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Joined: Oct 2000
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What would you say is the biggest advance in the Trade Safety-wise that has taken place since you started out?


Bill
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For the customer... AFCI's (if they live up to the hype)

For us... I know I'll get hammered for this... but do you know how we checked for live circuits before the volt tics became commonplace? (Yeah I know... don't use 'em to check for live/dead circuits... don't rely on 'em etc...)

We put our finger on ground and lightly touched the wires with our thumb... You get a tingle...it's hot... (Only on 120V, however) I saw guys in Wisconsin do this in a hospital not more than two years ago... [Linked Image]

Personally, I like the no-contact approach...


-Virgil
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I would put a good word in here about GFI's & smoke detection
[Linked Image]
I have not been around long enough to witness the inital evolution, only the ongoing additions to the code.

[This message has been edited by sparky (edited 07-28-2001).]

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'66,

I read somewhere that a method like you describe (touching to test for live wires) was actually printed in the American Electrician's Handbook years ago!

(That was probably before they invented Lawyers) [Linked Image]

Has anyone else heard that?
I would love to see the page!

Bill


Bill
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If that's how they tested for live wires, it's a good thing that they were already in a hospital!
What about the wiggy? The VOM? Both have been around a lot longer than I have (which is a lot longer than the tic)
As for the original Q, I'd have to agree that the smoke detector and the GFI are the major lifesavers so far. (Grounding of recps is even before my time).

[This message has been edited by electure (edited 07-28-2001).]

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For my own safety, I'd say it is the availability of lockout devices that will fit most common circuit breakers, followed closely by the non-contact voltage tester.

For my customers safety, I'll go along with the GFI & smoke detector crowd. Kind of hard to beat these two devices, especially since they are now so cheap.


Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example.
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Has anyone else heard that?

I was apprenticed to an individual that called it 'backhanding', claiming (in cajun terminology) that contact of live terminations would result in muscular contraction back towards the 'tester'.

He also told me to keep the other hand in my pocket...

go figure...
[Linked Image]

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Linemen used to do what they called the "Smoke Test" on power lines. Even if they were supposed to be de-energized the proceedure was to quickly brush the line with the back of the hand in a slapping motion. If you touched the line palm side and it was hot the muscle contraction would likely latch you on until well done. Where as a glancing brush with the back of the hand might only get you 3rd degree burns. This technique was taught in safety meetings!

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I've heard that TV repairmen are famous for their one hand in pocket technique. Too many Caps to deal with...

When troubleshooting and more likely to get into a hot wire, I make sure the same hand is grounded (if possible) before touching a live, loose device or wire. I've had one too many low-resistance (wet, sweaty hands) through the heart hits and I don't like it one bit. Hurt for a few days...

I also rest my hand on the side of cabinets while inserting wire into grounding or neutral bars or inserting into CB's. I'd rather it take the short path to ground!

Failing all the above, I completely isolate myself from ground.

Oops! That coherent thing again...


[This message has been edited by sparky66wv (edited 07-28-2001).]


-Virgil
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You are supposed to lick your fingers first!
I never met anyone who actually checked for voltage this way. It was always "a friend of my uncle, neighbor, cousin, etc.". I like GFCIs & AFCIs.


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