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Old 02-16-2013, 03:05 PM   #111
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Not sure it will matter but let's try this...

As can be seen, there is no practical difference in the shock to the person regardless if they are the only load, in series with a large load, or in parallel with a large load. The numbers are rounded for simplicity.

Did not include low draw (high resistance/impedance) loads to illustrate that effect because the (false) assertion is that the larger the load the worse the shock, and we can see that's simply not the case.

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Old 02-16-2013, 05:01 PM   #112
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Originally Posted by dannylerch View Post
No it is not, because if there is no current through the circuit, there is no current through the body. If you become one with the circuit, guess what, those ampers are now running through your body. The intensity of the current is now significantly higher, which rocks your world!

If you tie into an unloaded 120v circuit and you somehow complete the circuit but there is no draw or pull on the circuit because nothing is on it, it'll hurt but your chances of being killed are less than say if your dishwasher and fridge were pulling something. You can dispute this all you want, I tie in all the time with stuff pulling all day, but if I have the opportunity to have less appliances, lights, etc pulling on the circuit I'll make sure they are shut off. You have to understand that in my world, the distribution boxes are outside. In movies we pull from a 1200A generator or 1.5 megawatt generator and our bus bars are outside in the elements on the ground. We cover them in rubber matts and place them on wooden boxes but they get rained on. They are exposed to the elements, your chances of being fried are exponentially higher. When it is raining and we are shooting a movie, guess what, all the electricians on set are wet. Guess what, our resistance makes us prime targets for being great conductors, union linesmen working on powerlines also work in the rain. You may not even know if you are upstream or down stream from the current either.

You have to understand that when I am at work, we have several 18,000w lights on the circuit and much more. It may even be raining. I'm gonna make sure those are off when I tie in because there may be 400+amps on the line when my hands are hooking up camlocks in the rain. If they must stay on, I'll make sure the circuit at my point of the rig is terminated at my point of the rig by breakering down before I tie into my section up stream of the source. If not and I must tie in live, I'm very careful to have my hand only on the one connection, I don't have a knee on the ground, and my other hand is not touching anything else that could ground me. I also make sure that nothing upstream from me is turned on. If my feet are wet I stand on a wooden box. My point being, if you were to make a mistake, which most DIY people who have no experience in the electrical world will ultimately do. They will totally add a breaker or wire with a hand planted on the edge of the box, or the mini fridge next to it, or a hand in a bucket of water, or a knee on the ground. Hell, on a home brew forum they'll probably be three or four deep before they even attempt it.

If some of these guys who have never worked as an electrician but are ****ing around with their breaker boxes in their homes to make cheap beer, shouldn't they take the extra precautions and not get killed? If you can tell me seriously that amperage vs no amperage on a circuit makes no difference, you have no idea what you are talking about.

I understand fully that the principle that "current kills" is essentially correct. It is electric current that burns tissue, freezes muscles, and fibrillates hearts. However, electric current doesn't just occur on its own: there must be voltage available to motivate electrons to flow through a victim. A person's body also presents resistance to current, which must be taken into account. Amperage cannot exist without voltage, and electric shock cannot exist without resistance met.

Taking Ohm's Law for voltage, current, and resistance, and expressing it in terms of current for a given voltage and resistance, we have this equation:

I=E/R

That is elementary. You can't have current without the other. But if you have an accident, which happens, amperage is a factor that can be easily avoided by simply shutting a breaker off. Remove it from the equation. It's one less factor that could result in your premature death. Which is one less thing to worry about regarding SAFETY. SAFETY always trumps everything in the union world of being an electrician. Screw that cowboy ****! I'd much rather be hit with 220v with no amps than 220v with 100amps. Just saying as, I've actually been hit by a 220 run before with a significant amount of amperage. Enough to blow me back 10 feet, make my life flash before my eyes, burn a hole through my left hand, and left foot, and almost made me piss my pants. The final result was 3 days in the hospital and a skin graft. What sucks even more, it was out of my hands. The 4/ot gauge cable had frayed and bad shielding which resulted in my my very near premature death. I've also been hit with a 220v neon light(it was an open ballast that acquired some moisture) which shook me up but I continued work. It didn't burn me and I didn't almost pee my pants, it didn't throw me 10 feet against a wall knocking me unconscious.

You can take chances all you want, but you don't know who hooked up your breaker box. You don't know if there is a frayed wire, a pipe leaking somewhere in the house on the circuit, a moist piece of rotten wood that is grounding out a hot frayed wire, or any other messed up variable that is out of your control. There are so many variables to the situation that my life isn't worth not tripping a breaker off before I tie in. If you feel like trusting an equation that is your business. As a journeyman Electrician in the film business, I'll advise otherwise.

If they trust me to hang 18,000w lights over Daniel Day Lewis's head, I'd trust that I know what I'm talking about. Yes that is right, I worked on Spielberg's Lincoln last year, it is nominated for 12 academy awards. I hate no name drop but you've left me with no choice. I doubt that they'd trust me to do my job if I did not know what I was talking about.

Here is my online resume if you don't believe me.
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm3016550/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1

In the meantime people, be safe, think smart, don't make yourself one with power. If you are scared, hire a professional. I've wasted enough time on this thread, trying to prevent people from getting unnecessarily hurt. If you want to be a cowboy and take a risk, go ahead. But there is more than enough power in your main breakerbox in your home to kill you. If your life isn't that important to you and you have no idea what you are doing, trust the guys advice above me who have yet to say what their credentials are, go ahead! **** the ampers on you circuit, it'll make no difference according to these knuckle heads.

I for one would much rather be shocked at 220v with no load than 220v with significant ampers. I've been hit with both. One resulted in a slight sensation and the other blew me back 10 feet. You be the judge, it's your life.
No offense at all, but you really need to research "series and parallel circuits". I do believe you have done electrical work but from your responses and some of your terminology I would use the title "electrician" loosely, maybe lighting technician would be more applicable. Again, no offense, seriously.

If you think for a minute how the bus work in a PDC of any type is configured, residential panels included, chances are if you get shocked you will be shocked by a phase that has some load on it regardless of it being a branch circuit or not. Think laterals.

The only way a load on a circuit would affect you if you somehow got into the mix would be if the path was so bad that you actually became a better conductor than the actual wiring, or if you removed a wire that was part of the circuit and got in series with it while the circuit was still energized.

I really have to ask, I've been in the electrical trade for almost 30 years myself, and a licensed journeyman wireman for 25 of those years, I've worked large industrial projects in sawmills, papermills, steelmills, rod mills and offshore drilling and production platforms. I have NEVER seen a temporary power distribution system consist of open/exposed bus work supported on wooden boxes on the ground out in the elements! Is there even a locked fence around these "structures"? I understand temporary and the ability to quickly hook/unhook and alter circuits but my god, OSHA and electrical inspectors must have a field day on a movie set with these kinds of installations. I'm sure there are exceptions to everything, that just sounds like one of the most unsafe installations imaginable.

I do agree wholeheartedly with you that nobody should monkey around with electrical work that doesnt know what they are doing, the cost of an electrician is much cheaper than rebuilding your house or paying for a funeral.

Again, "series and parallel circuits".
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Old 02-16-2013, 05:41 PM   #113
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Danny, I think you're making an argument that electrons can have momentum. In other words, if current is already flowing, it's going to hit you harder as if it were a moving truck.Can you quote some kind of terminology/phenomena that we can look up in an EE level text book? Voltage is the potential, current is a result. Current doesn't "do" anything.

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Old 02-17-2013, 01:24 PM   #114
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I'm not supporting anything else that has been said, but electrons do have momentum. They have mass and they move. The momentum of an individual electron travelling near the speed of light is miniscule (~ 10^-29 kg m/s, I believe) and even if you were bombarded with 1000 amps for a second that is only about ~10^21 electrons which would possess a total momentum of ~10^-9 kg m/s. Not much at all.

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Old 02-18-2013, 08:26 PM   #115
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Taco are you saying you think you could handle 1000 amps for a brief instant?

I no longer work in the field however I was an electrician at a steel mill for a long time. We worked on everything from 5VDC electronics up to 32KV substations. Our main feeder was significantly higher potential than that but I won't speak with experience as we had other people who worked out there. Voltage doesn't matter. Momentum doesn't matter. Current is a mathematical function of voltage and resistance. Electrons may have mass and momentum but from the practical standpoint of what you are sticking your paws into, it just doesn't matter.

As to loaded circuits, Danny are you talking about causing arc flashes? In that case a heavily loaded circuit will have a much larger arc flash if you disconnect it from the source than a lightly or unloaded circuit. Maybe that is what you mean? I've been shocked with 480 two different times. Both times felt different but it was more a function of how I made contact and my own physiological resistance due to fatigue and electrolyte status. Remember the flash won't electrocute but it can easily burn you to death... We used to say electricity is like skydiving. Not dangerous but terribly unforgiving of mistakes.

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Old 02-19-2013, 07:28 AM   #116
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Like I said, I wasn't making a comment on anything other than the question "do electrons have momentum?"

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Old 02-19-2013, 02:36 PM   #117
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charlestonsailing, Taco is just stating the fact electrons have momentum. It is basic physics, I learned that in 7th grade, by the time I took my electrical engineering class it was a mute point and didn't matter due to be so minuscule compared to the other forces affecting electrical circuits.

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Old 02-19-2013, 05:19 PM   #118
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cool got ya. Loving that quote in your signature from laughing_gnome btw

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Old 02-19-2013, 07:23 PM   #119
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If I had to choose between a 15 amp circuit with 0 amps of load and a 15 amp circuit with 15 amps of load I personally would choose to grab on to the 15 amp circuit with 15 amps of load....

My reasoning: There is a snowballs chance in HELL that the extra 1/5th of an amp that it takes to kill me will trip the breaker thus de-energizing the dam circuit before I die... Just saying...

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Old 02-19-2013, 07:39 PM   #120
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If I had to choose between a 15 amp circuit with 0 amps of load and a 15 amp circuit with 15 amps of load I personally would choose to grab on to the 15 amp circuit with 15 amps of load....

My reasoning: There is a snowballs chance in HELL that the extra 1/5th of an amp that it takes to kill me will trip the breaker thus de-energizing the dam circuit before I die... Just saying...
Fred, The only way that extra 1/5 A will trip that breaker is if its a GFCI breaker. Non-GFCI breakers are not meant to protect personal. They protect equipment therfor preventing fires.

Also breakers on overload trip within 180 cycles. 3 seconds. You're cooked by then.

If you get between 120 V hot and ground or neutral you will be in parrallel with watever load is on that circuit, period. You will be energized with 120 V and current will flow through your body following the path of least resistance. Any current over 100 mA will kill you.

As a master electrician with over 25 years experience I have seen it all. No matter how you calculate the math, the potential for you to die is real!

In short please be safe when working around any electrical equipment.

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