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

Thread Starter

strantor

Joined Oct 3, 2010
5,366
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.
 

spinnaker

Joined Oct 29, 2009
7,835
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.
 

#12

Joined Nov 30, 2010
18,210
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.
 

DerStrom8

Joined Feb 20, 2011
2,390
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
 
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.
 

DerStrom8

Joined Feb 20, 2011
2,390
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.
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.
 

atferrari

Joined Jan 6, 2004
4,110
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. :)
 
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debjit625

Joined Apr 17, 2010
790
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.
 

Georacer

Joined Nov 25, 2009
5,182
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.
 

djsfantasi

Joined Apr 11, 2010
6,944
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...
 

maxpower097

Joined Feb 20, 2009
816
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.
 

Blofeld

Joined Feb 21, 2010
83
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.
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.
 
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Georacer

Joined Nov 25, 2009
5,182
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.
 

Thread Starter

strantor

Joined Oct 3, 2010
5,366
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.
 

DerStrom8

Joined Feb 20, 2011
2,390
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.
Wow, well it's good to have you still with us, strantor! :cool:
 
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