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#39605 - 06/26/04 05:31 PM Don't we scare easy?
John Steinke Offline
Registered: 04/03/01
Posts: 509
Loc: Reno,Nv., USA
I recently did some work in a conference room. When I completed the job, I went to the panel to turn the power back on- and was rewarded by a loud "POP." Turn it off, check it out, turn it on, another "POP."
Finally realised that I was hearing the audio feedback when the microphones re-energised!
Work Gear for Electricians and the Trades
#39606 - 06/26/04 06:02 PM Re: Don't we scare easy?
BigJohn Offline
Registered: 03/06/04
Posts: 352
Loc: Boston, MA
I had one like that some years ago. Changed out a receptacle and after I turned the power back on, went to check the voltage. I was standing in front of the receptacle and I hear this hissing, sizzling sound. I go and turn the breaker back off, take off the receptacle cover plate, check the connections and the splices to make sure they're tight.

When I turn the power back on, I'm standing in front of the receptacle and I hear the sound again. I squat down and am looking at the energized receptacle to see if I see an arc anywhere, and I notice the sound doesn't seem to be coming from the receptacle at all. It's coming from my boot!

It turns out there was a space under the sole of my boot, when I put weight on my heels, it would compress the space and force air through the crack in the boot-tread, which made a very distinct hissing noise.

#39607 - 06/27/04 03:13 AM Re: Don't we scare easy?
pauluk Offline
Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
Yep, I've had cases where I thought I heard something arcing and it turned out to be something quite harmless.

Also had a couple of times where I thought I actually saw flames coming from a meter and panel area. Turned out to be reflections from a fireplace! Phew!
#39608 - 06/27/04 05:50 AM Re: Don't we scare easy?
Dave55 Offline
Registered: 05/08/04
Posts: 666
Loc: Crystal Lake, Illinois, USA
Sometimes I get a twinge in my hand or arm & think I'm getting a shock..I jerk my hand away & it gets my heart pumping. Who needs coffee?

#39609 - 06/27/04 09:46 AM Re: Don't we scare easy?
Attic Rat Offline
Registered: 12/14/03
Posts: 530
Loc: Bergen Co.,N.J. USA
... Once, in a house,we had to power down the Mains,and when we powered it back up again,the house's burglar alarm siren went off..literally about 2 feet from my ear,..nearly jumped out of my skin on that one, helper almost peed himself laughing!!! had to phone the central station,...what a day!!!
.."if it ain't fixed,don't break a Licensed Electrician"
#39610 - 06/27/04 05:15 PM Re: Don't we scare easy?
mvpmaintman Offline
Registered: 09/15/03
Posts: 113
Loc: Manhattan, Kansas, USA
One of those times that we absolutely had to work on a hot circuit (480v three phase) I didn't notice the intercom speaker. Just as I was about to cut the wire, the bell went off for some reason. I nearly jumped off the skyjack.

Of course evrybody else was rolling on the floor.
#39611 - 06/28/04 08:50 AM Re: Don't we scare easy?
Lostazhell Offline
Registered: 02/21/04
Posts: 1248
Loc: Bakersfield, CA (Originally Or...
Ohhh yeah! Flashback!

I had a call to a childrens daycare center once... Partial power problem (wish I had the cam back then! ) Anyways, the place had an addition put on the back in the 70's adding some AL romex & a new panel, subbing the old panel...
I get there & open up the 2 panels (Zinsco service equiptment & FPE Sub) & read power on all circuits (Now we know better than to think an FPE would trip, right? )
Everytime I go near those panels I'm getting wiffs of "that electrical burning" smell... I put the tone trace on the bad circuit & lo & behold, I find another whole panel! (Square D XO) This panel is ½ sandwiched in the wall where the addition was put on.. the homeowner was told it wasnt in use anymore... Busted the wall out to open the panel & a nice poof of smoke came out & one of the breakers were in full internal meltdown...

I sat the deceased XO on a trash can behind me, replaced it & went to test everything.. Circuits back on... Im inside for about 30-45 mins going over ideas to clean up the panel mess they have (Aiming at 86ing all 3 old boxes & using a 200A 40 space for everything) Anyways, I go back out to button everything up & I start getting that wiff again....
sniffing around the panel, not as strong there... Where's that friggin smell coming from now? I open all panels back up, a couple J boxes... Start going through the AL wiring on the other side of the wall in the addition... about 2 hours of searching & it dawns on me... the stinky XO is on the trash can Ive never had a breaker go out & make an odor THAT strong! I NEVER would've gotten to sleep that night if I hadn't figured that smell out!

#39612 - 06/28/04 09:12 AM Re: Don't we scare easy?
ElectricAL Offline
Registered: 10/10/01
Posts: 615
Loc: Minneapolis, MN USA
Part of my time is spent working with a magazine that produces articles about residential electrical wiring. On occasion, I'll be called in to mock up a photo set for a kitchen or other space so it looks real to the camera.

These sets are total stage prop affairs. . .intended to be destroyed after use, so, there is never a working circuit. The appearance of reality is only as far as the camera sees.

While putting the set together, the photographer will be tweaking his lighting and/or taking shots of finished parts of the set. The lights he uses are photo strobes with very effective xenon flash strobes.

Try as I will I cannot escape the adrenalin rush and convulsive recoil that occurs if I happen to be cutting conductors and the photographer forgets to holler "FLASH!"

Al Hildenbrand

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