Stupid Mistake, and Safety Reminder

Thread Starter

thingmaker3

Joined May 16, 2005
5,073
This afternoon I was crawling around in an attic working on some lighting. I pulled a piece of romex from a box where I had placed it a month ago & checked it with a DMM - just to be thorough (or so I thought...) I read zero volts.

A moment or two later, there was a brilliant blue flash and an angry buzzing for what seemed like several seconds. (Was probably several milliseconds, but seemed longer.) It was at this point I began to suspect something might be amiss. Once the green blob obscuring my vision receded enough, I climbed down from the attic to commence troubleshooting & investigation.

I found a kitchen light on the other end of the romex. The hot of my future-use leg had been hooked up - but not the neutral. This is why I read no voltage between hot and neutral in the attic. It was as though had I put one lead on hot and held th other "thirty foot lead" in the air. I should have checked hot to ground as well!

Always check voltage to ground before assuming a circuit is safe!
 

recca02

Joined Apr 2, 2007
1,211
..and i have a charred SMPS because of a stupid mistake,
i guess u can never be too careful when it comes to electricity.
 

beenthere

Joined Apr 20, 2004
15,808
I have a wire stripper with a big notch in the cutter blade to remind me about checking live wiring.
 
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