What's your worst

Thread Starter

jmh474

Joined Jun 26, 2014
36
So iv been in the electrical industry for a while now and I've seen and had some bad experience.

The worst iv ever had was a welt off a neutral on a sent of steps, we was working in a celling grid installing some power rails, where you can connect light and sockets as well as other electrical devices, I was connect a rail up but I got a back feed from a neutral and knock me off my steps, knocked myself out, broke my wrist and had a nice burn on my hand, totally my fault as I knew I was working live but I was under the impression that nothing was connected.

So there's my little story did I learn from my experience No as iv had quit a few more since then BUT I am a little more careful, I always have my fluke tester and proving unit on me now, and try to avoid working like when possible.
 

Tonyr1084

Joined Sep 24, 2015
5,237
Was pulling the center console out of a DC-9 series 3 when while one hand was touching structure, the other hand made contact at my wrist on 120 VAC 400 cycle. I've been hit by 120 before but this is the only experience that made me feel like a giant dog bit me in the back of the neck and threw me to the ground. At the time the aircraft was reported as being "Unpowered". I guess the hydraulic guys wanted wheel well lights (24 VAC 400 cycle) (which can be pretty vicious too). Now that I think of it - that was probably my luckiest day ever. Hand to wrist, humid, sweaty, knocked away from the panel.
 

danadak

Joined Mar 10, 2018
4,057
Was in training at Great Lakes to be a Navy ET, they told us not to pull a rack
transmitter out by curling fingers underneath chassis.

Needless to say I did. RF burns, took a long time to heal.

And a few CRT shocks.

Slow to learn, Dana.
 

SLK001

Joined Nov 29, 2011
1,548
In 1968, repairing a color TV. One of the tubes had a top connector. The TV had been dead for about a week, so I thought, "hey, it's dead and unpowered, so let's get this guy out..." I didn't know it at the time, but these things can hold a 2500V charge for months, so as I removed the top connector and grabbed the tube, BAM, I got hit with the full charge.

In 1988, I was trying to repair a microwave. I wanted to measure the voltage on the magnatron, so I got my trusty digital voltmeter, touched it to the terminal and turned the microwave on. The resulting voltage blew through the voltmeter AND the leads and hit me like a Mack truck. I remember thinking, "...where is all that screaming coming from?" I'm convinced that if I wasn't sitting on a wooden bar stool, I wouldn't be here today. Needless to say, it completely fried my voltmeter, too.
 

be80be

Joined Jul 5, 2008
2,049
let me tell you the things that hurt the most is the ones you think cant get you.
a T3 line will shock the shit out of you and you'll wish your dead lol
 

Yaakov

Joined Jan 27, 2019
1,612
Though I have gotten various small doses of domestic mains (US, 120V) over the years, my worst experiences were when I was very young, first 9, then 12. Neither was terrible, but they scared me enough they changed how I treated power and electronics, so they ended up being the worst (and in some ways, the best).

First, when I was 9, I had disassembled a defunct cassette recorder that operated from mains voltage and removed the main circuit board. I was probing around on it with batteries trying to get something to happen, mostly at random. Then I got the bright idea to connect it to the receptacle. After all, it was mains powered!

Immediately, two large electrolytic caps exploded making a very loud sound and smoke. Scared the hell out of me. After that, no more direct connections to mains for me. I actually went out of my way to learn about domestic AC supplies and house wiring to find out what had happened. It was a happy ending.

When I was 12, I was working on a TV. I knew about flyback transformers, and to avoid them. I knew about capacitors and their ability to hold a charge. I thought I knew about how to make them safe. I didn’t. It knocked me over. After I got up off the floor, I didn’t touch that TV for a week. But then I went out of my way to learn how to safely discharge capacitors, and I treated TV internals as if they could come after me. I never made that mistake again.
 

SamR

Joined Mar 19, 2019
2,789
Designed hydraulic, electrical power and variable speed motor controls for a piece of rotating equipment handling hot molten resin. Then some idiot operator decides to override the safety interlocks I designed to make it easier for him to clean the machine. He got pulled into the rotating drums up to his armpit and covered in molten resin. He kinda lived. Mangled useless arm, 3rd degree burns over most of his body and never worked again. Sometimes stupid trumps our best efforts.
 

djsfantasi

Joined Apr 11, 2010
6,961
This isn’t an electrical incident, but I mistyped a delete command and recursively deleted every file on the system. I was able to interrupt it and isolate the system so that support could recover almost every file!
 

Tonyr1084

Joined Sep 24, 2015
5,237
Designed hydraulic, electrical power and variable speed motor controls for a piece of rotating equipment handling hot molten resin. Then some idiot operator decides to override the safety interlocks I designed to make it easier for him to clean the machine. He got pulled into the rotating drums up to his armpit and covered in molten resin. He kinda lived. Mangled useless arm, 3rd degree burns over most of his body and never worked again. Sometimes stupid trumps our best efforts.
When you make it "Idiot Proof" someone comes along and lowers the bar on idiots and ends up making a better idiot. This is why I say "Remove all warning labels."

One thing you can say for that guy - he probably has a shiny complexion. I just wonder how he got back out.
 

KeithWalker

Joined Jul 10, 2017
1,299
So iv been in the electrical industry for a while now and I've seen and had some bad experience.

The worst iv ever had was a welt off a neutral on a sent of steps, we was working in a celling grid installing some power rails, where you can connect light and sockets as well as other electrical devices, I was connect a rail up but I got a back feed from a neutral and knock me off my steps, knocked myself out, broke my wrist and had a nice burn on my hand, totally my fault as I knew I was working live but I was under the impression that nothing was connected.

So there's my little story did I learn from my experience No as iv had quit a few more since then BUT I am a little more careful, I always have my fluke tester and proving unit on me now, and try to avoid working like when possible.
In 1956 I was in the Royal Air Force as a Junior Tech ground wireless fitter. One of my duties was to coax some sound out of an ancient PA system for the Saturday morning parades. I complained to my CO that it was on it's last legs and would die very soon. He asked me if I could come up with anything better. I offered to build a 100 watt tube amplifier to replace the old one. They supplied the chassis and all the parts and I built it successfully. When I tested it there was a bit of hum in the output so I decided to hum-ding the tube filament supply.
It was on the bench and I was perched on a stool, working on it. I turned off the power and pulled the mains plug. Then I discharged the electrolytics in the 600 volt supply. I remember at the time thinking "they hold quite a charge". What I didn't realise was that I had pulled the plug on my soldering iron, not the amplifier. I went in with both hands. I remember a very loud noise and being hurled through the air. I went through the wall behind me. When I looked up, I was sitting on the floor of my CO's office with him standing over me. All he said was "Would you mind knocking, next time, airman?"
 

Tonyr1084

Joined Sep 24, 2015
5,237
This didn't happen to me, but a guy I worked with was a field radio operator. On a training exercise he was setting up the antenna. The wind blew it into high voltage lines and he took the full charge. If the Sargent hadn't been there to KICK him off the steel grate he would have completely fried. I joked with the kid all the time and when he told me about the whip and high voltage I said 'well, you fried your brain'. We joked with each other all the time like that. He commented one afternoon that I needed that black spray for the top of my head. I started laughing but my boss got quite upset because he was afraid we'd end up physically fighting. In repayment for his spray comment, when he was cooking his fish in the cafeteria I said in front of everyone: "Hey Jeff; they say fish is brain food; right?" To which he said "Yes". To which I commented "I guess that blows that theory out of the water." The audience went nuts with laughter. But Jeff and I always got along. He was one of those guys I'd work with again if I had the chance.
 

KL7AJ

Joined Nov 4, 2008
2,226
So iv been in the electrical industry for a while now and I've seen and had some bad experience.

The worst iv ever had was a welt off a neutral on a sent of steps, we was working in a celling grid installing some power rails, where you can connect light and sockets as well as other electrical devices, I was connect a rail up but I got a back feed from a neutral and knock me off my steps, knocked myself out, broke my wrist and had a nice burn on my hand, totally my fault as I knew I was working live but I was under the impression that nothing was connected.

So there's my little story did I learn from my experience No as iv had quit a few more since then BUT I am a little more careful, I always have my fluke tester and proving unit on me now, and try to avoid working like when possible.
I was working at HIPAS Observatory (the predecessor to HAARP). We had 8 150 KW transmitters, each using a 4cv100,000H3 vapor phase cooled tetrode for the final, and each with a 4-1000 for the driver. During the middle of an experiemt, one of the transmitters quit...I had a pretty good idea what it was, the driver tuning inductor servo was out of step. So, I dutifully pulled the breaer on the plate voltage (17,000 VDC at about 24 amps) and used the chicken stick to discharge all the capacitors. HOWEVER, I did not realize that the 900 volt DC BIAS was still activated whenever the filaments were on. I didn't kill the filaments, because we would have lost too much experimental time. So I reach into the driver stage and manually tweaked the roller inductor to its correct position....and got a direct 900 volt zap through my right hand and out my chest, where I was leaning on the shelf. I stuttered for about three days after that....but I managed to survive with no long-term effects that I know of. Anyway...that was something stupid that really SMARTED!
 

Thread Starter

jmh474

Joined Jun 26, 2014
36
As I said before I seen some stuff as well, the electrical company I work for had an Anglian water contract and a job we was on a backup generator was sent away for repair and we had the job of installing after the repair, this was a backup for a fresh water plant, so you can guess the size of the beast lol
So on the first run every thing went well, power cut test,
The problem started when it come to the gen feeding back into the grid, well the grid took control of the gen and pushed power back into the gen and everything thing start to smoke and my god did it make a terrible noise, there was a massive explosion where the controller not take any more, gen set on fire screaming like a goodun, thankfully no one was injured but that maybe because one of the blocks shouted "every get the f*** out of here"
Police, ambulance and fire everywhere and the site was evacuated all we could hear was screaming and big old booms
 

MaxHeadRoom

Joined Jul 18, 2013
21,626
One thing that I was involved in always haunts me, as a young apprentice electrician, way before safety measures or issues were in effect.
We were running a 2" conduit across the top of a factory typing pool, imagine the sound produced by 200 typists all at work at their desks while we worked overhead with extension ladders installing wiring and said conduit.
I inadvertently dropped a pair of lineman's pliers and watched helpless as they plummeted down 20-30ft towards the luckless typist below.
Fortunately it just missed and landed on a top of a cabinet, the boom sound it made immediately caused silence as all typing froze.
I sheepishly descended and exited the building!:oops:
Max.
 

Tonyr1084

Joined Sep 24, 2015
5,237
and big old booms
A 480 panel was being worked on. LIVE! But of course, that's where you turned the power off. As the panel was being opened (not by the door) one of the nuts that held the panel on came loose and fell and struck across something. Luckily the guy working on the panel had just turned and stepped to one side when that happened. The resulting boom blew the cover off the panel and there must have been a big plasma flash, none of which hit the worker. The boom also shook the building. THAT - I remember.
 
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