ECN Forum

Surely this can't be true??

Posted By: Trumpy

Surely this can't be true?? - 02/10/13 02:55 AM

I happened upon this on the Net some time ago and I'm beginning to wonder if it is legit:

[Linked Image]

It's a bit worrying though. eek
Posted By: gfretwell

Re: Surely this can't be true?? - 02/10/13 03:01 AM

I'm an old enough geezer to remember this. They said, use the back of your hand so you don't grip it.
Posted By: Trumpy

Re: Surely this can't be true?? - 02/10/13 03:11 AM

Wow, just wow! shocked

I have to ask the question though Greg, what does electricity taste like? grin
Posted By: gfretwell

Re: Surely this can't be true?? - 02/10/13 03:38 AM

Like a copper penny with Tobasco on it
Posted By: Texas_Ranger

Re: Surely this can't be true?? - 02/10/13 02:22 PM

My dad used to test 9V batteries with his tongue! Haven't seen him do that for a while though.

He also used the finger method on 220V house wiring, always making sure not to grip the wires. I also think he only did that when he already considered the wires dead but wanted to make sure.
Posted By: harold endean

Re: Surely this can't be true?? - 02/10/13 05:08 PM

I knew some old timers who did it this way. It used to help if you have very callus hands. You barely felt the current. (Or so I am told) smile I never did it this way. at least on purpose.
Posted By: gfretwell

Re: Surely this can't be true?? - 02/10/13 05:44 PM

I probably tested wires that way when I was real young but by the time I was working I was doing the "should be dead" test with a screwdriver and my safety glasses on. There have been a few times when it wasn't dead. (things like the "main disconnect" breaker wasn't)
Posted By: twh

Re: Surely this can't be true?? - 02/10/13 08:10 PM

Many years ago, an old electrician who worked on ships told me they tested fuses by licking their fingers and running them down the two sides of a row of fuses. The one that tickles is the bad one.

Licking your fingers is less attractive in a barn.
Posted By: gfretwell

Re: Surely this can't be true?? - 02/11/13 02:03 AM

The ships I was on used 440v delta. I don't think you have to lick your fingers. A catchers mask might be handy so you don't punch yourself in the nose.
Posted By: Trumpy

Re: Surely this can't be true?? - 02/11/13 09:57 AM

Originally Posted by gfretwell
The ships I was on used 440v delta. I don't think you have to lick your fingers. A catchers mask might be handy so you don't punch yourself in the nose.


Ha Ha Ha
That is gold! laugh
Posted By: sparky

Re: Surely this can't be true?? - 02/11/13 01:58 PM

pg 66 of my 5th ed 1942 is an almost exact duplicate

i was apprenticed to two older electricians, both passed on now for some time, who taught me the'backhanding' technique

it was known that muscles contract when electrified, so testing for voltage with the back hand would have one's arm contract back at ones self, as opposed to moving forward into something live.


as one of these gents imparted to me " If you slap yourself, it's live!"

~S~
Posted By: sparkyinak

Re: Surely this can't be true?? - 02/13/13 06:04 AM

One of my favorite "old timer" tricks was driving a nail in HV cable to drain the sheided jacket by grounding out the nail. It don't work that well when the wrong circuit is shut off and the breaker that is being worked on is an auto reset type One of my instructors shared that story and to add insult to injury, they were in an underground vault... I still gringe then chuckle
Posted By: harold endean

Re: Surely this can't be true?? - 02/15/13 02:42 PM

When I was a burglar alarm installer, my central office (CO) had a type of alarm system which used 130 volt DC. The CO would send out 130 VDC and it would run through the BA system and the CO would be able to tell if the negative side or the positive side of the alarm was broken. Anyway, when we got to the job site, we would have to get the telco guys to find our "BA" line. One day this guy was looking for our BA line by touching his tongue with a piece of wire and touching the telco terminals. We tried to warn him several times by reminding him that it was a BA line. When he found it, he let out a very loud scream and asked us what was on that line. That was when my partner told him that it was 130 VDC. He never looked for a BA line again that way.
Posted By: gfretwell

Re: Surely this can't be true?? - 02/15/13 02:54 PM

A ringing phone line will light you up too (~100v @ 20 hz) I am surprised he would do that.
Posted By: LEO_304E

Re: Surely this can't be true?? - 02/15/13 06:15 PM

The old timer I worked for in 1974 did that.. laugh laugh
Posted By: sparky

Re: Surely this can't be true?? - 02/15/13 10:37 PM

Originally Posted by gfretwell
A ringing phone line will light you up too (~100v @ 20 hz) I am surprised he would do that.


i found that out the hard way ..... blush

~S~
Posted By: harold endean

Re: Surely this can't be true?? - 02/16/13 05:34 PM

Sparky,

Me too. I was hooking up some phone lines in my house dozen years ago when my wife decided to call home to see how I was doing. After getting zapped, hitting my head and hand trying to back away from the power, I answered the phone. Needless to say, it wasn't a good conversation. She has the knack to call me in the most inopportune times.
Posted By: geoff in UK

Re: Surely this can't be true?? - 02/17/13 08:17 PM

Apparently getting your ears between the uninsulated overhead phone lines commonly used here some years ago could be particulary uncomfortable.
Posted By: twh

Re: Surely this can't be true?? - 02/17/13 11:00 PM

Now that you mention telephones, a psychic dog can tell when a phone is going to ring.

(Blue links don't stand out very well on a blue background)
Posted By: sedesigner1

Re: Surely this can't be true?? - 05/06/13 04:58 PM

I have my Dad's 1953 NEC and couldn't find anything on this, but I do remember for checking spark on 60's vintage cars by pulling the wires off while the engine was running. I got knocked on my can once working on a school bus motor trying something similar!
Greg
Posted By: HotLine1

Re: Surely this can't be true?? - 05/06/13 07:10 PM

Don't try sticking your arm into a neon sign box....unless you know the circuit is locked off!!!
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