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Thread: Two people electrocuted in separate incidents

  1. #1
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    Two people electrocuted in separate incidents

    Texas teen electrocuted while holding cellphone in a bathtub:
    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/nati...icle-1.3317367

    New Jersey girl, 11, electrocuted while swimming in lagoon with friends:
    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/nati...icle-1.3257912

    Sad.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by robertd View Post
    Texas teen electrocuted while holding cellphone in a bathtub:
    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/nati...icle-1.3317367

    New Jersey girl, 11, electrocuted while swimming in lagoon with friends:
    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/nati...icle-1.3257912

    Sad.
    In the first case, would the cell phone wall wart limit the current to prevent tripping while passing enough to cause defibrillation? Assuming whatever receptacle in use was not GFCI.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by gadfly56 View Post
    In the first case, would the cell phone wall wart limit the current to prevent tripping while passing enough to cause defibrillation? Assuming whatever receptacle in use was not GFCI.
    According to the article, there was a burn mark on her hand. I don't understand how that can happen with anything plugged into a cell phone. I wonder if there is a 'rest of the story'?
    Cheers and Stay Safe,

    Marky the Sparky

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    Quote Originally Posted by robertd View Post
    Texas teen electrocuted while holding cellphone in a bathtub
    Pretty sure this one will receive a Darwin Award.

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    Quote Originally Posted by K8MHZ View Post
    According to the article, there was a burn mark on her hand. I don't understand how that can happen with anything plugged into a cell phone. I wonder if there is a 'rest of the story'?
    Possibly a lightning strike, and she was in contact with the drain?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coppersmith View Post
    Pretty sure this one will receive a Darwin Award.
    Ahhh, I'm not sure I'd be quick to hand out plaques just yet. Not enough info. Besides, being a teen should allow leeway for a certain degree of stupidity without it being a death sentence.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by K8MHZ View Post
    According to the article, there was a burn mark on her hand. I don't understand how that can happen with anything plugged into a cell phone. I wonder if there is a 'rest of the story'?
    The burn mark seems to rule out the normal output of the power supply, (5 to 20 V AC or DC but only a couple of watts).

    If the power supply failed in a mode that put 120V or something close to that on ALL of the wires to the phone that could
    produce the burn. I say all wires because if you put 120V on just one of the wires from the power supply to the phone
    the phone would smoke when plugged in.

    If the bathtub was energized the cell phone may of just acted as a ground. Do GFCI's open the neutral or just the hot?
    If they open both conductors and there's no ground on the cell phone power supply the GFCI might provide protection.

    If the bathtub and cell phone are powered by different phases/pole you could get 208V or 240V, not 120V. Can a 120V
    GFCI open when subjected to 208/240V?

  8. #8
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    I doubt we will ever hear the details, it's so tragic that I think once an investigation is done, it will be kept to the family.

    Here's my scenario: "in the bathtub" implies she was likely lying down in it, head propped up on one end, phone at her ear. The phone started to die, she reacted by grabbing the charger with wet hands and plugged it in, after making the charger and cord wet all the way up. Electricity tracked along the water to her hand, across her heart to the plumbing. The burn mark was from that tracking, not from the phone case itself, that was conjecture. Now, why was there a receptacle within reach of the bathtub that was not on a GFCI? Old installation that was never brought up to code. My parent's house built in 1951 was like that; you could be in the tub and have a radio fall in and kill you. That's WHY they made it code to have GFCIs in bathrooms.

    Heard an interesting discussion on the radio about brain development in teenagers. They have thousands of times more neural connections than adults over age 25 do, so that's why they can think faster and believe they know more; they are absorbing high volumes of information very fast and it makes them think they are super human. But until the age of about 20, almost none of those neural connections are making it to the prefrontal cortex, the area of the brain where logic and reasoning take place; the "if A then likely B or C" is thought through. the neural connections start at the back with basic animal functionality and work their way forward as we age. After 25, all of the connections to that prefrontal cortex are complete, and our brains begin "trimming the tree" of all of these relatively useless neural connections, optimizing our brain function by using logic and reasoning. That's why Teens need adult guidance; they need our prefrontal cortexes until they can make rational decisions on their own. Like not plugging a phone charger into the wall while in a bathtub...
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  9. #9
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    Cheap charger?

    Watch some of the bigclive YouTube videos. Many of the cheap chargers are downright dangerous. Poor insulation on the transformer windings and inadequate separation of the main and secondary side of the circuit board. Combine that with left over flux/crud on the circuit board, no overcurrent protection and a humid environment and I am surprised that more people are not harmed.

  10. #10
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    Aside from the sheer tragedy of this loss of life, and the how and why did it happen, it sure makes me stop and think..I know it will pass my mind as I install or repair a gfci.

    That said I cannot help but wonder if the lightening strike comment may be closer to right, leaving a burn mark even with 120vac rms .?.how much of a burn mark could it make? Would have to be just about a dead short.

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