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Thread: Shocking Featherweight Question

  1. #1
    Super Member buslady's Avatar
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    Shocking Featherweight Question

    My Featherweight gives me a tingly feeling every time I use her!! Really! I sent her to repair man, replaced rubber feet, and still I get shocked from the touch. DH thinks it is a grounding problem, does anyone here have any ideas? The cord is in good shape, but does not have the grounding point on it. I love the machine, but it scares me!!! Please help!!
    Onalee Rose
    "There comes a time in your life, when you walk away from all the drama and people who create it. You surround yourself with people who make you laugh. Forget the bad, and focus on the good. Love the people who treat you right, pray for the ones who don't. Life is too short to be anything but happy. Falling down is a part of life, getting back up is living."

  2. #2
    Super Member SteveH's Avatar
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    I recommend that you do not use the machine until this is resolved.

    You DO sound like you have a short of some kind. Most likely a short to ground. (A wire or component that carries power is somehow touching the frame (ground) of the machine.

    The "tingle" is 110v gently running through your body...

    The "repair man" should have never let it leave his shop like that... PERIOD

  3. #3
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    I had a 301 that did that. But, it was only once in a while. I went through my machine and checked the wiring and retightened connections and it stopped. I never did find where a short was, but I haven't had a problem since.

  4. #4
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by buslady View Post
    My Featherweight gives me a tingly feeling every time I use her!! Really! I sent her to repair man, replaced rubber feet, and still I get shocked from the touch. DH thinks it is a grounding problem, does anyone here have any ideas? The cord is in good shape, but does not have the grounding point on it. I love the machine, but it scares me!!! Please help!!
    Unplug the machine, turn the plug over and plug it back in. That should stop the buzz.
    All electrical systems are polorized even if the plug is not. Sometimes, under certain conditions the polorization is wrong and you get a buzz. Reversing the plug in the outlet matches the polorization and stops the buzz.

    Joe

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    Super Member liking quilting's Avatar
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    I started reading your posting and first thought this machine just really excited you... not literally shocked you. Made me chuckle, but I do hope you get it straightened out. Would really take the joy out of sewing!
    Mavis

  6. #6
    Super Member oldsewnsew's Avatar
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    This machine relies on the metal chassis being isolated from the AC. Do turn the plug over and see if it helps, but it may do nothing or make it worse. A neutral return with you touching it, can tingle. Does it make a difference if the light is turned on? I think you may need to look to see if the light fixture is shorting to ground somewhere, or else the motor/motor wiring. They are old and something maybe compromised.
    Jim

    "What do you mean worrying doesn't help? Everything I ever worried about...never happened!"
    quote by __________ I forget who.

  7. #7
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    Buslady,

    A tingling feeling indicates an electrical short. UNPLUG the machine as you need to find this short before using the machine again. Turning the plug around does not eliminate the short. Electricity is still leaking. This can be very dangerous. Your dry intact skin is a good insulator, but if there is a break in your skin, you could be in real danger.

    Quote Originally Posted by buslady View Post
    My Featherweight gives me a tingly feeling every time I use her!! Really! I sent her to repair man, replaced rubber feet, and still I get shocked from the touch. DH thinks it is a grounding problem, does anyone here have any ideas? The cord is in good shape, but does not have the grounding point on it. I love the machine, but it scares me!!! Please help!!
    Cathy

    "Most sewing machine problems are due to the carbon based unit in the chair in front of the machine"

  8. #8
    Super Member Mrs. SewNSew's Avatar
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    I'm with Steve there is a problem. I wouldn't want to use the machine until the problem is resolved. It sounds like a bad wire somewhere and your repair guy should have taken care of it.

    I am working on a machine right now that I was sold with the claim it was just serviced. The wiring is bad but it has nice new rubber feet. *Shaking my head.
    Christy
    Starting the year out fresh

  9. #9
    Super Member coopah's Avatar
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    I had that, too, and don't have the time to look into the problem. So I've quit using my FW for now. I did switch out the surge protector and flipped the plug as Joe suggested. That stopped the tingling, but I am not confident that the problem is solved. Better safe than sorry.
    "A woman is like a tea bag-you can't tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water." Eleanor Roosevelt

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    Good advice already given. Check out novamontgomery.com She addresses this problem in one of her Tips of the Month. Use the index to find that particular problem.


    Linda

    Sew little time and sew many ideas

  11. #11
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    Just another comment, not an argument.

    Have rewired several machines myself, making positive sure there is no shorts. Have bought other machines with good wiring and inspected them finding no shorts.

    Have been buzzed by some of them. Turned the cord and the problem ceased. There are times you'll get a buzz from machines with good wiring.


    If you are afraid of the buzz use the back of your hand or your wrist to check the machine. That way your muscles in your hand cannot contract causing you to grab the object if there really is a short circuit.

    I'm done.

    Joe

  12. #12
    Senior Member cpfrog's Avatar
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    It does sound like an "electrical" problem. I like the turning the plug over...def. worth a try.
    BUT....
    What is the table made of that you're using, even tho' the machine itself has new rubber 'feet'?
    What is the chair you are using? is it a metal folding chair or like that?
    What is the floor?
    What are you wearing on your feet?
    All this esp. if it's a "grounding" problem...

    These were just some other ideas to consider.
    By all means, STAY SAFE!!!
    cpfrog - "Those who sew together, grow together." - Amy Dickinson

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    Super Member buslady's Avatar
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    Thank you all for the information. I am going to pull the machine out this weekend and see if I can see anything. Is there a way to ground the plug if that is the issue? I appologize if this has already been answered. When I have more time, I will go back and reread all the posts!! This is a great place when you need help. thank you sew much.
    Onalee Rose
    "There comes a time in your life, when you walk away from all the drama and people who create it. You surround yourself with people who make you laugh. Forget the bad, and focus on the good. Love the people who treat you right, pray for the ones who don't. Life is too short to be anything but happy. Falling down is a part of life, getting back up is living."

  14. #14
    Super Member oldsewnsew's Avatar
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    One thing I've seen is light bulb bases that actually touch metal in the socket. It still works, but a flipped plug makes the machine "hot". A higher resistance short thru oxide or grease or whatever will still cause a tingle. Just my 2 worth
    Jim

    "What do you mean worrying doesn't help? Everything I ever worried about...never happened!"
    quote by __________ I forget who.

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    I agree with Steve! I would think again about ever using that repairman. Evidently, he didn't check it before you picked it up. If you would've had a pacemaker in, it could've been a trip to the hospital. Happened to my aunt. Throught her pm out of whack and nearly cost her life.
    Quote Originally Posted by SteveH View Post
    I recommend that you do not use the machine until this is resolved.

    You DO sound like you have a short of some kind. Most likely a short to ground. (A wire or component that carries power is somehow touching the frame (ground) of the machine.

    The "tingle" is 110v gently running through your body...

    The "repair man" should have never let it leave his shop like that... PERIOD

  16. #16
    Super Member SteveH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by buslady View Post
    ... I apologize if this has already been answered. When I have more time, I will go back and reread all the posts!! This is a great place when you need help. thank you sew much.
    You are welcome, and nothing to apologize for.
    Adding a "grounded" plug wire is possible, but probably not necessary.

    And my guess is that the issue would most likely be resolved in the rewiring process anyway regardless of the type of cord used.

    Just carefully check each connection, every place where the wire bends sharply, and any place where it goes through something. take pictures and post them if you are unsure of anything, we're here to help.

    EDIT: Good post Joe, excellent points to make!

  17. #17
    Super Member ArchaicArcane's Avatar
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    I truly think that in the cases where the buzzing stops when reorienting the cord that the "problem" has been temporarily disturbed. I suppose that it could be proven by putting a mark with a sharpie or something on the cord and seeing if the same way works every time, but I don't think it will. Here's why:
    Polarity results from the fact that an electrical circuit has a negative and a positive pole. Direct current (DC) flows in one direction, resulting in a constant polarity. Alternating current (AC) flows half the time in one direction and half the time in the other, changing its polarity 120 times per second with 60-hertz current.
    http://www.lincolnelectric.com/en-ca...ty-detail.aspx

    Therefore, which way a non-polarized plug is in the wall is less relevant than it seems at first.

    If you're getting a buzz, there's some electrical problem that needs to be addressed. The most likely place that your (hopefully former) repairman didn't check is at the backside of the male plug. That's the easiest place to overlook (It's accessed via the bottom of the machine under the "panel", or you can remove the screw on the outside of the plug and gently pull it outward a little), the easiest place to ground to the body of the machine, and the "hardest" to check - mostly because of clearances making it hard to maneuver. The process is easy.

    Slightly wet hands (just came back from the washroom? Have a little water on your hands from the glass of water beside you? Spilled coffee on yourself again - no wait. That one is me.), cuts, pacemakers, all of it can lead to a really bad situation when added to a machine that's causing a buzz, tingle or shock.

    I service enough machines that I know that there is liquid around machines quite often. I had coffee or tea to clean off the electronic machine I serviced yesterday, spilled all over the bed and allowed to dry!

  18. #18
    Super Member oldsewnsew's Avatar
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    Yep. What Tammi said. Metal surfaces need to stay electrically isolated from either leg. Now Ive fiddled with some foot controls that were scary under the wrong circumstances
    Jim

    "What do you mean worrying doesn't help? Everything I ever worried about...never happened!"
    quote by __________ I forget who.

  19. #19
    Super Member ArchaicArcane's Avatar
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    Ahh. There it is. We talked about this a few months ago, which lead to the blog post I made on my site about electricity and vintage machines. Here's the original thread:
    http://www.quiltingboard.com/vintage...w-t223435.html

    Jim, I think I've met some of those pedals too. I'm surprised more places didn't burn down and more people get electrocuted!

  20. #20
    Super Member buslady's Avatar
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    Thank you guys so much! I can't wait to tear into it first chance I get. I also have a white featherweight that seemed to overheat the last time I used it, so I have been afraid to do so. Been gonna tear it down and see if the motor needs new brushes. (watched a tutorial long time ago on that). I went to the site referenced above and bought the CD's since that is cheeper than sending even one of them in to the shop. My DH is very handy, I'll have him watch the CD's and see what he can do for it!! Thanks a bunch. Oh, the note in my case from the repair man was that he would suggest I replace the foot pedal, so maybe that is what he was thinking, but I don't know why we would just "suggest" since the reason I sent it to him was the "buzz". You would think he would just replace it. Who knows.
    Onalee Rose
    "There comes a time in your life, when you walk away from all the drama and people who create it. You surround yourself with people who make you laugh. Forget the bad, and focus on the good. Love the people who treat you right, pray for the ones who don't. Life is too short to be anything but happy. Falling down is a part of life, getting back up is living."

  21. #21
    Super Member duckydo's Avatar
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    When I go to my sister's to sew she always lets me use her featherweight, I keep telling her and her husband that every once in awhile I get a tingly feeling on the side of my arm that rests on the machine, they don't seem to think it anything, my sister says it never happens to her. I am taking my own machine from now on. I thought maybe the ground fault was not grounded correctly since it is in the basement.

  22. #22
    Super Member purplefiend's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by buslady View Post
    My Featherweight gives me a tingly feeling every time I use her!! Really! I sent her to repair man, replaced rubber feet, and still I get shocked from the touch. DH thinks it is a grounding problem, does anyone here have any ideas? The cord is in good shape, but does not have the grounding point on it. I love the machine, but it scares me!!! Please help!!
    Graham Forsdyke's website shows some electrical disasters on a Featherweight.

    http://www.singer-featherweight.com/...tdisaster.html

  23. #23
    Super Member buslady's Avatar
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    OK, I am convinced. I will not use it again until checked out.
    Onalee Rose
    "There comes a time in your life, when you walk away from all the drama and people who create it. You surround yourself with people who make you laugh. Forget the bad, and focus on the good. Love the people who treat you right, pray for the ones who don't. Life is too short to be anything but happy. Falling down is a part of life, getting back up is living."

  24. #24
    Super Member coopah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by buslady View Post
    OK, I am convinced. I will not use it again until checked out.
    Whew! Glad to hear that! My FW has been in "time out" for awhile due to the tingling. May you get your issue resolved soon.
    "A woman is like a tea bag-you can't tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water." Eleanor Roosevelt

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