Hervey Bay’s Joyce Hoberg is lucky to be alive after she received an electric shock in the shower at her home.
Hervey Bay’s Joyce Hoberg is lucky to be alive after she received an electric shock in the shower at her home. Karleila Thomsen

Killer shower shocks 81yo woman

JOYCE Hoberg literally got the shock of her life when she reached out to turn on the hot water tap in her shower.

An electric shock surged through her hand, the force of it slamming her body backwards into a wall.

“I was in the shower and I turned on the cold water tap and then when I touched the hot water tap I got zapped,” Ms Hoberg said.

“I shot back to the wall and down I went.

“It sort of jarred my hand and threw me back.

“I got that much of a bloody shock.”

Luckily, the Scarness resident was able to call out to a neighbour who rushed over to help her.

The 82-year-old spent the next three weeks in hospital with a fractured bone in her foot and also suffered bruising and grazes to her arms and legs.

She has lived in her Torquay Road home since 1973 and put the incident down an old water piping system.

Local electrician Mike Brown said the shower shock was the result of a failed earth connection.

“Basically the water pipe system became live because of the failed earth electrode,” he said, before adding that Ms Hoberg was lucky to be alive.

“Something like that could kill you, particularly if you had a weak heart.

“It’s probably a warning to anyone who has an old water pipe earth style electrode to get it checked by an electrician.”

Mr Brown said there would be a cost involved but that it was better to put safety first.

He also said Ms Hoberg’s home did not have a safety switch on the power circuit.

“Anyone who is unsure of the safety of their electrical installation should have it checked by an electrician,” he said.

“People should also ensure they have safety switches installed in their power circuits.

“Make sure you only have work performed by a licensed electrical contractor.”

Meanwhile, Ms Hoberg is using a walker to help get around but remains in good spirits.

Had her neighbour not been home, she says, she could have been trapped and injured in her shower for days.

“I got bruised and knocked around a bit,” she said.

“(But) you just have to get on with these sorts of things.

“I just don’t want it to happen to anyone else and I bet there’s a lot of people living in old homes around here who wouldn’t even think to check their meter boxes.”



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