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Sherlock Ohms

Broken Switch Shocks Engineer

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Beth Stackpole
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Blogger
Beware of the broken switch
Beth Stackpole   3/28/2012 6:42:24 AM
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All you home improvement enthusiasts out there should take note. No matter how adept you are are understanding electrical currents, this is still always a danger with home repairs. My husband, who's not an engineer, but a pretty handy guy, has learned this lesson the hard way as I'm sure many of our readers have over the years. Broken switches and nasty shocks are definitely no fun.

williamlweaver
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Beware of the broken switch
williamlweaver   3/28/2012 7:38:06 AM
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Gosh, this reminds me of the Inspector Jacques Clouseau sketch from The Pink Panther Strikes Again:

Clouseau: Does your dog bite? 
Hotel Clerk: No. 
Clouseau: [bowing down to pet the dog] Nice doggie. 
[Dog barks and bites Clouseau in the hand] 
Clouseau: I thought you said your dog did not bite! 
Hotel Clerk: That is not my dog. 

Moral of the Story: Trust No one.  =]


Beth Stackpole
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Beware of the broken switch
Beth Stackpole   3/28/2012 7:49:17 AM
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Forgot about that skit. Love it!

Jennifer Campbell
User Rank
Gold
Re: Beware of the broken switch
Jennifer Campbell   3/28/2012 9:45:41 AM
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Makes me wonder how this tech got the job in the first place - he seems rather inept. At least the engineer who was shocked was not badly injured. Something like this could have really been ugly.

kf2qd
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Beware of the broken switch
kf2qd   3/28/2012 10:00:07 AM
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ANyone who is a tech should have learned this procedure by heart -

Turn it off, lock it out and then get your voltmeter and make sure it is really off.

Built, installed % service industrial equipment and that is the only way to avoid getting shocked. Generally the shocks don't hurt too bad, but the back of your head does tend to suffer from the reaction...

You never trust anything, not even yourself.

Nugent_56
User Rank
Gold
More lessons...
Nugent_56   3/28/2012 10:46:32 AM
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Seems you should have followed your own advice prior to learning the hard way! When it comes to anything above 48VAC, I check thrice!. Another lesson: I used to work for a hosiptial fixing these HUGE indistrial washers that used relay logic and stepper switches. No 5Volt logic here - all the ciruits were 120VAC and some were 208VAC. I had to check the panels hot in order to trace down the anomolly. One day my wedding ring got caught on a relay terminal just as it turned on. OUCH. From that day on, I always take off my wedding ring, watch band or anything metallic. Even with 5-Volt logic, you can draw some considerable current from these SMPS, easily frying traces and your finger. Word!

gsmith120
User Rank
Platinum
Working with one hand
gsmith120   3/28/2012 6:11:24 PM
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As a freshout designing high voltage circuits for military radar system, some of things I was taught was to work with one hand behind my back, no jewelry (especially if it dangled), don't reach over my circuits.  There were many scary stories about carelessness that got people hurt or killed. Never got shocked never had a desire to either.  I always remembered to put up my danger high voltage signs and didn't take anything for granted.  While I don't design many circuit over 100K anymore I still carry and follow those rules with me today.

gsmith120
User Rank
Platinum
Oh yeah!!
gsmith120   3/28/2012 6:14:14 PM
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What's up with the guy knowing the switch was broken and not saying anything until you to got shocked.  Some people just don't think.  That's so not funny.

Greg M. Jung
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Oh yeah!!
Greg M. Jung   3/28/2012 7:54:58 PM
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Oh yeah, by the way, that switch......  Did this tech go on to become an elected political official in charge of domestic financial policy?  Oh yeah, by the way, the financial regulations that are supposed to prevent these economic meltdowns....

Tim
User Rank
Platinum
Circuit Tester
Tim   3/28/2012 9:18:30 PM
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After taking a few 110 volt shocks, I invested in a circuit tester with lights and an audible alarm to check for a live circuit. It is worth its weight in gold.

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