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#183107 - 12/26/08 05:00 PM Electrical Pranks  
renosteinke  Offline
Cat Servant
Member
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,316
Blue Collar Country
OK, this is probably more of a rant... none of us are likely to be able to directly affect this fad ...

The internet is starting to see a wave of "electrical practical jokes." That is, fools hooking up high voltages to doorknobs, light switches, etc ... for the purpose of giving a surprise shock to the unsespecting. Not to be outdone, the voltages of these games seems to be climbing ... 7.000 ... 10,000 ... etc.

Where this becomes relevant in our forum is not to say 'don't do this.' All of you already know that! Instead, the real risk is ....

These noobs will move on to, later, attempting to do electrical work ... in their homes, dorms, apartments, etc. They will NOT have the proper respect, or knowledge, to do this safely. After all, they will reason, it's "only" 120 volts.

The activities of the ignorant are going to create hazards to the rest of us. Personally, I hope that legal action - even criminal charges - is taken against these pranksters. There's just too much at stake here.


Work Gear for Electricians and the Trades

#183113 - 12/27/08 07:27 AM Re: Electrical Pranks [Re: renosteinke]  
Trumpy  Offline


Member
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 8,223
SI,New Zealand
Hang on a minute John,
I don't see where you equate a one-off prank with doing "electrical work" later in life, we've all done something silly in our youth that we maybe weren't proud of.

Sure, YouTube and sites like that have a lot to answer for, but is it the fact that people can now show any idiotic thing they like these days in front of everyone else these days, where as before hand they would have been ignored like the simpletons that they are.

There was an article here on the Net some time back, when employers are looking for new staff, they go straight to places like Facebook and the like and find out what sort of a person you are and what comments you have made.
Better not link your FB account to any stupid pranks on YouTube, wether you did them or not.

Regardless of the qualifications you hold, even if you played up a bit at University,youngun's be afraid, very afraid! grin

Last edited by Trumpy; 12/27/08 07:41 AM.

#183125 - 12/27/08 02:04 PM Re: Electrical Pranks [Re: Trumpy]  
Theelectrikid  Offline
Member
Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 810
Levittown, PA
Originally Posted by Trumpy
Hang on a minute John,
I don't see where you equate a one-off prank with doing "electrical work" later in life, we've all done something silly in our youth that we maybe weren't proud of.


I think he's saying he's afraid of the possibility of those pranksters doing electrical work in the future, whether it be for a living or just "improving" their homes.


Originally Posted by Trumpy
There was an article here on the Net some time back, when employers are looking for new staff, they go straight to places like Facebook and the like and find out what sort of a person you are and what comments you have made.
Better not link your FB account to any stupid pranks on YouTube, wether you did them or not.

Regardless of the qualifications you hold, even if you played up a bit at University,youngun's be afraid, very afraid! grin


Which is why I have the plainest Myspace of all my friends. (Not that I do that kind of crap online or off, usually I'm the butt of the joke/prank so I don't pass it on!)

Ian A.


Is there anyone on board who knows how to fly a plane?

#183127 - 12/27/08 02:34 PM Re: Electrical Pranks [Re: Theelectrikid]  
renosteinke  Offline
Cat Servant
Member
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,316
Blue Collar Country
I wasn't implying these pranksters would ever have a REAL job doing electrical work.

I have seen - and these pranks are but the latest example - more indications that "electricity" has lost some of the mystery that keep the DIY from attempting things himself.

Anyone dumb enough to wire 10,000 volts to a doorknob (one recent example) isn't above tinkering with their dorm's power in an attempt to get "more power." (Whatever they mean by that).

I am reminded of a recent service call ... near 0F, no heat ... where I found the furnace served by black, red, white, and green wires. In this instance, every wire was 'hot,' except the black - which was the 'neutral.' The disconnect was the last item in line. In other words, the entire thing was wired backwards.

The furnace guy had made some fireworks, AFTER he had opened the disconnect. Lock out, tag out, and it was all still hot. That's what happens when the neutral is switched.

Little things like that are why these pranks alarm me. These fools can't be bothered to learn, let alone follow, "the rules."


#183138 - 12/27/08 09:49 PM Re: Electrical Pranks [Re: renosteinke]  
Steve Miller  Offline
Member
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 325
Loudoun Cty, VA
When I was teaching high school electricity the students had to do a project. One of them wanted to make an electrified toilet seat. Being the open minded person I am I said, sure, go for it. The kid ran hot & neutral under the seat, drilled a hole in each side of the seat an pushed a bare wire thru each. He even put a bit of paint on the wire tip to hide it. Testing was interesting ... he plugged it into a variac (which I controlled) and sat on it in a bathing suit. At about 90v he felt it. What could I do? I gave him an 'A'.


#183139 - 12/27/08 10:39 PM Re: Electrical Pranks [Re: Steve Miller]  
leland  Offline
Member
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 853
Lowell area, Ma. USA
Scotch tape on the tips of a wiggy.
The wuss bag found it and complained.. perp...FIRED!!!
Both licensed guys 15+ yrs in the field, C'mon, check your stuff.
New guys are fun, just wack your pliers on the ladder and....

Last edited by leland; 12/27/08 10:41 PM.

#183160 - 12/28/08 05:29 PM Re: Electrical Pranks [Re: Steve Miller]  
pdh  Offline
Member
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 354
Originally Posted by Steve Miller
When I was teaching high school electricity the students had to do a project. One of them wanted to make an electrified toilet seat. Being the open minded person I am I said, sure, go for it. The kid ran hot & neutral under the seat, drilled a hole in each side of the seat an pushed a bare wire thru each. He even put a bit of paint on the wire tip to hide it. Testing was interesting ... he plugged it into a variac (which I controlled) and sat on it in a bathing suit. At about 90v he felt it. What could I do? I gave him an 'A'.

If electrical SAFETY had been a significant part of the course, you'd have had easy justification to give him an 'F'. But maybe I'd have given him a 'D' if it were wired to trip the bathroom GFCI when someone sits on the seat.


#183161 - 12/28/08 05:39 PM Electrical pranks [Re: leland]  
pdh  Offline
Member
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 354
Here is my prank idea. It doesn't actually involve electricity (so it's actually safe). But it looks like it does, so it could be scary to the victim of the prank.

Take a duplex receptacle that has been damaged in some way other than its front face (e.g. screws bent, etc) and is otherwise waste. Cut the plastic faces off. Sand the faces down to the depth of a duplex plate. Attach (glue) the plate and the two faces to a piece of black construction paper with the faces in the plate holes. Put some double side sticky tape on the back of the paper.

Now just stick the fake outlet up in a bathtub just before the inspector arrives sick

Another variation is to cut the prongs of an old plug short enough to stick into the fake outlet above. Then glue the plug on so it stays. Trim up the wires that come out from the plug so the conductors are exposed. Stick it up where people would see it. sick

Last edited by Trumpy; 12/31/08 09:05 AM. Reason: Change thread title

#183165 - 12/28/08 09:07 PM Electrical pranks [Re: pdh]  
Steve Miller  Offline
Member
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 325
Loudoun Cty, VA
"If electrical SAFETY had been a significant part of the course, you'd have had easy justification to give him an 'F'. But maybe I'd have given him a 'D' if it were wired to trip the bathroom GFCI when someone sits on the seat."
Nah, when you're teaching in an 'inner city' school with kids who are put in your class because (as the administration put it) "they can't do anything else" you have to let your hair down occassionally. They knew about the GFCI rules, safety issues etc. Just to get this kid to see a project thru to the end was an acomplishment. BTW this was about 1998, last I heard of this kid was ~2004 and he was still in the trade and had just received his J-card. I'll bet this was one of the memories that helped him decide to stay in the trade. With respect to this one situation (& kid) I can live with my decision.

Last edited by Trumpy; 12/31/08 09:06 AM. Reason: Change thread title

#183171 - 12/28/08 11:06 PM Re:Electrical Pranks [Re: Steve Miller]  
schenimann  Offline
Member
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 193
Western North Carolina
When I was younger, my dad built an "electric chair" to use with the church youth group. He put wire mesh on a chair. It was 120 that he stepped down through a trans. It was great fun. Guys would lose on purpose just to sit on it and see who could stand it the longest.

Things like that generate excitement in some people. They want to have the knowledge to design and build something with their own hands. Some will use the knowledge for good and others for evil.

I don't do any practical jokes with live power with anybody. We all need to trust each other when one says the power is off, there is no question. We may laugh about it but when you are working you need to be as safe as possible.

Last edited by Trumpy; 12/31/08 09:09 AM. Reason: Change thread title

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