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What a shock I got


TC101

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Reading the the thread about How RCDs Work and the comment by Trailer Boy about the effects of shock currents reminded me of an electric shock I got a number of years ago.

I was working for a electical contactor in Glasgow many years ago and he used to do a lot of the work for some of the main shops in the town centre. It was a large well known shop in the town center and I was there doing some installation work with an apprentice.

One of lights near the stairs was not working. It was quite a high ceiling so I was up a large pair of metal steps. It was an Edision Screw metal downlighter set into the ceiling. So the first thing I did was check that the lamp was screwed in properly. The casing was live. I got the most god awful shock. I know I let out a loud scream My muscles must have contracted on to it in some way. I was on it for a few seconds and could not get away. It was without doubt the most painful thing I have ever felt in my life. I thought that my whole arm was being wrenched from its socket. Eventually I must have blacked out with the pain and fell away from it. Luckily I fell against the wall. When I looked down I could see the apprentice sitting on the stairs near by with his jaw dropped open.

That happened about 10 O'clock in the morning. I remember that is was a Friday. I carried on with my work as you do and went back to the office around 5 O'clock to collect my wages. When I walked in my boss looked at me and said "What the Fk happened to you". I said I got a shock so what. He said go and look in the mirror. When I looked in the mirror I could not believe what I saw. There was not a drop of colour in my face. I was whiter than Casper the Friendly Ghost and that was about 7 hours after the event. Even now 25 years after the event I can still remember the pain and when I remember the story such as now my right arm remembers it and want to give itself a little shrug.

I believe in absolute safety when it comes to electricity. If you do not know what you are doing then get somebody who does. And if you do know what you are doing then do it right. And test it properly when you are finished!!!

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AND don't use a metal ladder for live work!

:D

just glad you ok

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A good point. But not really practical as it was the only large steps kept for maintenance and anyway I was only going to check that the lamp was properly scewed in and I was not expecting the casing to be live. I certainly got the attention of all the customers.

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AND don't use a metal ladder for live work!

:D

just glad you ok

In breach of Regulation 14 EAW live working for a start besides using a metal ladder.

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It scares me. I've only had 1 shock in 5years of being a sparky and it wasnt really my fault.

I was working on a school for about 6months, doing a new build with a few other lads from the company. The whole job was done and a few extras where needed. One was a big wall clock on the side of the building to view outside in the playground. One lad (who has recently been sacked) wired from the db to a spur, then out of the spur outside with a cable ready for the clock.

The clock was special order and took weeks to arrive, so i popped back to the job got up the ladders check the spur is off, remove the fuse. and then go outside to fit the clock. Go to unravel the coil of cable and as i touch the end i felt the most wierd sensation i've ever felt, my body tensed up, my heart felt in my mouth and i nearly fell off my steps. The bloke had connected the load up with the feed side of the spur, and left this coil of cable dangling in a childrens playground. If it has come unraveled in anyway, a child could have been the one getting the shock on a nice wet concrete playground!!

luckily i was on fibreglass steps, but it still shook me up.

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I had a nasty one in Henley. Working on a job put my hand under the floor to pull out some cables and got the most god awful belt. Rats had chewed the outer covering of the cables leaving bare wires. Luckily it was a wooden floor otherwise it could have been a lot worse.

Batty

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Ok guys - that's a fair bit of scaring! I'm glad I'm so cautious when working somewhere unfamiliar - wouldn't like to experience what some of you have gone through (toothache's bad enough!).

Glad you're all ok though.

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I think one of my early threads mentions five sparks I know of who have been killed at work over the years.

Dave N .......... Off the roof of a 6 story building.

Fred G ........... Down empty lift shaft. (great bloke, left wife & 2 young sons)

Harry C .......... Wobbly steps made him touch bus-bars in panel.

Apprentice ........ Down Lift shaft from motor room.

Unknown commissioning Eng.... Stopped late on a Friday,alone, to finish

Found Monday morn , forehead had touched a

row of 415 volt motor connections in a panel.

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its a very dangerous thing. When I'm playing around in places with 400v I always take a step back from the job and think am I doing this as safely as I can.

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its a very dangerous thing. When I'm playing around in places with 400v I always take a step back from the job and think am I doing this as safely as I can.

Yes if its going to get you 415v is likely to be the one.

:_|

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well i always am working live upto 11000V :o well apart from when the risk assment says no :_| but that very rare these days cut outs and that about it, ive never had a shock doing this job the marigolds help with that but have had a few when working just as a spark. Some of the older jointers have had a few shocks though but thats useuly threw there own stupidty :_| the arcs are the worst for us :o i think that goes for us all to be honnest

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I remember being told years ago (by a spark) that the 230 volt was possibly more dangerous than 415 volt - in so far as 230 can clamp your muscles onto the conductor for a period of time, whereas 415 will throw you clear!

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I remember being told years ago (by a spark) that the 230 volt was possibly more dangerous than 415 volt - in so far as 230 can clamp your muscles onto the conductor for a period of time, whereas 415 will throw you clear!

No

It's all to do with the frequency - which remains @ 50hz

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its more to do with if its AC or DC with AC you have the sinewave cycle giveing a chance to let go of the conducter with the DC its there and your stuck the chance to let go is much lower than AC.

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worst shock I got was outside ASDA

I was putting my shoppig in the boot and I left a pot of fresh cream on the roof ,while I took my trolley back (intending to pour it on my strawberries and have a munch before driving home), Anyhow I had left this pot of cream on my roof, when I returned to the car somebody had whipped it!

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worst shock I got was outside ASDA

I was putting my shoppig in the boot and I left a pot of fresh cream on the roof ,while I took my trolley back (intending to pour it on my strawberries and have a munch before driving home), Anyhow I had left this pot of cream on my roof, when I returned to the car somebody had whipped it!

:_|

:^O

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well i always am working live upto 11000V :o well apart from when the risk assment says no :_| but that very rare these days cut outs and that about it, ive never had a shock doing this job the marigolds help with that but have had a few when working just as a spark. Some of the older jointers have had a few shocks though but thats useuly threw there own stupidty :_| the arcs are the worst for us :o i think that goes for us all to be honnest

Sparkss , do you still use the device that fires a blade into the cable, from a safe distance ??

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I had the mother of all my electric shocks a few years ago when I was working on an installation in an aeroplane parts factory. I was up a ladder disconnecting an outgoing SP&N SWA from a tap-off-box on some busbar trunking. I pulled the 63A fuse out and disconnected the live, neutral and earth from the tap-off-box.

Having disconnected the SWA from it's power source I ASSUMED (this was my critical mistake which could have cost me my life) that this cable was now dead. Therefore with the SWA end in one hand and my other hand on the metal casing of the tap-off-box I began to descend, however my hand came into contact with the bare end of the live and my other hand was still on the metalwork. I received a hefty belt across my chest, heftier as it was June and I was sweating a lot at the time. I only just managed to maintain my balance on the ladder but somehow managed to. I immediately began to feel unwell and was taken to hospital where an ECG showed an irregular heartbeat so they insisted on keeping me in overnight plugged into a heart monitor. By morning my heartbeat rhythm had settled down into a normal pattern once again and I was disharged.

That SWA had been backfed - connected to another power source down the line by some cowboy.

My mistake - and the moral of the story - TEST TEST TEST before you ever touch and NEVER ASSUME that cable is dead.

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Sparkss , do you still use the device that fires a blade into the cable, from a safe distance ??

its one good way to prove dead... or make dead if it isnt!

or just useful to find the breaker for that cable

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even after testing I always dab the cores down to earth, so if they are still live for whatever reason It'll short out and you'll know its live if it blows.

Did this on another school, similar story to before. Was asked to finnish off running in a cable that was left coiled in the ceiling. I didnt have any tools on me just the ladder, with all things i didnt want to beleive it was dead simply because it was a new circuit freshly half wired. So I decided to push the end of the t+e onto a metal rung of the steps, and sure as. It made a lovely bang and a little black weld in the steps. Can never asume anything in this job

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Anyone got a Martindale Voltage Tester & Proving Unit For Sale?

ive got a brand new in box, cctv camera 3.6mm infrared bullet cctv camera for sale if thats any good :D

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ive got a brand new in box, cctv camera 3.6mm infrared bullet cctv camera for sale if thats any good :D

is it GS38 compliant?

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is it GS38 compliant?

yes as its 12v dc and requires a step down power supply unit :D

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