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Touching 120V wires

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    #16
    Originally posted by LarryFine View Post
    First of all, I HATE getting shocked! It hasn't happened to me in years, because I'm careful, but it has happened. A bad shock affects me emotionally.

    It surprised me how little a finger-to-finger shock felt on one hand, but never surprises me much it hurts from hand to foot or other parts of the body.

    I have seen guys intentionally touch wiring to test for power, but I have never done that, and don't intend to start any time soon. That's just nuts.

    Healing powers? I'm very doubtful.
    I'm right there with you
    I can build anything you want if you draw a picture of it on the back of a big enough check.

    There's no substitute for hard work....but that doesn't mean I'm going to give up trying to find one.

    John Childress
    Electrical Inspector
    IAEI / CEI / C10
    Certified Electrical Inspector

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      #17
      Just to be clear, no Moderators, Admin or owner of this Forum is condoning this unsafe practice.
      "You can't fix stupid"!
      If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time!

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        #18
        Originally posted by rambojoe View Post
        ill second K8- and im suprised every reply is not telling this op how stupid his electrician is. and wrong.
        I wasn't condoning what he is doing in my earlier post, just explaining why it might not effect this guy same way it does some people. He still has a great risk of finding himself in wrong conditions if he continues to intentionally do this, and unfortunately there is no second chances should that happen.
        I live for today, I'm just a day behind.

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          #19
          Originally posted by K8MHZ View Post
          AMERICAN ELECTRICIANS' HANDBOOK 7th Edition 1953 McGraw-Hill MEASURING, TESTING, AND INSTRUMENTS

          154. Electricians often test circuits for the presence of voltage by touching the conductors with the fingers. This method is safe where the voltage does not exceed 250 and is often very convenient for locating a blown-out fuse or for ascertaining whether or not a circuit is alive. Some men can endure the electric shock that results without discomfort whereas others cannot. Therefore, the method is not feasible in some cases. Which are the outside wires and which is the neutral wire of a 115/230-volt, three-wire system can be determined in this way by noting the intensity of the shock that results by touching different pairs of wires with fingers. Use the method with caution and be certain that the voltage of the circuit does not exceed 250 before touching the conductors.
          Priceless. As with many things in life we would not think of doing today, this was considered a standard procedure. It's a wonder many of on the older side are still alive.

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            #20
            Originally posted by texie View Post
            Priceless. As with many things in life we would not think of doing today, this was considered a standard procedure. It's a wonder many of on the older side are still alive.
            As the saying goes, there are old electricians, and there are bold electricians, but there are very few old bold electricians...

            I have been shocked several times and survived them all, so far as I can tell (sometimes I wonder if I am in purgatory though...) In each case there were at least TWO points of contact; one to a live conductor, the other to a grounded surface or another conductor. Every one of them hurt like HELL! Some have left scars. Nothing "healing" about that in any way.

            For you to be seriously injured by electricity it must flow THROUGH your body. Most of the time because of sweat, the surface of your skin is more conductive than your innards, so the current passes OVER your vital organs rather than through them. Touching ONE wire on a 110V outlet while standing on a dry surface wearing insulating shoes and not touching any other grounded surface will not likely cause any damage. Nor will it "heal" you either...

            But this is NOT something you want to count on.
            Last edited by Jraef; 12-24-18, 04:04 AM.
            __________________________________________________ ____________________________
            Many people are shocked when they discover I am not a good electrician...

            I'm in California, ergo I am still stuck on the 2014 NEC... We'll get around to the 2017 code in around 2021.

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              #21
              Originally posted by meternerd View Post
              If he really said "touching 110V," it tells me he doesn't know what he's talking about. There's no such thing as 110V anymore.....it's all 120V. Ditto for 115V.
              well, as old as I am, gonna call it 110, 120 or 115 at various times and not worry about it... same wiring, same appliances, no problems runnning everything as long as it is over 100 and under 150... lol... same with 208 to 245 for 240... just worry about 240 from split phase against 240 from single EU phase... still trying to learn if they are the same or different because even the big companies cannot tell me..lol... they all say different but electricians say it is all 240..lol..
              Student of electrical codes. Please Take others advice first.

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                #22
                Originally posted by Adamjamma View Post
                well, as old as I am, gonna call it 110, 120 or 115 at various times and not worry about it...
                Over the years, I've seen 110, 112, 113, 115, 117, 118, and 120.

                ... just worry about 240 from split phase against 240 from single EU phase... still trying to learn if they are the same or different because even the big companies cannot tell me..lol... they all say different but electricians say it is all 240..lol..
                We've debated it ad nauseu; ​they're the same.
                Master Electrician
                Electrical Contractor
                Richmond, VA

                Comment


                  #23
                  Originally posted by Adamjamma;1966454...
                  just worry about 240 from split phase against 240 from single EU phase... still trying to learn if they are the same or different ...
                  I would think you would need to be seriously disoriented to not know whether you were working in Europe or North America, and I would think the results of accidentally touching a hot wire would be quite different if it were (nominally) 120 volts to ground vs. (nominally) 230 volts to earth.

                  If it were poorly-labeled and/or inconsistently color-coded, (not that that ever happens!) you might stumble onto a high-leg panel that looks just like a split-phase panel. Even if it was reasonable to test a 120-volt circuit by touch, you might be touching a 208-volt-to-ground circuit. That would be at least ∛x more of a tickle than you were expecting; maybe 3x the tickle because both the voltage & current are ∛ greater; maybe even a lot more than 3x if you exceed a dielectric threshold and get an avalanche.

                  And that's not even considering miswired/misused panels or oddballs. I can imagine a 240-volt loadcenter used on 480 for expedience or economy.
                  I've seen a few 60-0-60 panels in audio studios and instrument labs to minimize hum. 120-volt loads supplied by two-pole breakers.

                  Originally posted by LarryFine View Post
                  Over the years, I've seen 110, 112, 113, 115, 117, 118, and 120. ...
                  "Over the years"? During air-conditioning season, I've seen that much variation in a day.
                  Last edited by Little Bill; 12-25-18, 10:54 PM. Reason: Repaired quote

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                    #24
                    Originally posted by drcampbell View Post
                    "Over the years"? During air-conditioning season, I've seen that much variation in a day.
                    I'm talking about voltage ratings on equipment labels.
                    Master Electrician
                    Electrical Contractor
                    Richmond, VA

                    Comment


                      #25
                      Originally posted by drcampbell View Post
                      I would think you would need to be seriously disoriented to not know whether you were working in Europe or North America, and I would think the results of accidentally touching a hot wire would be quite different if it were (nominally) 120 volts to ground vs. (nominally) 230 volts to earth.

                      If it were poorly-labeled and/or inconsistently color-coded, (not that that ever happens!) you might stumble onto a high-leg panel that looks just like a split-phase panel. Even if it was reasonable to test a 120-volt circuit by touch, you might be touching a 208-volt-to-ground circuit. That would be at least ∛x more of a tickle than you were expecting; maybe 3x the tickle because both the voltage & current are ∛ greater; maybe even a lot more than 3x if you exceed a dielectric threshold and get an avalanche.

                      And that's not even considering miswired/misused panels or oddballs. I can imagine a 240-volt loadcenter used on 480 for expedience or economy.
                      I've seen a few 60-0-60 panels in audio studios and instrument labs to minimize hum. 120-volt loads supplied by two-pole breakers.


                      "Over the years"? During air-conditioning season, I've seen that much variation in a day.
                      When you write "∛" doesn't that mean cubed root of 3? Multiply that times 120 and you get about 173.

                      How you used it didn't you intend it to mean square root of 3? Multiply that times 120 and you get about 208.
                      I live for today, I'm just a day behind.

                      Comment


                        #26
                        When I first entered the trade, My JW was 69 years old. He had such thick callouses on his fingers, he would lick his first finger and thumb and touch the wires to see if they were hot. We did things differently in 1972! Well, he said, try it. Believe me, at 18, YOU DO NOT HAVE TO LICK YOUR FINGERS! It was the first and last time I did that! Off to get my first Wiggy!

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