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Learning by Doing
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
No burns, no harm, no foul? While trying to force a rec box back into its opening I touched the contacts of the single pole switch.

ZZZZZZZZap.

Tonight I am forcing myself to write on the whiteboard fifty times:
DO NOT DO ANY WORK ON ENERGIZED CIRCUITS
 

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Did you forget to put the note up in front of the panel?

Glad to hear you are ok.
 

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Learning by Doing
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Sig line's been there for months - since the last time I did something stupid.

I DO have my panel box tagged out. I even cut the power when I drilled a hole in wall that I thought some wires might run through (and they did).

Low blood sugar moment? I need some excuse.
 

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Repetition can do that too. I was doing dielectric test on a series of big line capacitors. Like 24" long by 12" high and rated at 1,200 V. Megger tested with 500 V. The process was a) remove bus bars, b) test capacitor, c) discharge 500 V charge with a resistor, d) reinstall bus bars.

a, b, c, d
a, b, c, d
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.
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a, b, c, d
a, b, d

All I remember is that one moment I was hunched over inside the big piece of equipment getting ready to re-install the bus bar, the next thing I knew I was halfway across the factory going, "What happened?" There was no passage of time between those two points. It definitely got my attention.:eek:
 

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Experience is a tough teacher, you get the test first, then the lesson.
Glad you're OK.
 

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not to encourage you, but I've seen and done myself, run electrical tape around the recepticle before placeing in the box, of course turning off the power first is best.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I've been on the fence about wrapping contacts on recs and switches with electrical tape. I have been known to use it if I was really cramming things in a gang box to make sure nothing shorted side to side. But I don't do it as a rule with a singleton because, well, I HATE it when I open up an old box with a switch wrapped in some gummy tape.

I WILL NOT WORK ON ENERGIZED CIRCUITS...
I WILL NOT WORK ON ENERGIZED CIRCUITS...
I WILL NOT WORK ON ENERGIZED CIRCUITS...
I WILL NOT WORK ON ENERGIZED CIRCUITS...
I WILL NOT WORK ON ENERGIZED CIRCUITS...
I WILL NOT WORK ON ENERGIZED CIRCUITS...
I WILL NOT WORK ON ENERGIZED CIRCUITS...
I WILL NOT WORK ON ENERGIZED CIRCUITS...
 

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I have been wrapping all receptacles and switches with tape since forever. I am always leary of the screws holding the recep into the box coming loose. Of course using non-metallic boxes would solve that problem, but not the problem of a misplaced finger.

BTW, how do you "tag out" a residential panel? Do you mean just placing a note on the panel, or a piece of tape over the breaker or what?
I know these cannot be locked out.

FW
 

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My goodness, I got my first shock when I was maybe 12 years old (and many more in the intervening 50 years).

I see you are in Easton. So was I until recently. I still own my house there.
 

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I've gotten amazingly few shocks, considering my history of working and playing with electricity.
I am 53 years old and can probably haven't received more than a dozen shocks, most of them on the light side.

The worst ones we used to get as kids were from a defective refrigerator, right across the chest when we touched a steam pipe at the same time as the fridge handle.
Not knowing anything about electricity, my parents didn't realize there was anything wrong with the fridge, so they just taped the handle with electrical tape.

This was no leakage current. It was the full 115V. I recall once having to push a friend off when she got hung. We were very lucky no one was seriously hurt or died!

If there had been GFCI in those days, none of that would have happened. We would have understood that there was a problem because the GFCI would have kept tripping, and called an electrician, who would have told us to get a new refrigerator.
I guess my mom or dad should have called an electrician anyway.

We learn from our mistakes, as long as our mistakes don't kill us!

FW
 

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It's actually been quite a while since my last shocking experience (well, with electricity anyway). I've been doing everything from electronics to house wiring since I was a kid so I guess I'm getting better at working hot.

The worst shock I ever got was when I was in the Navy. While troubleshooting a transmitter problem I got my hand across 2300 volts. Made a nice little hole going in and going out.
 

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I learned to be scared of electricity as a kid. I got my first shock when I was plugging in something and the prongs were bent. So I took my finger and squeezed the prongs to fit in the outlet and inserted the plug. Zzzaaapp! I remember that lesson everytime I plug something into an outlet.
 

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I've welded screw drivers to panels, got zapped by 110V, 220V and 3PH. The worst shock I ever got was when I was a kid and got the juice off a running lawnmower from the little shutoff lever to the sparkplug. Oh wait, there was a time I got whammed by a coil wire off my car, and an AC capacitor. I guess it's a toss up. My arm is just tingling thinking about it.





 

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I'd get shocked all the time when I was a kid.

Got indirectly struck by lightning when I was 17. That was the worst. Traveled up through the aluminum siding and windows while I was watching a storm. Had 5 star shaped marks on my forearm where the electricity existed into the sill. Kept waking up in the middle of the night with my hand cramped up into a fist.

Shocked the crap out of myself a few days ago on my tile cutter. I'm not sure why it was energized but later found the ground prong was missing from one of the extension cords.

When I fall asleep driving and my head tilts forward, I get a nerve shock up my side and back that wakes me up. First time it happened, I thought I got struck by lightning again! I don't think that one counts though :) I'm glad I don't make those 14 hour drives up and down the coast anymore.
 

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Shocked the crap out of myself a few days ago on my tile cutter. I'm not sure why it was energized but later found the ground prong was missing from one of the extension cords.
Even without the ground, the equipment should never become energized.
You need to take a good look at it, and perhaps it's time for a new one.
Also, plugging into a GFCI would be a good choice.

FW
 

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I guess I was fortunate to grab ahold of an electric fence as I was climbing over it when I was a kid growing up on a Minnesota farm. My arm tingled for a while but it could have been a lot worse. One of the townies who thought he was smarter than he was peed on one. Some lessons are certainly worth remembering.
Anyway, I've been pretty careful in the intervening 50 years and have only been shocked once when an electrician mismarked the circuit breaker in a brand new condo. I now check the connections and wires with a meter after turning off the breaker to make sure it's really dead.
I also always wrap the receptacles and switches with tape before putting them into the box. I'm not into pain and I'd rather peel off old electric tape than get zapped. I prefer my tingly feelings to come from love.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
My 'tag out' is taped over the door to my breaker box - so you can't open the breaker box without ripping the tape.

It says:
DO NOT OPEN BREAKER BOX OR ATTEMPT TO TURN BREAKER ON OR OFF WITHOUT TALKING TO LEAH - [then it has my cell phone number].

My contractor chuckles every time he walks by it, because he knows it's primarily to keep My Dear Brings-Home-The-Paycheck-So-I-Can-Spend-It-Remodeling-Our-House Husband from monkeying something up.

I watched a kid get shocked on an electric fence once - it caused his hands to grasp the fence, and it didn't stop shocking him until he passed out, fell over, and ripped out that part of the fence and sparks flew out of his hands. But, I guess DC to a bank of car batteries will do that to ya. (just cause I know someone will ask, it was in Zimbabwe and it was to keep the baboons out of the chicken coop. A farm boy more used to AC cow fencing dared him to grab it.)
 

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No burns, no harm, no foul? While trying to force a rec box back into its opening I touched the contacts of the single pole switch.

ZZZZZZZZap.

Tonight I am forcing myself to write on the whiteboard fifty times:
DO NOT DO ANY WORK ON ENERGIZED CIRCUITS
If the current only went through your fingers not accompanied by a burning smell you're good to go.

But if this experience causes you to mutate into a superhuman I can always use help fighting the Forces of Evil (I pay minimum wage).
 
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