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9/19/2017 7:27:10 PM
Posted: 10/9/2001 2:16:30 PM EDT
Personally, a 277 volt loaded neutral got me good. I involuntarily screamed and didn't realize it until it echoed back at me, once I let go. Have seen worse being an electrician...........
Link Posted: 10/9/2001 2:29:59 PM EDT
Working at a printing shop I was having trouble with our balky Nu-Arc platemaker. These use a high intensity UV light source to expose printing plates, and therefore have a safety interlock that will not allow the lights to start until the plate frame (door) is closed. This particular platemaker was known to have trouble with the interlock, and the owner took the cover off the switch that signaled when the door was shut. His instructions were to flip your finger against the switch lever when it was stuck, in order to get the thing working. I was having trouble with that POS that day, and was holding the door handle with one hand as I bent down to flip the switch as I usually did to get things going. My right forefinger instead touched the 240V hot wire. My only recollection was the feeling of getting drop-kicked by a really really big guy, and an intense pain in my entire body as I was suddenly looking up at the ceiling from about 6 feet away from the platemaker. Gave me a new respect for 240. Don't ask me about the time when I stuck two fork handles into a household 120 outlet when I was 5 [shock]
Link Posted: 10/9/2001 2:34:47 PM EDT
When I was ten my cousin and I were playing under an old peach tree in our backyard when a summer storm hit. My granny yelled out the back door for us to come inside and we got about 15 or twenty feet from the tree when lightning hit it and split it down the middle. Knocked us both down, made our ears ring and left a funny taste in our mouths. Very interesting.
Link Posted: 10/9/2001 2:46:38 PM EDT
Playing in a dive blues bar with old ungrounded power outlets, I started out the set with a couple instrumentals (no vocals). So far so good. I launched into "Sugar Coated Love" and when my lips touched the mic I got a nasty spark from the PA, which had the ground lifted, and the ground switch set incorrectly, so that the mic was at 120 VAC with respect to my guitar amp. Now I always touch my guitar strings to the mic first! Another gig was outdoor - the stage was a flat-bed trailer, and power was via generators. The trailer was at 120VAC, measured from the frame to the dirt with a DVM after the first guy to climb up got zapped (he wasn't hurt). I always carry one of those little Square-D outlet testers now as well, to check for proper outlet wiring.
Link Posted: 10/9/2001 2:47:04 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/9/2001 2:43:18 PM EDT by AmeRican15]
My 'favorite' was when I was about 7 years old staying the summer at my grandparents' farm in Oregon. My morning chore was to open the chicken coup to let them out and then collect the eggs. Well, every time I went in their little yard to open that little door the first one out was this bastard of a rooster that would then chase me around the yard until I was able to hop over the fence. Well, getting tired of that I thought I was pretty clever when I figured I could open the coup door with a long stick. I climbed up on the fence and leaned over to get the latch with the stick. I couldn't quite reach so I went up another slat on the fence and leaned [i]way[/i] over. I had totally forgot about the electric fence that grandpa had. My chest hit the wire and them BAM! It felt solid, like getting hit across the back with a baseball bat. The actual sound is just the little tick of the electrical short but in your ears it sounds like a gunshot! I lay on the ground for a couple of minutes watching the stars fly around my head. When I got up I figured that the rooster wasn't going to hurt me any more than that wire just did so I just went into the coup and opened the door, still in a daze. My least favorite was the same summer with that same electric fense. There was a low section near the barn that grandpa would step over instead of unhooking and then re-hooking. I followed his lead and tried to step over. I got a jolt that is designed to make a Brahma Bull change its mind right in the almonds! I never stepped over that wire again!
Link Posted: 10/9/2001 3:07:49 PM EDT
Link Posted: 10/9/2001 3:29:55 PM EDT
when I was six I grabbed the sparkplug on a running lawn mower... I learned fast, no shocks since.
Link Posted: 10/9/2001 3:47:03 PM EDT
Once on a cold night my dad went to plug an extra electric heater into the bedroom. Well he forgot that somthing was wrong with the outlet and when he pluged it in he was promptly blown across the room like a muppet on rocket.
Link Posted: 10/9/2001 3:59:12 PM EDT
In 1996 While I was an appr. I was hookingup an exit light hot in a hotel hallway.I foolishly had my left arm around a srinkler pipe, my thumb sliped off the insl. on my linemans .All the suddin I had the most intense painful shock I have ever had.It was only 120 but I was very well grounded .I consider my self very luckey to be alive ........everyone be careful.
Link Posted: 10/9/2001 4:13:01 PM EDT
When I first arrived in Germany, and was shown to my cell, er, I mean barracks room, I flipped the switch on, and lo and behold, no friggin lights. I looked up, and there were no tubes in the fixtures. No problem says me. Down the stairs, to the closet, and ahhhh, new tubes. Back up to my new room, and no ladder....anywhere. No problem. Slide dresser under fixture, set end table on top of dresser, set chair on top of end table, climb up, and now I can reach. Now these german fixtures were kind of wierd, being that they have two rings which have slots in them which have to be aligned for proper tube insertion. I looked at this and noticed the slots were 90 dgrees off from each other. Hmmmmmmmm, looks like the tube was busted out. How to get these slots lined back up to put this tube in. I know, I'll stick the screwdriver blade from my Leatherman in there and twist it back in line. ZZZZZZAAAAAAPPPPPPP!!!!! GOD DAMN!!!!! OUCH!!!!! SSSHHHHIIITTTTTT!!!! I forgot to turn the friggin switch off, and didn't notice because all the tubes were out, and it was pretty dark. I did discover at that moment what 220 vac at 50 hz feels like on bare skin. Not cool. I fell off of that chair, and landed on top of the end table on my back. That sucked pretty bad too. And then there was the time as a 5 year old wondering if you stick the paper clip into one side of the outlet, will it come out the other. The answer was "NO".
Link Posted: 10/9/2001 4:34:02 PM EDT
Link Posted: 10/9/2001 4:45:51 PM EDT
While a newbie in a USAF avionics shop I was instructed to wire up a radio test set and to follow the T.O. technical order exactly. I did, and when I turned the radio test set on nothing happened....until I touched the set frame. I then learned what 115V 400 cycles feels like. The buzz feeling is definitely different than 60 cycles. The T.O. had the hot and frame(ground) wires mis-labeled on the diagram. I was then taught how to write a T.O. change order to fix the mistake. Since then I always distrust instructions and check all connections with a voltmeter before I touch anything. We also learned (the hard way) about hot-chassis TV's in that shop but that is another story.
Link Posted: 10/9/2001 4:51:39 PM EDT
Link Posted: 10/9/2001 4:56:39 PM EDT
During a electrial service upgrade I went up to cut the power at the weather head. This weather head was on a 3 foot wide ledge and a 15 foot fall to the ground. I cut on hot and taped it off. I cut the second hot and when I lifted it up to tape it off it exploded like a bomb! I could not jump back and could not anywhere so I just held on to it. Still holding this wire I slowly counted 4 fingers and a thumb. Then I carefully tapped the worn part of the wire and the end and then climbed off the ledge. All my coworkers thought I died. They could not see me. Neighbors from 3 blocks away were looking out the window. My right hand was charcoal black. You can clearly see where I was holding the wire because it was not burned. I have not cut down a hot service drop since that event. Someone in the past had made a butt splice and tapped it and the tape wore out and crossed the neutral. Now I check and wear all my safety gear before working hot. How many of you are electrical workers?
Link Posted: 10/9/2001 5:16:11 PM EDT
Somebody charged up a big assed cap, about the size of a large lantern battery, and left it laying around. I was in for a big surprise when I picked it up. Needless to say the capacitor went flying as well as the plyers in my other hand. Since then I have always made sure big caps are discharged with my screwdriver before I pick them up. Those biguns can kill ya.... Michael
Link Posted: 10/9/2001 5:18:15 PM EDT
I'm an electrician also. Although it sounds like we should know better, when you do this for a living, your exposure to shocks is many, many times what other peoples are. I've been hit several times and none have been pleasant. The most recent one was only 120V but it went right accross my chest (in one hand and out the other) and those are the worst. Reading Burned's post got me laughing because when I was an apprentice I used to do alot of service changes to make extra money. I've got several burned up wrenches from tightening split bolts and getting toooo close to the bare neutral messenger with the end of the wrench, KAPOW!!!!. Once I even did that while standing on an ALUMINUM ladder planted firmly in the grass after a nice rain! On a more somber note, a good friend and co-worker of mine was killed 3 weeks ago when he was working on a cpaciter bank for a 4160V motor. No one knows how he got caught up in the leads but it killed him instantly. Being an electrician is a very dangerous profession, maybe even more than being a LEO. In my local alone we've lost three good men in the past year, we haven't lost that many cops in 10 years. Something to think about...
Link Posted: 10/9/2001 7:04:51 PM EDT
I stopped off a friends house a couple of years ago to find him working on his girlfriends microwave oven. He is not an electrician, but was a pretty good handyman. Anyway, I had just gone to the fridge to get another beer when I heard a loud "God Dammit"! I quickly ran into the other room. He had a small burn mark on his finger and a hole the size of a dime in the bottom of his foot! The microwave had been unplugged, but we later learned he had touched a capacitor. Luckily it turned out OK as the electricity cauterized the wound but he got a nasty scar from it.
Link Posted: 10/9/2001 7:17:23 PM EDT
Ugh! Dielectric strength tester.. Damn that thing!! 1.95 Kv from one hand to the other. Grabbed the pos lead with one hand and the neg with the other. My shoulders hurt for a week after that little bout with stupidity. Gawd that hurt!!! Needless to say, me uses one hand at a time when touching copper wires now. (And is more dilligent about checking circuit breakers and on/off switches) I thank g*d that it wasnt a 480 feed that got me.
Link Posted: 10/9/2001 7:28:36 PM EDT
When I worked at Westinghouse back in the mid 1980's, I was working on a radar system subassembly that converted the airplane's 120V 400Hz to about 600 V DC. Long story short, I got my finger in the wrong area, and the juice went in my finger and out the bottom of my shoe into the metal frame of the stool I was sitting on. Knocked me off the stool and left me unconcious for a couple of minutes. After that I was a LOT more careful when working on high voltage power supplies. I still have a little pink spot on the end of my finger. Also been zapped by the ignition system on my race car a few times. Those who have been nailed by an MSD ignition will understand that pain.....
Link Posted: 10/9/2001 7:43:54 PM EDT
When I was younger we had an old Craftsman drill press that my dad had rewired (still have it now that I think about it). Whenever it was running, you had to be sure to not let bare skin touch the metal cabinet it was sitting on. I've been stung a lot by that sonofabitch. 240V too... Or how about the time I was trying to plog in an extension cord in my room - the outlet was behind my bed and I couldn't see it. So, like a fine young genius, I guided the plug into the socket by holding onto the prongs...[:O]
Link Posted: 10/9/2001 8:03:20 PM EDT
In 1992, I was in Maintenance Platoon, Comm Company, and we were out in the Northern Training Area (NTA) on Okinawa for a field exercise. It had been raining for about a week or so straight, and the entire place was covered in six inch deep, rust colored, Cool Whip consistency mud. The engineer section of our unit set up a generator and I hooked up the switchboard to run off of that. In the middle of the night a few days later, I was woken up and told of a really bad hum on the phones. I walk into the genset tent where the switchboard was, stood in the aforementioned six inch deep mud, and grabbed the frame of the switchboard...and it grabbed me. Everything had gotten so saturated that the ground was hot and the DC snatched ahold of me and wouldn't let me go. Luckily, my girlish screams brought help and I was snatched off the offending switchboard by my war belt. My whole body tingled for a couple of days and my mouth tasted like I had tested a Sears Die-Hard battery with my tongue. I did get to go to Lester Naval Hospital and get out of the rain, though.
Link Posted: 10/9/2001 8:09:15 PM EDT
Originally Posted By ColonelKlink: my dad told me that my uncle peed on a electric fence once
View Quote
... Dylan, is that you?
Link Posted: 10/9/2001 8:16:31 PM EDT
This wasn't an actual shock, but I still had a facial twitch for about a day and a half: I was working on the telephone switch at TRW in El Segundo, CA on midnight shift with a small crew. We were doing hardware upgrades in preparation for a new software release. Everybody was going about their business at about 0300, which for me meant upgrading the Power Distribution Center, basically a big circuit breaker box with two feeds of -48V at 600 amps. I was wiring a new fuse to one of the hot buss bars with an insulated offset screwdriver, getting it on a sixteenth of a turn at a time, when one of the guys on my crew snuck up right behind me and went "BZZZZZZZZZZZZZTTTTTTTTTTT!!!!" in my ear. I flung the screwdriver and nearly pissed myself, then packed up my toolbox, went home and drank many beers before chilling out and going to sleep.
Link Posted: 10/9/2001 8:28:18 PM EDT
There was that lightning incident... fried a transformer about 50 feet from me. Massive blue light, biggest concussion I've ever heard. Was welding at the time... Other than that, just 120v domestic a few times. Unpleasant but unlikely to terminate my shooting hobby. Oh, and 6v/12v electric fence more times than I care to recall. Could do that all day but wouldn't want to. Three rules I follow with electricity: Unload the circuit whenever you begin to work with it. Assume all circuits are loaded especially when you know they aren't. Keep one hand free in order to lessen the chances of a circuit being completed through your vitals.
Link Posted: 10/9/2001 8:28:35 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/9/2001 8:31:38 PM EDT by cc48510]
I was working on a TV set when I was a teenager trying to get it working. At that time even though I knew how to replace parts I didn't realize it stored electricity in one hell of a Capacitor. Well long story short, I'm laying on my side on the front porch working on this while my parents are conducting a Garage Sale when blam it feels like I've been hit with a rock. I blurt out a line of words I can't repeat and my mom screams "Watch your mouth." It took me a minute to realize I'd cut a wire and just took Several Thousand Volts of Electricity. The amazing part is it restored my vision from 20/100 to 20/20 almost instantly, but within a a few hours my vision went back to 20/100. I wanted to get down to the DMV and get the Corrective Lenses Restriction taken off my lisence but it was the weekend and my vision was back to normal by Monday when the DMV opened. I figure the shock somehow caused my eyes to alter shape temporarily. I have been hit with 120 on numerous occassions because my parents place had some electrical problems. It stung. In Auto Shop (High School) the pothead (other student) dared me to place my finger in a Spark Plug socket. He then proceeded to hit the ignition. I can say nothing less than that hurt and it was very stupid looking back. Somebody later stated I could have been hurt or killed. But it seemed like it'd be fun to try. My dad told me once that his father my gradfather was working on Radio Equipment when he was hit with somewhere between 40 and 80,000 Volts. He was thrown back several feet and burned. He turned out OK, but had some heart problems possibly unrelated.
Link Posted: 10/9/2001 8:29:09 PM EDT
When I was four or five, I put a screwdriver into a socket at my grandparents' place. That was not fun at all. I think but do not remember if the fuse box did blow.
Link Posted: 10/9/2001 8:41:34 PM EDT
For a while at work, I used to have to maintain this Westinghouse RF generator. It was fed with 480V from a 400A breaker off the plant substation. It used two huge water cooled vacuum tubes, the filament suppy was 12V@200A, the B+ supply was 12,000V@20A. Needless to say, I never made a mistake when working on this equipment hot, as I'm still here.
Link Posted: 10/9/2001 8:44:47 PM EDT
I'm an EE now, and I used to be an electrician (power plant/commercial) and also a Cable TV lineman/tech. I've been making a living in the electrical field one way or another since the 70s. Never got zapped at work, thank God. I have blown up or fried some nice meters/equipment/pliers/screwdrivers a couple times, though! [:D] Y'all be careful!
Link Posted: 10/10/2001 10:12:32 AM EDT
Link Posted: 10/10/2001 2:42:53 PM EDT
I've gotten hit by those pesky electron's a couple of times. Once I was plugging in the 220v Arc Welder and the outlet was in a blind spot. Got my fingers wrapped around the plug while inserting it. Took a 220v hit to the fingers that ached for a week. I've also backed into the Electric fence transformer more times than I care to remember. Positive and negative posts about 6" about, centered over the spinal cord. Boy, does the feed bucket sure go flying when that happens. But I count my lucky stars that nothing truly bad has happened to me. My uncle somehow took a hit from the output lines at, I think, Hoover Dam while he was seting up a radio antenna for one of the Desert Races that they used to compete in. He lost one leg below the knee and half the other foot. It is amazing how active amputies can be. He still rides motorcycles, atv's, bicycles, snowboards, wakeboards, and even rollerblades.
Link Posted: 10/10/2001 2:53:18 PM EDT
Troubleshooting a microwave vacuum tube got me lit up like the 4th of July.
Link Posted: 10/10/2001 3:14:50 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/10/2001 3:11:50 PM EDT by Claybuster]
While serving aboard one of OUR subs many moons ago I was doing some troubleshooting on the CRT of my fire control computer. Had that puppy racked out, the rubber mat down, ring/watch off and I was goin' in with the HV probe when a 'buddy' passed by behind me and goosed me just as I was about to make contact with the HV lug. I jumped (naturally) and completed a nice circuit between the HV lug and the racked chassis. Good thing both periscopes were up because I passed them at a pretty good clip. Of course, when I came up against the surface radar station ON THE OTHER SIDE of the control room I'd bled off a lot of that velocity. I was only knocked out for 5-10 minutes. It blew a quarter sized chunk of skin off of my wrist where it touched the HV lug and a black pinhole surrounded by a gray area the size of a baseball on my elbow where it contacted the chassis and I got a concussion for my unauthorized flight. I recovered and the mutt that goosed me got Captain's Mast. 45/45, the big fine and lost a stripe. I felt bad about that but I suppose he deserved it. Another, more tragic, one. We were just out of drydock following a shorty refit when we lost an engineering roving watchstander. Seems he was doing his thing roving about recording readings and checking things when he placed his hand on the bearing end (checking for high temps) of a 400 Hz generator set that had had its ground lug PAINTED OVER in the yard prior to the strap being reattached. Why it hadn't been caught is beyond me but I'm sure the fact that 2 units actually supplied the 400 Hz power to the boat had something to do with the snipes missing it. With nowhere to go that high current 400 Hz (supplies the whole boat and subs LOVE 400 Hz power) locked him up to the casing and literally cooked the poor guy. He was deader'n hell when found, weighed something like 70 lbs. and the guys back aft said it smelled like a hamburger stand for weeks. I avoided it like the plague as I never cared for sliders. CB Edited to say that the CRT voltage was 24 KV. BANG!!!
Link Posted: 10/10/2001 4:03:22 PM EDT
1965, Mare Island Naval Shipyard working onboard the Robert E. Lee SSBN 601, fitting pipe in the AMS. I just finished bending a pipe template about 16' long made of 3/8" rod, and was trying to maneuver it out of the boat. Most of the template was sticking through a hole above in the next level up so I couldn't see the end while working it out of the hull opening. I had to shove it back up some to get it to clear some equipment, the upper end hit a electrical panel and slid up the front of it right into one of the louvers making contact with the bus bar. I think the voltage was 280 or more, it felt like a bunch of Dobermans were trying to tear me apart. One of the laborers standing fire watch for a welder saw it happen and knocked me clear with a broomstick. I felt a little weird for a few days after that but I was ok, I think...........
Link Posted: 10/10/2001 4:22:32 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/10/2001 4:18:50 PM EDT by Nekkid80]
Stuff I've seen. A line truck with melted tires courtesy of 50,000v. A utility worker "raccooned," do to a 15KV oooops. His safety glasses saved his eyes. A 4160v line go horrendously BANG tripping gigantic 1950s era circuit breaker. A bitch to reset. Saw the aftermath of a guy who tripped a 480volt 3 phase 1200 amp GFCI Service Main. He slipped and his arm bridged ALL three phases! Generally in the electrical trade.....getting shocked is your own stupidity.
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