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Thread: Electric Shocks? whos had one, why, and how will you avoid

  1. #1
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    Default Electric Shocks? whos had one, why, and how will you avoid

    Whos been 'shocked' while working on their lights.. And why did it happen, and what are you going to do to avoid it again? Heres an opportunity to fess up, tell your story....

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    OK, I'll own up to it. I was sitting on the ground in front of my house wearing a pair of cut-off jeans. I was investigating a 200ct strand with a section not working. (I think these particular strands use 6V bulbs in 20 bulb sections)

    All of the sudden, something grabbed my leg and wouldn't let go. It was shocking me so bad I couldn't think clearly to find where the shock was actually coming from.

    My wife finally unplugged the strand after I started yelling and flailing around. It turns out that a bulb was broken and both the wires iside the bulb stuck deep in my leg. That was why it was such a bad shock. I guess that they just barely penetrated the skin at first, but when I started flailing, I drove them all the way in.

    Moral of the story: keep large areas of exposed skin away from the strands you are troubleshooting.

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    I've been nailed by some pretty nasty stuff. The worst so far has been 270 Vdc. I'm pretty paranoid, however, sometimes things don't work as designed (i.e. a piece of test equipment says it is off but really isn't).

    My recommendation is to get yourself a voltage sensing wand. All these wands do is look for an electric field and light when they get near one. These days I move the wand over anything that might be above 48 V and check it.
    Sincerely,
    Andrew Specht

    NOTE: No electrons were harmed during the creation of this thread. All threads are made with 100% recycled electrons. No electrons were discriminated against based upon race, age, religion, or direction of spin. The views in this thread may or may not reflect the views of DIYC or the views outside my window.

  4. #4
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    As an apprentice I managed to get 415V 3 phase across the back of my hand thanks to my boss at the time. I had isolated a large industrial water heater, tested to ensure it was dead, and then proceeded to remove the cables. When all 3 cables were pushed aside I had to reach in to undo a holding down bolt.

    Being an old installation, the 240V light in the area actually came off one of the 3 phases of the water heater, so to help the boss unlocked the lock on the isolator and turned on the power so the light would come on.

    Because the isolator was on the wall behind me I did not see what he was doing until he turned the switch on, the light came on. My hand, the back of which was neatly resting across all 3 phases of the cable felt like it was hit by a runaway freight train.

    It took 8 weeks for the 3 broken fingers to heal, and about the same time for the burns to fade. The hand ached for 6 months.

    Been hit with 240V a few times but nothing was ever as bad as that 415V hit.
    2011: The year of the pixels, LED's and glowing balls!
    [url]http://www.lithgowlights.com/[/url]

  5. #5
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    When working in the switchyard at one of the plants, one of our static grounds on the 500kVAC breaker we were working broke loose and brushed me, that knocked the ! out of me. Probably somewhere in the 1000s, but with no amperage behind it.

    Been hit with 250VDC a lot, that always stings like a mofo. Not as bad as the static wire though.

    I've hothanded 161kV. It's an interesting feeling to reach out and grab that safely.

  6. #6
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    I saw the jib of a crane hit a live 500KV line - I got showered with the sparks as I was in a cherrypicker about 10 meters below. Didnt feel a hit, but the earth cable on the crane was reduced to small stumps at each end, and the rest vaporised.

    Any DC hit above about 110V hurts. We have 240V batteries here and a few guys have had hits when theres been an earth fault and they say it really does sting.
    2011: The year of the pixels, LED's and glowing balls!
    [url]http://www.lithgowlights.com/[/url]

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    well i work in construction as a electrician and i have a great respect for electricity, i had my share of shock voltage ranging from 24vac to 600vac but always manage to get lucky and was walking away without to much damage i dont wich shock to anyone it hurt like hell u can feel the sinwave passing throu you and it is not a good feeling. it is my job but i always try to work as far as i can from live wire
    :DThanks !!

    Serge

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    A few years ago, the GFI kept tripping on the outlet that I had most of my lights plugged into. I determined that it was a faulty GFI receptacle and not an actual ground fault. I'm going to replace the receptacle, so I shut off the breaker and then stuck a tester in the old receptacle and sure enough, no juice. I removed the screws and then, as I was pulling the receptacle out, I got a pretty good jolt and a minor burn on my fingertip. It turns out that I shut off the wrong breaker and when I used the tester I didn't realize that the GFI was tripped.

    Watch out for those power lines or you may end up like this poor guy:
    http://video.aol.com/video-detail/ma...hts/1653241771

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by omzig
    Watch out for those power lines or you may end up like this poor guy:
    Outch, 12KV. I'm lucky as this area was upgraded to ABC cable about 4 years ago. ABC is 415V (or 11KV) 3 phase insulated cable in a twisted bundle. The connections are insulated, so our street has no "bare wires" so to speak.

    Alas it's also a target for idiots to throw their shoes over the line, so that happens a lot too.
    2011: The year of the pixels, LED's and glowing balls!
    [url]http://www.lithgowlights.com/[/url]

  10. #10
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    I was working on a 220v treadmill about 10 years ago. I was making an adjustment to the lift system, trying to level it out. I had hit the capicator for the ac lift motor, and got a hit from my hand and out the side of my leg. It didn't hurt that bad, and was rather quick. The funny part was I had a hole in both my hand and leg about 3mm wide. When the skin started to grow back, it grew back in little spikes in the hole.
    64 of 128 channels Freestyle -- 16 SSRoz
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