mar 25 '12 at 11:41

Get it replaced - its obviously defective, and there is a definite chance of damage (or things catching fire). Don't use it. Grounding is defective somewhere (which might lead to the power tripping possibly), and using it might possibly void your warranty. You might also damage other things plugged into it - mice and keyboards possibly, but a higher than normal voltage in a monitor might be bad too.

share|improve this answer

You must define the shock style?

sharp fast single "sparks" of very high voltage are often "static". Static can't really destroy a computer easily , unless your on the inside of it. It still would be smart to touch the case metal first, before working the other buttons. It still could send power back through ports, switches, even led (leads), and rarely through insulation on low voltage wires, like mouse or keyboard.

A static shock can occur when the human is ungrounded , and creating static energy with different methods, like carpet rubs, even chair rubs, the human acts like a capacitor the energy being stored in the body. A static shock to a properly grounded case , would be normal in high static areas, with insulated humans gathering static energy. Because electronic components can be damaged by static, usually people would not want that happening around the computer at all anyway.

The main discharge of static , is usually fast sharp and ends in miliseconds, turn down the lights and you can even see a static spark jump up to 1/2" off your finger to discharge. After that first single fast discharge , The human has to charge up again, the rate of recharge and accrued energy would determine how much energy will again be discharged.

A partial discharge of static can also occur, when full discharge does not happen. through minor isulation, plastic, paint and powder coatings, past and around things to get to the conductors. Then a static discharge would repeat more often. full grounding or full discharge to a metal part of the case, would do a full discharge, and would repeat less often.

The other more dangerous shock for the humans is usually a continual flow of low cycle energy through the human, often when touching the case itself, or other metal grounded locations on the case. That type is much more rare, and reguardless of any policy , no tech would leave an installed computer that had improper grounding or ac voltages capable of flowing through a human.
If it was that type of shock , then the thing should be unplugged.

An AC power shock could be a bad (rare) problem of connections touching the wrong thing in the PSU and can damage a human , and could even cause a PSU fire. It could also damage the computer as it changes. It could also be caused by improper polarity of the wiring in the home. I have lived in one home where the polarity was incorrect in ~50% of the AC wall boxes, They say it is rare, but it was not for whomever wired up that house :-).

The AC power shocks usually are not quick , although a PSU capacitor discharge can be faster. If it was that type you would feel it continually, and if a person even thought for a moment that it was that type of shock, it should not be Re-tested, it should only be completly disconnected from the wall socket and fixed first.

Any other electrical storm feelings, high power flowing through network cabling, or phone cabling, or powered speakers, and monitors, or anything else would also be wrong, could be dangerous to both electronics and humans. It could be a home wiring problem, below ground wiring problem, and hundreds of other things. All of this would also be something that should be determined what it is, and fixed, not tested by repeating shocks, used or guessed about, because it could involve serious power.

Is the case Light with CCT (cold cathode)? A cold cathode lighting curcuit, could also provide for a higher voltage , many of the Cold cathode lightings for computers are very cheaply made, and certannly could have a defect (mine did). They can throw a good shock, would be continuous , could pass power through the case, and/or to other wiring. If that was the problem, the computer would be unpluged, then disconnecting the cold cathode lghting curcuit from the power could test for it.
LED only case lighting does not use higher voltages, and would not exhibit those symptoms (without a defective PSU problem existing).
(CCT lighting can also exist in Monitors)

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It didn't discharge after first contact, which leads me to believe that it wasn't static. We each tested it several times & it is still there. Besides, I have another Dell High End PC running from the same outlet for a long time with no problems. I also have TV, Freeze, AC running in the house, some from the same outlets. – Dan Mar 25 '12 at 8:00
Then the tech shouldn't have quoted policy and left it like that :-( A call monday with the symptoms , and a side dash of paranoia relayed to them, should get it fixed fast enough. – Psycogeek Mar 25 '12 at 8:07
Yep, that is what I am afraid of. I don't want them to take the system apart & fix it. I want brand new system, untouched & working flawlessly, that is what I paid for, almost $3000.00 OR else I could have bought it for much less on ebay. Am I missing something OR should I let them do whatever it takes to fix the current system ?Would you if you were in the same situation ? Just asking for opinions & what is the best way to deal with such a situation & what would others do in my situation. You guys are the experts & I respect your views. – Dan Mar 25 '12 at 8:58
I would fix it myself , because of stuff like this, but I already build my computers from parts and pieces, because I dont like some of thier choices and the markup. I wouldnt say that was easier than dealing with sales. Ask for a mile get an inch, if you want them to get you a new computer, doesnt hurt to ask, your the one paying. . On the other side sometimes techs have Helped us with issues that were Not thier fault or problem, because they were already there, they were great humans, going above the call of duty and wrongly making thier company look good :-) – Psycogeek Mar 25 '12 at 9:17
"start lashing out verbally" that never works and they mark your account as abusive, no more help for you, bad advice. – Moab Mar 25 '12 at 19:31

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