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Old 06-05-2007, 10:22 AM   #1
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Almost got zapped


As a volunteer firefighter, I was pulling out a bathroom exhaust fan that had been on fire, and was reminded that we should have made sure the power was out, by a pretty good flash.......Luckily the tool in my hand had a nice big rubber handle.

Without that rubber handle, how bad could that have been?

Just curious, this is not a mistake I intend to repeat!

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Old 06-05-2007, 12:09 PM   #2
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Almost got zapped


Well, if you were on a ladder, it probably would have knocked you off, at least from the jolt making you jump. But assuming it was 115v, it probably wouldn't have done much more than given you a good tingling sensation....

(speaking as someone who has embarrassingly touched live 115v lines too many times....)

Glad you are okay.

Just try not to have 220v go through you. Not fun times.

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Old 06-05-2007, 01:07 PM   #3
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Almost got zapped


it completely depends! Many factors at work here - body resistence, duration of shock, the path of electricity in you body etc. Normal 115v current could EASILY kill you, although its not likely, dying from electrical shock is very uncommon altogether, but thats not to say that 115v isn't enough to do the trick - much much less could kill you. A guy my father has known for many years became paralized working in similar situation. It was actaully the fall from an 8' ladder after the shock that did it, but that's what you could be facing.
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Old 06-05-2007, 01:46 PM   #4
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Almost got zapped


i'll do my best to go no further in this direction.

funny note - a few years ago there was alot of electrical wire damage from a storm and we were on standby wile the electric co was fixing them......I'll never forget the supervisor, a woman, telling the worker as went up to the telephone pole "make sure you wear your rubbers!"
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Old 06-05-2007, 02:16 PM   #5
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Almost got zapped


Quote:
Originally Posted by mt232 View Post
i'll do my best to go no further in this direction.

funny note - a few years ago there was alot of electrical wire damage from a storm and we were on standby wile the electric co was fixing them......I'll never forget the supervisor, a woman, telling the worker as went up to the telephone pole "make sure you wear your rubbers!"

That is too funny for words


Im' not sure how different towns and cities handle volunteer fire work, but a good friend of mine is a firefighter. He was given a handbook that I remember flipping through at his condo once. The VERY FIRST section in the book was about electricity and the very first sentence stuck in my mind - it said something like "as a firefighter, you will be spending a great deal of your life dealing with the dangers of electricity" - I think volunteer firefighters should get something like that as well from every city or town.

At least nothing bad came of it, lots of people take a good jolt now and again.
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Old 06-05-2007, 03:22 PM   #6
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Almost got zapped


can a drop of electric blower in a bath tub really kill a person like the movie says? or the breaker should have already been trip by the time the person got electrically shock to death....
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Old 06-05-2007, 03:49 PM   #7
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Almost got zapped


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can a drop of electric blower in a bath tub really kill a person like the movie says? or the breaker should have already been trip by the time the person got electrically shock to death....
I hope I'll never find out the hard way
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Old 06-05-2007, 04:14 PM   #8
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Almost got zapped


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Originally Posted by KUI****G View Post
can a drop of electric blower in a bath tub really kill a person like the movie says? or the breaker should have already been trip by the time the person got electrically shock to death....
Yes.

Dangerous voltage levels- 30 volts dry, 15 volts wet.
Volts doesn't kill, amps kill.
If memory serves, 30 milliamps is the "let go" threshold. More current than that, and you can't let go.

Ohms law - Amps = Volts/resistance. Higher the volts, higher the Current, so higher voltages are more dangerous.
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Old 06-05-2007, 04:15 PM   #9
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Almost got zapped


Forgot to add - I've seen a video (more than 1) of a hairdryer merrily running fully submerged in a bathtub.
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Old 06-05-2007, 04:22 PM   #10
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Almost got zapped


In the firefighters handbook is there a section that deals with accidents involving UFO's?
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Old 06-05-2007, 09:18 PM   #11
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Almost got zapped


Quote:
Originally Posted by KUI****G View Post
can a drop of electric blower in a bath tub really kill a person like the movie says? or the breaker should have already been trip by the time the person got electrically shock to death....
watch mythbusters on discovery channel

Well like they said above, current is what actually stops your heart. I think just a few milliamps (1/1000 amp) kills you. GFI's trip at 5ma or so in 1/30th of a second. I don't know if that's fast enough, but I assume it is since that's the standard protocol of home wiring?

I'll share my latest shocking story...
while unscrewing an unknown live wire at work, with my fingers on the metal end of the screwdriver , my elbow brushed against the grounded chasis... you can just feel the 60hz in your bones, your mind becomes quite clear at that point, nothing else is important

moral of the story, never lose your focus/concentration. Naturally, like i did, you lose your respect of the dangers present in your daily life/work. like when you drive with a coffee in one hand and a cell in the other, or drop your circular saw down while it's spinning and it kicks back and tries to claim your leg...
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Old 06-05-2007, 10:29 PM   #12
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Almost got zapped


I did some research on this a while ago as I had an argument with a superior one time (who of course was incorrect) - in the telecommunictions business we use 48v in the central office - which according to OSHA is not a Hazardous voltage - 60v and above is considered Hazardous - it has to do with EMF (electromotive force or voltage and current combinations (strength) - the higher either one is the more lethal they become)......so even if you had two wet hands and touched the positive and the negative buses in a 48v office you might get a burn on your hand but certainly nothing lethal....your body resistance simply cannot conduct enough current to be dangerous to your health.....
It all has to do with the resistance to current flow through your body....48v at 15A does not have a lot of EMF however 115v at 15A has a lot more power to the punch.....so lets say your right hand is on a 120v lead and the other is on a cold water pipe which is a ground...you body resistance is not enough to prevent a high current flow from source to ground and thus the current has the effect of stopping your heart....that's why electricians say when you are working in a hot box with 240v work with only "one hand"....there is no path if you accidently touch a HOT....assuming you are not standing in a pool of water.....which is a perfect ground - wear those tennis/work shoes on a rubber mat......
I hope this makes sense - I know electricians who wet their thumb and index finger and will touch the hot and neutral with each and feel a tingle because the current flows between the two points and it is a simple test....electricity wants to flow to ground - so if you give it a path from one finger to the other and not a water pipe you are OK....I have touched many 120v hot leads and never had a problem - just a tingle because the resistance is too great...assuming no low resistance to ground.....again no water pipes or standing in a pool of water....that's why if an electrical wire falls on your car in a storm DO NOT GET OUT - your tires are perfect insulators and if you were to have one foot in the car and one on the ground you would be a perfect coductor and Die.....your car is always insulated.....
Any questions let me know....
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Old 06-05-2007, 10:42 PM   #13
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Almost got zapped


Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Bruner View Post
I hope this makes sense - I know electricians who wet their thumb and index finger and will touch the hot and neutral with each and feel a tingle because the current flows between the two points and it is a simple test....
It does NOT make sense. If you put your thumb on the hot, and your index finger on the nutral, you will likely burn your thumb right off.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Bruner View Post
electricity wants to flow to ground - so if you give it a path from one finger to the other and not a water pipe you are OK....
neutral wire, ground wire, and water pipe are all connected together at the breaker box. touch a hot wire AND any of the above, and you'll be in big trouble.


perhaps your friends are only touching the hot wire, and since their bodies are insulated from ground by rubber shoes, the wire actually charges their body like a capacitor, which would tingle... kind of like how a squirrel can run on a power line and be fine. their body is at 100v or whatever potential, but no current is flowing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Bruner View Post
48v at 15A does not have a lot of EMF however 115v at 15A has a lot more power to the punch.....
It's all ohms law... voltage and current are directly related. Power (wattage) is equal to VOLTAGE times CURRENT.

48volts x 15amps = 720watts
115volts x 15amps = 1725watts, thats over twice the power...

My boss told me when they were younger, 10 people would all hold hands, and the person at each end would grab a bare lamp cord. As people let go, they left the game and as less and less people were in the circuit, the resistance went down, and current went up... i'd rather play on train tracks.

Last edited by johnny331; 06-05-2007 at 10:45 PM.
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Old 06-06-2007, 08:47 AM   #14
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Almost got zapped


Thanks for all the info, its all good.

Yes, firefighers have alot of training and education, and it must be kept up, volunteers have the same training as career firefighters, but in most cases, much less on the job experience since its the cities with greater fire potential that pay the career firefighters.

But we all make mistakes, and not checking the power was or mistake that day, luckily not a costly one.
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Old 06-06-2007, 08:48 AM   #15
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Almost got zapped


Not sure about the hairdryer, but a veggie-burger in a toaster can cause a house fire.

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