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#171632 - 12/02/07 11:47 AM Firefighters shocked  
WESTUPLACE  Offline
Member
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 251
Kingwood, TX USA
The power to the house was cut, the firefighters got tangled in AC duct that had fallen. POCO said a poor ground caused stray currents to shock the firefighters.
http://abclocal.go.com/ktrk/story?section=news/local&id=5808452


Work Gear for Electricians and the Trades

#171633 - 12/02/07 11:59 AM Re: Firefighters shocked [Re: WESTUPLACE]  
leland  Offline
Member
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 853
Lowell area, Ma. USA
Lucky indeed. Notice the misconception.. "only about 100 volts". I would think that their turnout gear is the only reason for their luck.


#171635 - 12/02/07 12:16 PM Re: Firefighters shocked [Re: leland]  
Alan Nadon  Offline
Member
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 399
Elkhart, IN. USA
With the breakers off there was either a service disconnect somewhere that wasn't shut off or the service entrance conductors were run inside the house without protection.
There is nothing colder than a house fire in the winter. Even in Texas.


Alan--
If it was easy, anyone could do it.

#171636 - 12/02/07 12:20 PM Re: Firefighters shocked [Re: leland]  
JValdes  Offline
Member
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 301
South Carolina
This is probably a dumb question? But where and how could stray current be present. I would assume that if all the power was cut, how could there be any voltage anywhere other than static charge.
Does it have something to do with the neutral not being switched off?......Thanks John


#171638 - 12/02/07 12:41 PM Re: Firefighters shocked [Re: JValdes]  
gfretwell  Offline


Member
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,124
Estero,Fl,usa
I stopped the flash and looked at the 3R panel under the meter (which was pulled) I suppose they may not have got all the breakers off or one may have hung "closed" but if the power was still there after the meter was pulled I would be up in that attic looking for some bootleg wiring in front of the meter. I did hear a story once of people tapping the SE through a hole in the pipe where it dissappears in the soffit. They pull out a little loop and clamp on a Kupletap.


Greg Fretwell

#171640 - 12/02/07 12:46 PM Re: Firefighters shocked [Re: gfretwell]  
jdevlin  Offline
Member
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 402
welland ontario canada
If a neighbour has an open neutral there could have been current on the ground/neutral. Ask plumbers why many of them carry jumper cables for when working on service laterals.


#171645 - 12/02/07 02:20 PM Re: Firefighters shocked [Re: jdevlin]  
renosteinke  Offline
Cat Servant
Member
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,316
Blue Collar Country
I also smell a rat.

I could not see the actual service drop, but I am also inclined to think "power theft" ... especially with the cost of running air conditioners in Texas!

The rest of the news report is but testimony to the absolute ignorance of the 'talking heads.' Ground wire? Stray voltage? I think not.

The report was also silent as to the cause of the fire. Cooking fire? Cigarette in the couch? Meth lab? Maybe - imagine this - trouble with the bootleg wiring to the HVAC?


#171691 - 12/03/07 12:28 PM Re: Firefighters shocked [Re: renosteinke]  
EV607797  Offline
Member
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 745
Fredericksburg, VA, USA
This reminds me of the episode of "Holmes on Homes" where a renter had turned a house into a marijuana grow house. To hide the electric consumption, they knocked a hole in the basement wall to expose the underground service lateral and tapped into it there for their power. Talk about gutsy.


---Ed---

"But the guy at Home Depot said it would work."

#171744 - 12/04/07 05:40 PM Re: Firefighters shocked [Re: Alan Nadon]  
mxslick  Offline
Member
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 803
Atomic City, ID USA
Bold in folowing quote added by me:

Originally Posted by Alan Nadon
With the breakers off there was either a service disconnect somewhere that wasn't shut off or the service entrance conductors were run inside the house without protection.
There is nothing colder than a house fire in the winter. Even in Texas.


That would be my vote for the best explanation of what happened to cause the firefighter's to get shocked.

Another possibility: If the overhead drop was directly above the roof, and either sagged or fell onto the HVAC unit, that could energize the ductwork.

Reno said:

Quote
<snip> The rest of the news report is but testimony to the absolute ignorance of the 'talking heads.' Ground wire? Stray voltage? I think not. <snip>


Absolutely. Here in earthquake country, we have a lot of expulsion fuses that blow from the lines swaying into each other, etc. and the news reports always claim there were "transformer explosions." If they were right the POCO's here would go bankrupt replacing all those "transformers" after each earthquake. smile

Most of those dolts wouldn't know what a transformer was even if it hit them on the head. smile


Stupid should be painful.

#171760 - 12/04/07 10:42 PM Re: Firefighters shocked [Re: mxslick]  
leland  Offline
Member
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 853
Lowell area, Ma. USA
Perhaps the meter was pulled after the story, and a failed breaker was to blame. Or any of the above.



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