Lost a good pair of dikes yesterday

Jraef

Moderator
Staff member
Location
San Francisco Bay Area, CA, USA
Occupation
Electrical Engineer
I don't do residential any more, but I helped my daughter and her husband buy a house that needs some electrical work, so I volunteered. It's been too long I guess, I lost track of my sequencing and forgot to kill a breaker before continuing on with the next task. Cut off an extra long piece of 14-2 and BAM! I cut a live circuit. Haven't done that for 40 years! In fact the pair of Klein dikes that I ruined were the ones I bought after the last time I did that, circa 1978...

The good news was that I was wearing goggles. The arc sprayed little bits of metal (from the dikes or the wire or both) all over the lenses; that would have been my eyes! There's no such thing as being too safe...
 

mopowr steve

Senior Member
Location
NW Ohio
Whenever I see a rotating molten ball of copper that’s been spewed from an arc such as you’ve described I can’t help but to think about the Big Bang and what started it all.

I find it interesting how it becomes a perfect sphere rotating across a floor.
 

Coppersmith

Senior Member
Location
Tampa, FL, USA
The last time that happened to me I was working for the Man. The Man and his client were walking by me when it happened and I very loudly yelled an expletive. They stopped momentarily, looked in my direction, and then carried on. Blew up a nice pair of lineman pliers.
 

mike7330

Senior Member
Location
North America
I agree "I hate when that happens"

I agree "I hate when that happens"

I must use my pen a thousand times a day .
Second nature now.
Lot cheaper the $75 side cutters

Glad you weren't hurt!!!
 

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MAC702

Senior Member
Location
Clark County, NV
Funny how that last post is brought up just now. I just got home from a job where my Fluke 1AC failed me. You know how you are supposed to test it on a known live circuit before every time you really need it? Do you ALWAYS do that? I know I always used to. Then there are times where you are in an attic and there are no known lives near you, so you just trust it. I've also learn to simulate a live circuit (don't know how reliable it is but...) by rubbing the tester along my arm and it chirps just like being along a live conductor. Over the years complacency happens, and you just trust it more and more.

So today I'm standing in a kitchen and am going to use my 1AC as an audible on a cable powering the lights because the circuit breaker is around the corner and I won't see the lights go off but can hear the detector. I put my detector against the cable, and NOTHING. But I'm standing there with the lights on so I KNOW it's hot! I immediately go to the truck and grab the identical 1AC out of the back-up toolbag (how often have you left your tools on a job?) and it works fine, and LESSON LEARNED!

So, it's hopefully just a dying battery or something. Now to see if I can figure out how to get to it.
 
The last time that happened to me I was working for the Man. The Man and his client were walking by me when it happened and I very loudly yelled an expletive. They stopped momentarily, looked in my direction, and then carried on. Blew up a nice pair of lineman pliers.
As a first year apprentice, I had electro-notched my brand new pair of Klien linesman's. A few days later, we went on break and I put my Kliens on the table where there were about 6 other electricians. I was told to never put my linesman's on the table because all the electricians used the same kind and sometimes it gets awkward trying to figure out who's are who's. I replied that it was not problem, because mine had a hole burnt in the cutter. I no more than said that and everyone at the table took their's out of their pocket and said, "Like this?"

Everyone at the table had 'customized' linesman's just like mine.
 

gadfly56

Senior Member
Location
New Jersey
Occupation
Professional Engineer, Fire & Life Safety
As a first year apprentice, I had electro-notched my brand new pair of Klien linesman's. A few days later, we went on break and I put my Kliens on the table where there were about 6 other electricians. I was told to never put my linesman's on the table because all the electricians used the same kind and sometimes it gets awkward trying to figure out who's are who's. I replied that it was not problem, because mine had a hole burnt in the cutter. I no more than said that and everyone at the table took their's out of their pocket and said, "Like this?"

Everyone at the table had 'customized' linesman's just like mine.
I "notched" an Uncle Henry Bear Paw lock-back doing some work on my '69 Dodge Dart a few decades ago. It was still usable, but also an object lesson.
 

rambojoe

Senior Member
Location
phoenix az
I don't do residential any more, but I helped my daughter and her husband buy a house that needs some electrical work, so I volunteered. It's been too long I guess, I lost track of my sequencing and forgot to kill a breaker before continuing on with the next task. Cut off an extra long piece of 14-2 and BAM! I cut a live circuit. Haven't done that for 40 years! In fact the pair of Klein dikes that I ruined were the ones I bought after the last time I did that, circa 1978...

The good news was that I was wearing goggles. The arc sprayed little bits of metal (from the dikes or the wire or both) all over the lenses; that would have been my eyes! There's no such thing as being too safe...
careful man, volts kill! (just kidding) we had a safety meeting right before Christmas a few years back and the topic included statistics about doing work around the house. It was said that these home projects like hanging lights or the such can be dangerous because since we are not at work (and may be enjoying a top shelf adult beverage), we may not be as safety conscious..

I still have my blue handle dykes (diagonal cutting pliers in the catalog, if I remember) I bought my very first day in the trade, in San Fran! it was either white cap in south SF or a small supply house at Valencia @ duboce? cant remember... and what did I do the first week? stuck a 4' piece of emt into a live panel- while turning around in those god forsaken service corridors... I then took back up smoking...
 

rambojoe

Senior Member
Location
phoenix az
There are a lot of statistics collected about workplace deaths & injuries.
It would be nice to see someone compile statistics about non-events like this where using PPE prevented an injury.
I just about lost an eye when my safety glasses (with a bungee style retainer) snagged on something while climbing a ladder, sending the ear holder right in my eye... stupid stupid. also sad but true is driving home, window down and that bit of metal stuck in your eyebrow falls in your eye. on the freeway at 70mph. I do not let that happen anymore... wipe off your hair and face!!

edit- the retainers are mostly "break away" now, just for me! oh the irony...
 

grich

Senior Member
I "notched" an Uncle Henry Bear Paw lock-back doing some work on my '69 Dodge Dart a few decades ago. It was still usable, but also an object lesson.
One of my buddies used to own a Geo Metro with a curious notch burned into the front fender. I wish I could have seen the battery wrench that helped burn that notch into the fender. :D
 

Besoeker3

Senior Member
Location
UK
I don't do residential any more, but I helped my daughter and her husband buy a house that needs some electrical work, so I volunteered. It's been too long I guess, I lost track of my sequencing and forgot to kill a breaker before continuing on with the next task. Cut off an extra long piece of 14-2 and BAM! I cut a live circuit. Haven't done that for 40 years! In fact the pair of Klein dikes that I ruined were the ones I bought after the last time I did that, circa 1978...

The good news was that I was wearing goggles. The arc sprayed little bits of metal (from the dikes or the wire or both) all over the lenses; that would have been my eyes! There's no such thing as being too safe...
That would be a good one for the language differences thread close by a moderator for no good reason.
 
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