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Please be careful.

DanHolohan
DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 15,916
<a href="http://www.walb.com/story/15148311/man-shocked-working-under-house">http://www.walb.com/story/15148311/man-shocked-working-under-house</a>
Retired and loving it.

Comments

  • Mark Eatherton
    Mark Eatherton Member Posts: 5,839
    This happens more often than we know...

    I was caught in a similar situation many years ago. We use to do irrigation sprinkler taps for a local company, and did so just past the meter outside the home. In one case, I went to sever the water service to cut in the tee. As I cut the line, I had one hand on one side of the service, and one hand on the other side of the service. I could feel the electricity pulsing through my arms/body. I instructed my brother to go into the home and shut off the main power supply. The homeowner didn't want to let him in. He finally convinced the wife that it was a life threatening situation. (I suspect he ran her over with his body...) I could tell exactly when he shut the current off.



    This happens when the water service is used as the electrical ground. If a branch of the electrical system loses it's neutral, the ground becomes the neutral. In older panels, the neutral and the ground are one in the same. If you become the ground (knees in a wet or damp floor) then the current flows through your body to ground.



    I'm trying to think of how a person could check to see if the plumbing system is "hot", and it would be tough to check with the instrumentation that most service people carry.



    Tragic story. Prayers to the family...





    Work safely out there..



    ME
    It's not so much a case of "You got what you paid for", as it is a matter of "You DIDN'T get what you DIDN'T pay for, and you're NOT going to get what you thought you were in the way of comfort". Borrowed from Heatboy.
  • Roland_18
    Roland_18 Member Posts: 147
    Hot Pipes

    One could use a no-contact voltage detector as used by electricians. They are pretty cheap and universally available.



  • Bart Vaio
    Bart Vaio Member Posts: 56
    Inductive testers

    Inductive testers will not work on a floating neutral or a dropped neutral so be carefull.
  • LarryC
    LarryC Member Posts: 331
    Safety tip Use a suitable "jumper" cable before cutting the pipe.

    I have heard of electricians making up "jumper cables" to jumper around the cut pipe to ensure the safety of the plumbers.  They use the larger alligator clamps that can securely fasten onto the copper pipe on either side of the cut location and a 5 foot length of large gauge flexible wire.



    Also be aware that turning off the power will not necessarily stop the current.

    If an adjacent house has an open neutral AND the balance current is coming back thru the water piping, turning off the power or removing the electric meter will not stop the current flow.



    A clamp on ammeter is probably the best way to determine if there is a current flowing thru the pipe.
  • Mark Eatherton
    Mark Eatherton Member Posts: 5,839
    Agreed...

    Those testers show the hot leg, but not the neutral/ground, unless the neutral/ground is open, in which case it is still a hot.



    ME
    It's not so much a case of "You got what you paid for", as it is a matter of "You DIDN'T get what you DIDN'T pay for, and you're NOT going to get what you thought you were in the way of comfort". Borrowed from Heatboy.
  • Tim McElwain
    Tim McElwain Member Posts: 4,504
    All piping should be checked with

    a multi meter before touching the piping. I have been shocked several times by touching the gas line or water line in my  career. Ground one side of the meter and use the other test lead to test so only one hand is involved.

    Taking a battery jumper cable and ripping it in half using one side as a jumper to isolate section you are working on is a great way to keep from getting hit. When cutting a pipe with cutters you are very susceptible to getting a shock.



    Any voltage on any neutral or ground wire is also a no-no, call an electrician do not touch the line or cable.
  • Tim McElwain
    Tim McElwain Member Posts: 4,504
    All piping should be checked with

    a multi meter before touching the piping. I have been shocked several times by touching the gas line or water line in my  career. Ground one side of the meter and use the other test lead to test so only one hand is involved.

    Taking a battery jumper cable and ripping it in half using one side as a jumper to isolate section you are working on is a great way to keep from getting hit. When cutting a pipe with cutters you are very susceptible to getting a shock.



    Any voltage on any neutral or ground wire is also a no-no, call an electrician do not touch the line or cable.
This discussion has been closed.