(Topic ID: 349222)

Close Encounters with Electricity: Share your "shocking" tales :)

By goingincirclez

6 months ago


Topic Heartbeat

Topic Stats

You

Linked Games

No games have been linked to this topic.

    Topic Gallery

    View topic image gallery

    PXL_20240428_223116008-EDIT (resized).jpg
    PXL_20240428_223110372 (resized).jpg
    o9mtahzlq47c1 (resized).png
    monkey (resized).jpg
    pasted_image (resized).png
    pasted_image (resized).png
    pasted_image (resized).png
    pasted_image (resized).png
    pasted_image (resized).png
    20231229_093414 (resized).jpg
    20231229_093439 (resized).jpg
    #1 6 months ago

    EDIT: Based on some initial comments, I thought it would be fun to share run-ins with being zapped, shocked, jolted, and/or otherwise made uncomfortably intimate with electricity. Sometimes it's funny, sometimes it's not, but it always leaves an unforgettable impression and an occasional story. What's yours? See post 14+...

    ~~~~~~~~~

    Long before I got into the pinball hobby (uh (checks notes) almost 10 years ago holy crap) I spent a lot of my free time tinkering with electrical stuff. From model trains to computers to TVs to VCRs to stereos to turntables to cars to refrigerators to compressors to sewing machines to vacuums to fans to... you get the idea. If it fed on electrons and for some reason didn't work, it was fair game to take apart! Toward earning a respectably high success rate for diagnosing and/or fixing to operation. And household electrical work from circuit troubleshooting and adding, to large appliance and HVAC repair, has been pretty simple for me as well...

    All of that is to say and not to brag that I know my way around electricity and its hazards. 'Cuz inevitably, I've been zapped enough - due both to my own lazy carelessness AND through no fault of my own! - to know the alarming, uncomfortable, spastic feeling of BZZZZZT! So I have a healthy respect for proper precautions as I've gotten older.

    Anyway, the scenario: I was recently given a ~100 year old desktop fan - one of those awesome old steampunk-looking open-cage plane-prop hand-slicer jobs - that didn't work for various reasons. Among other issues it had been dropped such that the blades would hit the cage and get stuck, on top of needing a good cleaning. So I removed the bent cage, then turned it on... it wanted to work, but needed a manual assist and thus more disassembly to thoroughly clean.

    Old motors like this are surprisingly easy to take apart and service: provided that the stator or rotor hasn't overheated and shorted (like a pinball solenoid) they can usually be brought back to life. So I unplugged it, took it apart and proceeded to clean out decades-old packed-in dust clots and rotten rubber and what have you. I removed the rotor and cleaned it first. Then I cleaned the frame housings. The AC leads were of course connected to the stator. I know it was unplugged. My oldest daughter saw that it was unplugged. And yet, when I picked up the stator I was bit! My hand locked, my arm shook, and after a moment I dropped the stator while my daughter asked with alarm what had just happened.

    In truth, the zap wasn't that strong, nor the worst I'd ever felt. It barely lasted half a second and I might even compare it to a 9V battery on the tongue. I think it was the "shock" of being zapped by *a coil that was unplugged with no apparent capacitive design* that got me - in other words more a psych / surprise thing as opposed to dangerous current.

    But still! There is no way that should have happened in the first place, right?!?! But as someone who's mostly been self taught as necessity and field needs dictate, maybe I missed an 200-level caution somewhere? Can a static coil winding retain a "charge" for some length of time? It had been unplugged for at least 10 minutes. I've taken similar motors apart in less time and never got zapped.

    How many of you have ever taken unexpected doses of Electro-juice?

    #2 6 months ago
    Quoted from goingincirclez:

    Long before I got into the pinball hobby (uh (checks notes) almost 10 years ago holy crap) I spent a lot of my free time tinkering with electrical stuff. From model trains to computers to TVs to VCRs to stereos to turntables to cars to refrigerators to compressors to sewing machines to vacuums to fans to... you get the idea. If it fed on electrons and for some reason didn't work, it was fair game to take apart! Toward earning a respectably high success rate for diagnosing and/or fixing to operation. And household electrical work from circuit troubleshooting and adding, to large appliance and HVAC repair, has been pretty simple for me as well...
    All of that is to say and not to brag that I know my way around electricity and its hazards. 'Cuz inevitably, I've been zapped enough - due both to my own lazy carelessness AND through no fault of my own! - to know the alarming, uncomfortable, spastic feeling of BZZZZZT! So I have a healthy respect for proper precautions as I've gotten older.
    Anyway, the scenario: I was recently given a ~100 year old desktop fan - one of those awesome old steampunk-looking open-cage plane-prop hand-slicer jobs - that didn't work for various reasons. Among other issues it had been dropped such that the blades would hit the cage and get stuck, on top of needing a good cleaning. So I removed the bent cage, then turned it on... it wanted to work, but needed a manual assist and thus more disassembly to thoroughly clean.
    Old motors like this are surprisingly easy to take apart and service: provided that the stator or rotor hasn't overheated and shorted (like a pinball solenoid) they can usually be brought back to life. So I unplugged it, took it apart and proceeded to clean out decades-old packed-in dust clots and rotten rubber and what have you. I removed the rotor and cleaned it first. Then I cleaned the frame housings. The AC leads were of course connected to the stator. I know it was unplugged. My oldest daughter saw that it was unplugged. And yet, when I picked up the stator I was bit! My hand locked, my arm shook, and after a moment I dropped the stator while my daughter asked with alarm what had just happened.
    In truth, the zap wasn't that strong, nor the worst I'd ever felt. It barely lasted half a second and I might even compare it to a 9V battery on the tongue. I think it was the "shock" of being zapped by *a coil that was unplugged with no apparent capacitive design* that got me - in other words more a psych / surprise thing as opposed to dangerous current.
    But still! There is no way that should have happened in the first place, right?!?! But as someone who's mostly been self taught as necessity and field needs dictate, maybe I missed an 200-level caution somewhere? Can a static coil winding retain a "charge" for some length of time? It had been unplugged for at least 10 minutes. I've taken similar motors apart in less time and never got zapped.
    How many of you have ever taken unexpected doses of Electro-juice?

    Lots of stuff out there can hold a charge when disconnected, because of capacitors. I wouldn't think that the little fan motor would have a start capacitor or anything, but who knows.

    #3 6 months ago

    Most motors use a starting capacitor

    #4 6 months ago

    15,000 BTU window air conditioner. Unplugged, out of the window. Was going to replace a burned wire. Big zap. Maybe from the running capacitors on the compressor.

    Oh well partied on. Replaced the wire and good to go.

    For anyone working on electric stoves. Off is not good enough for 220.

    And for Seeburg jukeboxes , where the head travels back and forth. Stay away from the big capacitor on those. They will knock you out.

    LTG : )

    #5 6 months ago

    I worked at an aquarium store in college. I friggen HATE electric catfish. A curse on anyone who orders those bastards.

    #6 6 months ago
    Quoted from Garrett:

    Most motors use a starting capacitor

    I'm familiar with start/run caps from working on A/C units, industrial machines (forgot to mention those above, heh), and other "large motor / load" equipment. But I've worked on dozens of smaller motors such as those typical of medium sized fans and have never seen a start capacitor. In fact, the reason fan speeds go from "off" to "high" before stepping down lower, is to use the larger "high"current winding to kickstart the armature in the absence of a cap. Even if you go direct from 'off' to 'low', that momentary pass thru the high range is enough to start the motor.

    So I get what you're saying about caps... it's why you discharge those and/or CRTs and other storage devices. But I'd be willing to bet that's not what happened here?

    #7 6 months ago

    When I was in college I wanted to change the light fixture above the table in the kitchen in my apartment. Turned the switch off and started removing the cover, wire nuts and then 'bzzzt' got bit pretty hard. It wasn't until doing some checking that the switch was on the neutral wire. I would have turned the breaker off but the panel was in the apartment upstairs.

    #8 6 months ago

    I have always wondered….

    Do people who drive electric cars listen to..

    AC/DC or something current?

    #9 6 months ago

    I got hit with 480 once, but it was because I left the panel energized.
    I tried to tell them I was a salesman not electrician but they seemed to think since I stayed at a holiday Inn express the night before...

    #10 6 months ago
    Quoted from schudel5:

    When I was in college I wanted to change the light fixture above the table in the kitchen in my apartment. Turned the switch off and started removing the cover, wire nuts and then 'bzzzt' got bit pretty hard. It wasn't until doing some checking that the switch was on the neutral wire. I would have turned the breaker off but the panel was in the apartment upstairs.

    That's a good lesson in how you should never trust the wall switch. Especially if it's a traveling circuit. I understand how breakers are sometimes inconvenient tho, and working in the dark sucks. Fortunately we have amazing headlamps available to us now.

    Anyway, thought I'd share a pic of the fan in question. I didn't take any "before" or in-process pics, but it was pretty grungy and the top fourth of the cage was bent flat / cocked / crooked and separated. I bent both it and the mount brackets back to shape by hand, with tools. Some cleaning, polishing, the aforementioned rebuild, and it's now functional art that's amazingly quiet and powerful!

    20231229_093414 (resized).jpg20231229_093414 (resized).jpg

    20231229_093439 (resized).jpg20231229_093439 (resized).jpg

    "Quiet" is not "silent"... it could use a bearing tune and maybe some extra lube. The gearbox for the oscillator (!) is awesome: beautifully machined worms and idlers of polished brass and steel, harmoniously joined in a smooth mesh, secured with decorative bearing screws as service caps.

    Quick research suggests this Diehl model was made from 1915 through 1926. Seems like a long time to me but I haven't really honed further yet.

    I love old stuff like this.

    #11 6 months ago
    Quoted from generalgman:

    I have always wondered….
    Do people who drive electric cars listen to..
    AC/DC or something current?

    Not sure, but I do know if you drive an Audi, Benz, or BMW, when the inevitable electric gremlins hit your dashboard & chimes will treat you to some ELO...

    #12 6 months ago
    Quoted from schudel5:

    When I was in college I wanted to change the light fixture above the table in the kitchen in my apartment. Turned the switch off and started removing the cover, wire nuts and then 'bzzzt' got bit pretty hard. It wasn't until doing some checking that the switch was on the neutral wire. I would have turned the breaker off but the panel was in the apartment upstairs.

    Reminds when I worked in a huge restaurant at 16. Owner hired me to do electrical work ballasts etc. I started getting comfortable doing repairs with just shutting switch off assuming it was ok. I had a light about 1 story up replacing on a ladder with switch off. took light off and started disconnecting wires. took off a large wirenut off of 3-4 white wires. They seperated and a good 1/3rd of the lights went out in the seating area. scared the crap out of me. Thankfully I know now that turning the switch off is not enough especially with lots of connections present.

    #13 6 months ago

    I don't touch a wire without one of these. Confirm that it's working with a known live wire first.

    pasted_image (resized).pngpasted_image (resized).png
    #14 6 months ago

    The tales above reminded me of some of my more infamous encounters with electricity. Here's one of them. Would be fun to hear others... there's no shame here! What happened to you that hopefully only bruised (or fried) an ego?

    ~~~~~

    One day in college, I was troubleshooting a long-dead outlet in the basement of my frat house - which being on campus, was built more like a commodity dorm. I’d picked a conveniently slow time when everyone else had class. I’d shut off the breaker which was inconveniently distant in a ground floor stairwell at the opposite side of the building, and walked down to the outlet. I had it broken down to bare leads and was still working when I heard footsteps above, which while unexpected didn’t give me any reason for alarm. Until they meandered overhead toward the back stairwell… timed so that as I was holding the bundle of leads in my bare hands while screwing them to the terminals, I heard the door open, followed by a flick of the light switch and an annoyed “What the-?”...

    …before I could shout “don’t touch the panel!” I heard the loud CLACK of the breaker switch, AFTER my arm jolted to damn near punch myself in the face as it involuntarily flung my screwdriver across the room. As I yelped amongst the racket my buddy did the math; in his trademark easy-going demeanor he said “Ooooohhh shit! Haha sorry dude, I thought the breaker was flipped for a prank, never thought someone would be working down here”. I wanted to ask “Who the hell flips a breaker for a prank and leaves the panel OPEN for a tell?!?!” but, he was such a goof I somehow couldn’t be mad.

    The shock only stung for a minute, but I couldn’t throw a screwdriver that fast again even if I wanted to.

    #15 6 months ago

    And that's how lockout tagout was born

    #16 6 months ago

    Why did you change the original topic?

    #17 6 months ago
    Quoted from Brtlkat:

    Why did you change the original topic?

    Explained in the edit at top of first post.

    #18 6 months ago
    Quoted from goingincirclez:

    “Who the hell flips a breaker for a prank and leaves the panel OPEN for a tell?!?!” but, he was such a goof I somehow couldn’t be mad.

    Quoted from yaksplat:

    And that's how lockout tagout was born

    Happened to my stepfather many years ago when he worked at a printing company.

    The company he worked for had 220v lights fixed to a very high ceiling. He had to change one fixture. Got the ladder in place. Went and turned the breaker off. Hung a sign on it, " Do Not Touch or Turn on".

    Went back up the ladder. Lowered the fixture. As a precaution touched one wire to the other to be sure. BANG. Everything went out and a fireball chased him backwards down the ladder as he hit the floor.

    He checked, someone moved the sign and turned the breaker on.

    He went into the offices and screamed who the fuck turned that breaker on ? The head that popped up and looked at him, he grabbed that guy and was dragging him outside to kick the sh*t out of him. A foreman stopped him half way and begged him to stop.

    You can't be too careful.

    LTG : )

    #19 6 months ago

    I have replaced ballasts in hundreds of fixtures.Biggest problem was people over a period of years not labeling or relabeling the breakers.
    When I was green We were changing the ballast in an outside light Bollard.We thought well its on a light sensor to power on at sunset,no problem.A set of clouds rolled in and that sucker popped on.scared the crap out of us.Always turn off the breaker.

    #20 6 months ago
    Quoted from yaksplat:

    I don't touch a wire without one of these. Confirm that it's working with a known live wire first.
    [quoted image]

    your best friend

    pasted_image (resized).pngpasted_image (resized).png
    #21 6 months ago
    Quoted from LTG:

    Happened to my stepfather many years ago when he worked at a printing company.
    The company he worked for had 220v lights fixed to a very high ceiling. He had to change one fixture. Got the ladder in place. Went and turned the breaker off. Hung a sign on it, " Do Not Touch or Turn on".
    Went back up the ladder. Lowered the fixture. As a precaution touched one wire to the other to be sure. BANG. Everything went out and a fireball chased him backwards down the ladder as he hit the floor.
    He checked, someone moved the sign and turned the breaker on.
    He went into the offices and screamed who the fuck turned that breaker on ? The head that popped up and looked at him, he grabbed that guy and was dragging him outside to kick the sh*t out of him. A foreman stopped him half way and begged him to stop.
    You can't be too careful.
    LTG : )

    I'll turn off the switch to change a light, but i still check wires. I've seen too many switches that have the neutral switched instead of the hot. So, the fixture is always hot.

    #22 6 months ago
    Quoted from LTG:

    He went into the offices and screamed who the fuck turned that breaker on ? The head that popped up and looked at him, he grabbed that guy and was dragging him outside to kick the sh*t out of him. A foreman stopped him half way and begged him to stop.
    You can't be too careful.
    LTG : )

    Man as much as I try not to condone violence, there truly are some times where it's the only answer warranted. Did the guy ever admit WHY he ignored the sign??

    Quoted from yaksplat:

    And that's how lockout tagout was born

    When I worked at a steel fab shop for a time and was introduced to industrial warnings by proxy, those needed NO explanation. There are worse things than getting zapped by a panel switch flip. Like getting caught in a 150T press or 70T roller...

    ~~~~~~~~

    Here's another, more serious incident I survived. I have to wonder if I were a southpaw, would I be dead?

    A few years after the "outlet incident" I was working at a computer store. Of course we plugged stuff in dozens if not hundreds of times a day without a thought. One day I went to unplug a laser printer and… it wouldn’t. Huh, strange. Erg. ERRM stubborn plug! What the hell? It won’t come out of the wall?!

    The printer was off and didn’t seem otherwise amiss. The outlet was one we cycled equipment through all the time. Still, the damn cord would not unplug! Which was intriguing, amusing, and mostly annoying all at once. A couple coworker friends came over to see, and promptly mocked my sissy inability to pull a power cord out of the wall. So I moved more stuff out of the way to get a run of slack to grab with both hands and… still nothing!

    Utterly perplexed and frustrated, I wrapped my right hand around the plug itself to see if it had pulled out even a tiny bit, let alone enough to wiggle, and/or see if some jackass had epoxied it into the wall as a prank… and it hadn’t. Seeing and feeling nothing amiss, I firmly clamped my right hand around the plug while looping cord slack around my left before pulling with both.

    After a moment or two, the cord finally started to pull out of the wall. I detected this happy occasion via the smooth, elegantly tapered shape of the plug shroud passing through my fingers, which were grasping around it such that as the plug prongs slowly extracted themselves from the wall, the clamping pressure of my index finger wrapped around the freshly exposed metal of those same prongs while the rest of their length remained connected to the wall outlet and live current.

    The previous sentence probably took you 10 seconds to read. The actual “hey I’mmabout to grab all the live metal bits at once” incident barely took a single one - too quick for me to realize and prevent my hand fully locking as my arm convulsed with an uncomfortable surge I felt coursing all the way to my shoulder, as I was more desperately trying to understand how, despite my entire brain shouting LET GO LET GO LET GO my arm instead said

    “No”

    And as my buddies quit laughing I had the split second thought “THIS is how I’m going to die?”

    …I’m not sure if I managed to let go OR the left arm finally completed the extraction pull, disconnecting the cord from the wall circuit. But I finally regained control of my arm, and the cord was free, dropped on the shelf. I have no idea why or how that plug was so stuck and to this day I (thankfully!) have never encountered another. But after that incident I gained a new appreciation for why modern power cords have those flared shrouds and/or "grip treads" at the prongs: to prevent incidents just like this, which I could never have conceived otherwise. Ever since, I cast side eye at any power cord that has an "elegant" smooth plug.

    Don’t begrudge the modern safety cord! I don’t recommend the experience they prevent.

    #23 6 months ago

    Was it a 20A twist lock?
    pasted_image (resized).pngpasted_image (resized).png

    220 is scary. 120 will zap you. 220 grabs you. 480 throws you.

    All of the maintenance guys that I worked with said the same thing. They'd rather work on 480 than 220. It'll hurt, but at least it won't hold you there until you die.

    I saw a woman getting electrocuted once. She was working on an oxygen concentrator for the european market. She had forgotten to unplug the unit and zapped herself. The unit was on wheels, on a bench. She couldn't let go and ended up pulling the unit down onto the floor next to her. I don't know if it was intentional, or from her body going limp. She was out of work for a bit, but survived.

    #24 6 months ago
    Quoted from goingincirclez:

    Did the guy ever admit WHY he ignored the sign??

    No idea. He was an office worker. My stepfather was a grunt worker in the factory.

    LTG : )

    #25 6 months ago

    A few years back a worker was on a scissor lift and raised himself into power lines.Someone had video of this and the local news played it over and over.They broadcast this while the man literally cooked and died in front of the Fire Dept and many onlookers.This will never leave my memory.I guess no one could lower the lift because its made of metal.What a horrific event.

    #26 6 months ago
    Quoted from yaksplat:

    220 is scary. 120 will zap you. 220 grabs you. 480 throws you. ... All of the maintenance guys that I worked with said the same thing. They'd rather work on 480 than 220. It'll hurt, but at least it won't hold you there until you die.

    There is nothing special about 220 VAC that would make it grab onto you more than 120 or 480 VAC.

    You might be confusing 220 VDC with 480 VAC. DC definitely grabs you. DC locks your muscles as opposed to AC pulsating them.

    However, never be complacent around electricity because it's AC, DC, or below a certain voltage. It only takes ~20 mA to kill a human. If voltage, resistance, and other conditions are such that ≥0.020 amps can flow through the heart, you're dead.

    At a fixed skin/flesh resistance, twice the voltage will feed twice the current => twice as lethal.

    (I was the manager of a crew of 40 industrial maintenance electricians for over a decade and as such I was responsible for their safety. In addition to factory automation, we dealt with AC up to 13.8 kV, DC and AC Motors and Generators up to 25,000 HP, and transformers up to 2,000 kVA.)

    #27 6 months ago
    Quoted from SantaEatsCheese:

    I worked at an aquarium store in college. I friggen HATE electric catfish. A curse on anyone who orders those bastards.

    Since we changed the topic title, I'll weigh in a little more.

    I am willing to bet I have been shocked more than any of you in here... and at that aquarium store in college.

    We had about 200 fish tanks at the store I worked at. Each and every single one of those fish tanks had its own pump, light, and electric heater. The electric heaters of the time were all glass, with a coiled metal wire inside a glass tube that went inside the fish tank. The heaters were between 50 watts and 300 watts depending on the size of the tank. Throughout the day, we would open up the tanks, catch fish, bang a net around inside, and close the tanks. There was maybe a 1 in 1000 chance that you'd break the glass heater or that it would already be broken, but the end result is someone would shock the crap out of themselves at least once a week. I woke up on the floor after being up on a metal ladder and doing that once. It wasn't just occasionally, it was at least once a month per employee... sometimes twice a day if you were unlucky. I was a young dumb college student just happy to have a cool job so I put up with it.

    pasted_image (resized).pngpasted_image (resized).png
    #28 6 months ago

    I'll add this story - When I was in the Navy working on circuit boards, a woman was having a problem troubleshooting a power supply board. I came over to help, and while feeling the board for hot spots, I got shocked. By coincidence, the power to the building went out at the exact same time. It was instantly black in the shop, and the woman started screaming. I remember thinking, shit, this is it, I just killed myself! A few seconds later, I realized that I wasn't dead when I heard folks cussing about the power outage and I was moving, and someone telling the woman to shut up, the power will be back on soon. She kept on screaming, and after power came back on, she explained that she was afraid of the dark.

    You can't make this stuff up!

    #29 6 months ago
    Quoted from SantaEatsCheese:

    I worked at an aquarium store in college. I friggen HATE electric catfish. A curse on anyone who orders those bastards.

    As opposed to gas powered catfish?

    #30 6 months ago
    Quoted from sparky672:

    There is nothing special about 220 VAC that would make it grab onto you more than 120 or 480 VAC

    As a longtime electrician, I agree.

    Anyway, without typing out long stories, I will just say that out of all the times I've been nailed over the years, 277 V sucks very badly every time.

    #32 6 months ago

    When I was a teenager, I was once buying a set of 2 12" subs from a classmate. I had to disconnect them from her car. Well, when removing them, I got shocked pretty good. I've always been a bit more careful when working with anything electrical since, so I chalk it up as a life lesson.
    I remember tucking my hand into my sweater sleeve so that my hand wasn't touching the wire itself, like that was going to protect it much haha. I remember the sweater having two burn holes in it after that, where the current went through.

    #33 6 months ago

    I was doing some home remodeling and had to move some wiring. There were two runs of wires, one was still live and one was dead. I went to cut the dead one, l'm glad that wire cutter had rubber handles. Needed new wire cutters after that, the blades were melted.

    #34 6 months ago

    I was doing some remodeling in Chicago area, where their local building codes mandate house wiring in EMT (thin-wall metal tubing/pipe) conduit. I took down some old paneling to find a length of conduit that just stopped and wasn't connected to anything on the one end. I couldn't see any wires at the end, so assumed the pipe was empty and cut it off with the sawsall. It actually contained live wires that were also cut off deep inside, but in 50+ years, somehow the bare cut ends never touched the inside of the metal pipe. Needless to say, the saw blade was melted and the breaker popped open. Safety-wise, not a big deal since the tool itself is made of plastic and the path to ground was confined through the blade and back into the pipe.

    At some point years ago, somebody left the pipe open/hanging; took the time to open the next junction box and pull the excess wire back several inches, but yet could have just as easily disconnected the live wires at the junction box and pulled them entirely out of the pipe.

    #35 6 months ago
    Quoted from yaksplat:

    Was it a 20A twist lock?
    [quoted image]
    220 is scary. 120 will zap you. 220 grabs you. 480 throws you.
    All of the maintenance guys that I worked with said the same thing. They'd rather work on 480 than 220. It'll hurt, but at least it won't hold you there until you die.

    Nope, just household 110-120. Which always bugged me cuz even then I didn't think it should have held me like that, unless that was a function of me contacting all 3 leads (P-N-G) simultaneously?

    Quoted from Jamesays:

    A few years back a worker was on a scissor lift and raised himself into power lines. Someone had video of this and the local news played it over and over.They broadcast this while the man literally cooked and died in front of the Fire Dept and many onlookers. This will never leave my memory.I guess no one could lower the lift because its made of metal. What a horrific event.

    This sounds terribly familiar... was it somewhere near Chicago? I recall seeing a news story in a similar vein... they were there to report on a car accident and while the utility worker was repairing the pole and line, the mishap happened and it was horriffic. Except I seem to recall it wasn't just "poor sap raised the boom into the line" but some other (preventable) fluke got him. Regardless, it was terrible. Thankfully my idiosyncratic fear of heights ruled out such a career.

    Quoted from sparky672:

    It only takes ~20 mA to kill a human. If voltage, resistance, and other conditions are such that ≥0.020 amps can flow through the heart, you're dead.

    This it was gets me: as much as we seem to know and understand about electricity and current, there is so much that seems left to factor of chance. Even in my own misadventures with 110/120 volts above: one merely popped me somewhat humorously, the other seemed like it could have been lethal (if I'd held with my left hand, the path-to-heart would be shorter). Frightening stuff.

    Quoted from SantaEatsCheese:

    Since we changed the topic title, I'll weigh in a little more. The electric heaters of the time were all glass, with a coiled metal wire inside a glass tube that went inside the fish tank. The heaters were between 50 watts and 300 watts depending on the size of the tank.

    I kept aquariums for almost 30 years, know the heaters you refer to, and always wondered what would happen if one broke. Then one time while cycling the whole tank (everything drained/disconnected), the reliable heater I'd used for ~20 years shed its tube as I cleaned it: the epoxy seal had finally aged brittle. Thing is, looking at it then I was fairly certain it should have been a shock hazard for who knows how long since the seal wasn't watertight and well below the waterline! Maybe I (and the fish!) were lucky that time?

    #36 6 months ago

    When I was a kid I had my own workbench in the basement. I took apart a radio and noticed that the reception improved if I hooked an antenna to the power cord. Then I noticed the water pipe next to my workbench. That's a big antenna, I thought. Boom! I can still hear my dad... What the fuck are you doing down there! This was an old house with a total of four 15 amp fuses. That was the fastest fuse change I ever made.

    Also when I was a kid, I helped my grandfather with remodeling. His philosophy: Turning off the power is for pussies. I quickly learned what not to touch.

    #37 6 months ago

    Do NOT use an inductive tester (see pic below) as the only means of testing for voltage. Not to say that a non-contact tester does not have its place in a toolbox, but it should not be the sole means of testing for power.

    Use a real DMM (digital multimeter) to test for voltage before working on any potentially energized circuits. It only takes once to get dead forever.

    pasted_image (resized).pngpasted_image (resized).png
    #38 6 months ago
    Quoted from lifefloat:

    Use a real DMM (digital multimeter) to test for voltage before working on any potentially energized circuits. It only takes once to get dead forever.

    Yes. "Check and verify."

    #39 6 months ago

    And...............to get back on topic..............I did not lock out a circuit once. And people like throwing big switches. It makes a very satisfying sound when you throw a big switch. So...............unknown person walks past big switch that is usually on so he turns big switch on. I was on the other end of that big switch way out of sight from this person. Luckily, I was not grounded that well and only got half the sense knocked out of me when that line reenergized.

    I couldn't even be mad at the person who threw the switch on. It was my fault (ha no pun intended) and luckily I did not get dead from my mistake.

    #40 6 months ago
    Quoted from lifefloat:

    I couldn't even be mad at the person who threw the switch on. It was my fault (ha no pun intended) and luckily I did not get dead from my mistake.

    No lockout holes for your lock?

    #41 6 months ago
    Quoted from sparky672:

    No lockout holes for your lock?

    It was a lockable disconnect. I just simply forgot to lock it out. Shit happens.

    #42 6 months ago

    I was using a Wiha 1000V insulated screwdriver to remove one of the elements under the glass top of a smooth-top cooktop at our farm. I did not shut off the breaker, I am ultra well versed in all this and had the right tool for the job. Says every asshole who gets the shit shocked out of himself. This is a 240V cooktop. I accidentally rested my wrist on something that was live and it lit me up like a Christmas tree....knocked me over backwards and I missed grabbing ahold of the metal fridge at the same time (which would have likely resulted in my death) by about 3 inches....hit the floor like a sack of dirt. Was conscious but not able to move for about 10 seconds...whole thing caught on a "nanny cam" we used to keep track of our hospice dogs at the time when we were gone. Really epic, if I can find the video I'll post it.

    #43 6 months ago

    Working in a theme park. Fix the monkey, they told me, so I started tinkering about with it. "Here's your present!" said the monkey in his merry way and then he delivered electrons via my right arm. For a good hour afterwards, I could hear colors.

    monkey (resized).jpgmonkey (resized).jpg
    #44 6 months ago

    Just saw this posted elsewhere. Seems appropo.

    o9mtahzlq47c1 (resized).pngo9mtahzlq47c1 (resized).png

    3 months later
    #45 78 days ago

    Ac in the garage at the farm wasn't working today. No errors on board, inside worked fine, exterior fan spun but wasn't kicking all the way on...ok, let's see what we have here.....Oh, nice. Vibration rubbed wire through (I assume) and it arc to and through steel exterior, was actively shorting while I was checking things out but I never felt anything. Never popped a breaker or a fuse, burnt a board, a cap, NOTHING. Rewired it, works like new. LOL

    PXL_20240428_223116008-EDIT (resized).jpgPXL_20240428_223116008-EDIT (resized).jpgPXL_20240428_223110372 (resized).jpgPXL_20240428_223110372 (resized).jpg

    #46 76 days ago

    I was helping my now ex son in-law install an electric fence hot wire around his horse pen. He grabbed ahold of the hot wire and commented on how disappointed he was that he only felt a mild tingle. Said the feed store salesman lied to him. Told him to remove his (tennis) shoes and socks and grab the wire again and see if that makes any difference! Thought he had enough sense not to do it but 10 minutes later, I heard a lot of hollering, cussing and he's jumping around like a jack rabbit! I laughed my ass off for the next 10 minutes!! He said his arm hurt for a week!

    Karl

    Reply

    Wanna join the discussion? Please sign in to reply to this topic.

    Hey there! Welcome to Pinside!

    Donate to Pinside

    Great to see you're enjoying Pinside! Did you know Pinside is able to run without any 3rd-party banners or ads, thanks to the support from our visitors? Please consider a donation to Pinside and get anext to your username to show for it! Or better yet, subscribe to Pinside+!


    This page was printed from and we tried optimising it for printing. Some page elements may have been deliberately hidden.

    Scan the QR code on the left to jump to the URL this document was printed from.