What's the worst electrical shock you've received?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by strantor, Mar 20, 2012.

  1. strantor

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 3, 2010
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    Darwinian bragging time. For me, the worst was when I put my hand across a 50hp Variable Frequency Drive 750V intermediate DC bus that was supposedly tagged out & deenergized. Also been bit by 480VAC & 240 once each. Bit by 120VAC & ~1 KV low power (mA) DC numerous times.

    Momentary contact with high power 750VDC causes uncontrolled alien vocalizations followed by loss of motor funtion & near fainting. Secondary symptoms: Burnt skin, muscle pain, & anger - throwing tools, cussing, walking off job.
     
  2. praondevou

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jul 9, 2011
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    Are you saying you damaged the VFD??!! ;-)

    220 AC through my left arm was the worst for me. Nothing serious. :p
     
  3. spinnaker

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    Oct 29, 2009
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    Low current but high voltage somewhere around 30KV from the anode lead from an old CRT TV.

    I have been shocked more times I care to remember from almost every other point in those old sets.
     
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  4. #12

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    Nov 30, 2010
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    I've already described the worst shock I've had, somewhere on this site, but the most interesting was the cracked anode cap on a horizontal output tube. The arcs made a line of carbonized pits in my hand as I withdrew it, and it looked like my thumb was sewn on.

    My very best shock was when one of the lines of a 440V, 3 phase disconnect, didn't. Three people were within 3 feet of me, watching intently as I started replacing a motor contactor. The end of my screwdriver vaporized instantly and nobody got even a tingle because of my habit of creating several layers of safety between me and instant death.
     
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  5. DerStrom8

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    Feb 20, 2011
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    My "worst" is hard for me to decide on. I have had more painful shocks, less current, and less painful shocks with more current. I think the most painful was probably an ignition could driver setup I had running many years ago. It was when I was still fairly new to electronics, and I was trying to make a plasma globe out of an ignition coil and a lightbulb. Had the coil putting out in the vicinity of 20-30kv, probably around 5mA. I put the light bulb on and (stupidly) touched it like a regular plasma globe. The arc literally jumped half an inch to my finger and left a brownish spot on it for a while. That was probably the most painful. I've gotten bites from 120VAC more times than I can count, but none of them really hurt. Only felt a strange vibration in my finger and realized I was touching a live switch contact. Also got the feel of my Tesla coil's output, which was approximately 100kv, but extremely high frequency and low current. Wasn't too painful, but I wouldn't do it on purpose. Just felt....weird.
    I've actually gotten shocks from 120v mains more than anything, with ignition coils/flyback coils coming in a close second. You'd think I'd have learned after the first time, but.... :D:D:D
     
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  6. strantor

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

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    lol, no. Just (my) motor.
     
  7. StayatHomeElectronics

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    Sep 25, 2008
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    I would have to say mine was definitely a low current 10kV supply. Faulty grounding ended up putting the full voltage on the chassis. Needless to say, the metal power switch was connected to the chassis. Got the surprise of a lifetime trying to turn the thing off.
     
  8. DerStrom8

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    Feb 20, 2011
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    Hmm, that reminds me of something I was doing for the school a couple of months ago. I guess a student built a Tesla coil from a kit several years ago, but something went wrong and it got banished to the top of a cabinet in the lab's equipment room where I work. I asked what was wrong with it, and my boss just said that it was dangerous to use, that it was burning some of the cables, and was shocking students. I took it down to take a look at it, and it didn't take long to find the problem. The student used a 10,000 volt transformer (5000-0-5000, center-tapped) for the coil. But for some stupid reason, he "grounded" one of the 5000 volt outputs to the faceplate, where the switch, neon power indicator, and power cord came in. I ended up having to completely redo the wiring in order to make it safe again. Sort of my gift to the school :p
    Anyway, just thought I'd mention it.
     
  9. atferrari

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 6, 2004
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    Touching the 220V outlet where a radio used to be plugged in, using two fingers (from the same hand, thanks God).

    Good that I cannot compete with those above, and still can tell my story. :)
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2012
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  10. debjit625

    Well-Known Member

    Apr 17, 2010
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    I had got shocks from EHT about 25 - 30 KV many times but the worst is main's 220 VAC as for the large amount of current it really hurts...I was repairing a 1/2 hp motor when I got that 220 VAC shock last time....

    But I never got burnt because of electrical shock ,may be I am too lucky...and "muscle pain,anger - throwing tools, cussing, walking off job" happens every time...

    Normally I dont work with high voltage applications but sometimes you cant help it.
     
  11. Georacer

    Moderator

    Nov 25, 2009
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    A mains (220V) shock while installing a new power line in the house for the air condition unit. I was on a ladder at that time but thankfully didn't lose my cool. It wasn't but a simple sting, I didn't hang onto the wire, but my arm was tingly for the next half hour or so.

    I work more with electronics than electrics, so my experiences are limited.
     
  12. jimkeith

    Active Member

    Oct 26, 2011
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    For my horror story refer to:
    http://forum.allaboutcircuits.com/showthread.php?p=460974#post460974

    About 5 years earlier, I got this arc discharge to my knuckle--burned through to the bone--still unsure how I did it, but it involved messing around with the loudspeaker cable in an old console radio with a large electro-magnet speaker.

    Scar remains some 55 years later--boy am I getting geriatric looking or what?
    [​IMG][​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  13. djsfantasi

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 11, 2010
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    Working in a dirt cellar in an old house, reached up and grabbed the conduit the mains wiring was housed in; the conduit was hot. I believe I could count seconds before I could release my hand. My arm was tingly for hours...
     
  14. amilton542

    Active Member

    Nov 13, 2010
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    I would say a 500V DC insulation resistance test.
     
  15. maxpower097

    Well-Known Member

    Feb 20, 2009
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    110v straight to mains when I was 8. I was plugging in a lamp and my fingers were so small I just grabbed the metal and plugged it in. Was a hell of a shock but I was able to pull away from it. No burns or aftermath at all.
     
  16. Blofeld

    Active Member

    Feb 21, 2010
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    Sure it was 220V and not 230V ? I think the voltage was increased in 1987 (at least in Germany). I once came in contact with 220V and once with 230V but I didn't really note the difference :) As far as I remember it wasn't even that painful, I just remember the feeling of relief after the shock, that nothing worse had happened.

    More painful and memorable was a contact with a hot soldering iron on which I rested my forearm :( I had quite a big blister and afterwards a scar that I could see for some years.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2012
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  17. paulktreg

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    Jun 2, 2008
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    A HT arc from an old CRT oscilloscope that punctured an hole in my finger that seemed to bleed forever!
     
  18. Georacer

    Moderator

    Nov 25, 2009
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    Yeah, it's 230, but everyone still calls it 220V out of habit.

    It definitely was significant. I wouldn't call it painful, because it didn't cause any burns and at the time of the shock, the nerves where too busy screaming into my brain to single out the ones meaning pain.
     
  19. strantor

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 3, 2010
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    Aside from the high amps 750DC, when I experienced the 240V, it was the 2nd worse. I actually grabbed 2 ends with opposite hands and completed a circuit. Felt like a kick in the chest & arms. after the involuntary shout, no cussing & throwing tools, I kept quiet because it was my own fault & I didn't want to go advertising my idiocy (& that I didn't follow safety procedure). lesson learned.
     
  20. DerStrom8

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    Feb 20, 2011
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    Wow, well it's good to have you still with us, strantor! :cool:
     
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