I'll never do that again.!!!

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by R!f@@, Nov 25, 2010.

  1. R!f@@

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 2, 2009
    This was during the good ol' days. Back then when I use to be the handsome lecturer in our one and only technical training center.

    Electronics lab is located on the top floor where all the heat is absorbed to the cement walls and tiles. Without the A/C's that place is an oven at after 1000HRS.

    One day after the session started at around 900Hrs, The A/C's went dead. Checked and found no power to none of 'em. Since me and another Indian Lady is currently running the whole section, I had to check the fault, since I handle most of the practical part.

    I checked around found the 3ph 4 pole breaker tripped in one of the DB. Switched on and was back in class. After a few minutes they turned off, checked found it tripped, switched on again.

    Another few minutes it happened. I have a class to finish and once they A/C's turns off, it didn't take too long for everyone to start to sweat. So I informed the electrical lab to check the breakers since I know the A/C's are not faulted as they were services very recently, all of 'em.

    I also informed that I cannot continue the class sweating to the admin. The electrical engineer was out and there was nobody qualified enuf to change the breaker. I said the breaker is faulty since I can hear cracking sound coming from the breaker once they are on. Simple problem change the breaker and all is well.

    But nobody turned up and I get blamed if I canceled a session. And believe me, If anybody is found canceling a class, we are in big trouble. The paycheck starts to reduce. I have to fill my contact times.

    2 hrs passed and nothing. I decide to take the matter into my own hands, since things are like that around then.

    I grabbed a screw drive and went, opened up the DB and looked around the breaker. There were two sets, the one I want was in front, I remember this part faintly. I was in a hurry and did not care to take the meter. It was 3 phase and now that I realize the two sets, one set in front one a bit up and back. One thing I did forget to take into account was how the heck the Indian guys have the incoming routed.

    As most of us here does is incoming are connected below and outgoing is from the top. So I naturally acted to disconnect the outgoing after tripping the breaker. The one I wanted was in front. The color coding was there. The breaker was mounted in such a way tht the top connections of the front set lies just in front of the bottom sets lower connections. But the breakers were not in line, so to say a red phase lines with another when looked straight. Before I continue let me tell u now I realize the front set incoming was connected to top and the incoming to the back set was connected from below.

    I tripped the front breaker, grabbed the screw driver and tried to loosen one phase from the top. Man it was tight. I grabbed the handle and gave a quick turn pushing the screw driver against the screw, I was on my knees and I remember the janitor behind me coming down from the stairs.

    Then suddenly .....BAAAAAAAAAAANG!!, and a FLASH.!!

    I S**T u not when I say that that was the loudest thing I ever heard in my entire life and the brightest flash with it. :D

    I promise, when I came to my senses it was exactly 2 minutes after the super nova that just happened inches from my face. I remember not hearing anything or seeing for that matter, but just sitting there, motionless. :confused:

    The first thing I heard was the janitor asking....what the hell was tht. He too was motionless. He cannot hear or see any thing same as me. Slowly I started to see. After a 15s or so after hearing him talk I started to see things clearly. There was no power what so ever from the entire university. Janitor was a bit wobbly and my screw driver has almost melted in two. Can't remember how the breaker looked, didn't care to look after this incident.

    So, after the big bang everyone was asking about the sound, but the best part is, the Janitor has no clue what so ever what happened, cause he cannot hear or see anything for a while. So no witnesses :D.

    There was no power and every one was asking everyone. I simply said the breaker shorted, so we have to check the transformer substation inside the uni. Me and the electrical guy checked and found 3 100A fuses melted. The fuses were like a feet big.

    Fuses replaced, so was the breaker, and everything was back to the usual.

    It was tht night I experienced the aftermath of the big bang theory.

    I woke up middle of the night, but I cannot open my eyes for sec. They like as if they were on fire, hurt like hell, cannot see a thing, tears was running down nonstop.

    I had to feel my way around the house to call mum and dad and tell them that I went blind.

    So later that night after a trip to the hospital the doc gave some eye drops and said that to take a rest before starting to arc weld again.
    As if.... kekekek

    I got a week's vacation after the big bang.

    Now..now no funny jokes...I mean it.
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2010
  2. tom66

    Senior Member

    May 9, 2009
    Wait... so you were working on a live system??
  3. R!f@@

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 2, 2009
    Yup....my bad.:D
  4. Kermit2

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 5, 2010
    I've worked on live 110 and 220 circuits, but nothing higher than that. It is not dangerous UNLESS you get careless or distracted. It is not something anyone should do on a regular basis, but when repairs are needed and needed NOW, then, certain safety precautions were disregarded in order to keep equipment running. (manufacturing job)
  5. tom66

    Senior Member

    May 9, 2009
    Yeah I know, but does Rifaa have an electricians license or even any sort of training in it? Pretty dangerous...
  6. t06afre

    AAC Fanatic!

    May 11, 2009
    First the headphone incident and now this. You must have a thick skull. Since you are not reduced to babbling baboon. Hmm...on second thought...well never mind:p. Glad all went well
  7. R!f@@

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 2, 2009
    I did my training but under pressure then I get pretty careless. There is always a first. Now I am pretty confident when working around live equipment.
    I dare to touch live wires now, cause I always have industrial safety shoes when I work. My equipments are and tools are high voltage insulated. But then we had what India supplied us. They do not have insulation and pretty bad tools.

    In case u might be wondering, I am careful now and always follow safety guide lines.

    As for license, I am the only one that used to handle practical side of electrical installation programs that ran during those days. The local electricity board issued license to them only after I acknowlegde their competence handling live circuits. Now they don't have those programs.

    So, now what we get are lousy techs, who has no idea on installation insulation and cable capacity for that matter.

    I am surprised u wonder about my qualifications.
    I may have screwed up sometimes then but not now. It was all part of the learning.

    And one more thing, I did work at the airport for 4 years as a run way lightning tech. I used to carry out cable installation for 400VDC, run way lights. Most of the times connection joints and HV insulation were done during live circuits. And I never screwed up once. I am that confident.
  8. debe

    Well-Known Member

    Sep 21, 2010
    Dont worry R!f@@, When I worked for an electric supply company we used to work on 240v & 400V live mains, A work mate was half way up a pole trying to remove a fuse from a metal fuse box, fuse was stuck so he used a screwdriver to remove it levering on the metal box. There was also a blinding flash & half screwdriver missing & in 2 steps hewas back on the ground wondering what happened. The audiance thaught it was funny at the time. **** happens!!! Daryl
  9. retched

    AAC Fanatic!

    Dec 5, 2009
    Poo-Poo does happen. Thats why you better be QUITE sure about your tools!

    And Rifaa, How could you leave your beloved Fluke behind? NO METER?

    I bet you dont make that mistake anymore.

    There is a VALUABLE lesson to be learned: Even if you feel confident in handling high voltages, YOU HAVE NO IDEA what the tech before you did.

    Metering and circuit tracing is a VERY important skill to learn.

    Im many cases, the people who wired stuff take "Artistic License" with their work. Just because code calls a particular direction, if the installer cut a wire too short, he will LOOSE MONEY by re-doing it. So, it is half-assed.

    Sometimes changing a fuse is not just CHANGING A FUSE.

    You are a lucky man, Rifaa. There is a blind guy around Canton in Baltimore who was the Local Electric Company Safety Enforcement Chief. He stand around and begs money now. When you hand him a dollar, his 3 finger hand will come out and grab it.

    He forgot to practice what he preached. A wedding ring crossed 2 phases on the LINE side of a step down primary from a 4.8kV line. The disconnect he was installing had a flash or arc shield that had come loose in transport, gotten stuck in the lever mechanism. He should have set this PRIOR to install, and he should have been wearing gloves and head/face shield. SO, wedding ring explodes, arcs to an eye-brow ring.

    No sight, missing fingers, no wife, no job.

    So, bad stuff will happen. If you are lucky, it will be a learning experience and not a life-altering or ending tragedy.

    Dont screw around with High Power!

    Whats wrong with a nice little color organ? ;)
  10. R!f@@

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 2, 2009
    Like I said, then we had crappy tools. Once I started earning enough I got quality tools.

    Anyways, accident improves experience.
  11. thatoneguy

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 19, 2009
    When I was starting out, I'd always save and splurge for Fluke on meters, Tektronix on scopes, an Xcelite on tools. There was a long period of earning the costs back, but I do not regret a bit of it.

    When around anything over around 50V (other than telephone), I keep one hand in my pocket, and I have a few "live circuit wave wands" in each toolbag (network, power, computers, embedded systems, etc).

    I ran the network and control for lighting at a concert a while back, and the roadies were working with 480V 3 phase cables live. I guess you get used to it, and safety is a state of mind after a while.
  12. R!f@@

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 2, 2009
    Talking about telephone lines, I remember trying to connect a broken land line, no tools except a spoon used to tighten the screw.
    Had to unstrip the wire. So I put it between my teeth.

    And then what I remember was that something like lightning inside my brain or eyeballs.

    That was one hell of a wake up call. :eek:

    Too bad I couldn't answer that call.
  13. shortbus

    AAC Fanatic!

    Sep 30, 2009
    Kinda like the old saying; 'What ever doesn't kill you, makes you smarter':D
  14. retched

    AAC Fanatic!

    Dec 5, 2009
    I remember that as: What doesn't kill you makes you stronger

    I have seen people do dumb stuff that almost killed them MANY times over, and they are no smarter than the say they were born.... ;)

    Rifaa, I did the same thing.

    I was running a line to my Commadore PC10-2 PC clone. I needed a line to go to my brand new $300, 1200bps modem! So I was measuring out how long the line needed to be to get it through the drop ceiling. The first time, I pulled it too far, so the second time, I plugged it into the jack so when I ran it, I didn't accidentally pull it into the ceiling again.

    So I got it ran and broke the tab off of the computer side of the line.

    I cut it and started to strip it to add a new plug.

    I stripped the first 3 wires no problem.

    Once the 4th hit my lips, I realized that the others were on my cheek.

    That was a rather good hit. It felt like I was chewing on a sewing needle, tasted like I was chewing on aluminum foil, and made me jump.

    I had a buddy who used a heavy duty staple gun to run a phone line that was plugged in.

    He was running it over a doorway and was on top of a step ladder.

    Well, he ended up on his butt with a broken coccyx (tailbone).

    Apparently he got a phone call while stapling and the staple broke the insulation enough to "reach out and touch someone".
  15. R!f@@

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 2, 2009
    It goes like this.."what does not kills you makes you stronger"

    Heee hee hee
  16. pokethebear


    Nov 25, 2010
    The first time I got hit, I was about 10yrs old. I had learned a bit of electrical stuff, and thought I knew things. I was playing with my slot car set, with the handheld variable triggers that controlled the speed of the cars. Thinking that I knew things, I measured the output at max trigger, and it was 9V. Or something...

    So, knowing that a 9V battery makes your tongue tingle, I made the logical decision that this controller should allow for a nicely variable tingle if wires connected to the output were put in the mouth. Fun stuff. Wires in mouth, prepare for 10-yr-old fun times.

    The glitch in my master plan was, as soon as I squeezed the trigger slightly, I was treated to muscle spasms, bright flashes in my vision, and the inability to do anything except fall backwards. Which would have been cool, being a young boy, had it not scared the complete crap out of me :D

    By the time I learned how to actually test things properly, I didn't have that toy any more. But I learned something ...
  17. retched

    AAC Fanatic!

    Dec 5, 2009
    The Government just finished a 3 billion dollar research program that found that you SHOULD NOT put electric wires your mouth. Especially when connected to a power source.

    It also found out that the mouth is close to the brain, and it MAY be connected directly via nerves.
  18. R!f@@

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 2, 2009
    Pish posh retched....
    tell me something tht is not connected by nerves....brain is not connected to brain...
  19. Wendy


    Mar 24, 2008
    I don't know... I've met people whom I wondered if anything was connected up there.

    Maybe we now have a test?
  20. retched

    AAC Fanatic!

    Dec 5, 2009
    That is BRILLIANT!!