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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Electric Brewing > So who's worked in their main electrical panel?
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Old 02-10-2013, 04:49 AM   #61
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I've always wondered that, say you have a hot 120 or 240 line with no load on it, and you grab the hot and neutral. How bad will you get shocked since there's no load?
You're going to get nailed just as hard (or harder) without a load on the circuit.

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Also, in theory, you can grab the hot *as long as your not grounded* right? Just curious.
It's not theory. It's true. There has to be a complete circuit for current to flow. That said, it's a dangerous, perhaps deadly, game to play if you don't know what you're doing. A path to ground can present itself in unexpected ways and then maybe you're toast.
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Old 02-10-2013, 07:40 PM   #62
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You're going to get nailed just as hard (or harder) without a load on the circuit.



It's not theory. It's true. There has to be a complete circuit for current to flow. That said, it's a dangerous, perhaps deadly, game to play if you don't know what you're doing. A path to ground can present itself in unexpected ways and then maybe you're toast.
You're right. Its simple really. When you touch two leads you complete the circuit. Just Dont do it. This is why I separate bus bars with dividers when adding breakers or tie ins. I disagree about getting hit harder if there is no load. Voltage is voltage, it stays relatively consistent and only drops as you add a load. The load is what kills you. It only takes .7 mili amps to stop your heart. Its because voltage typically flows at 60hz. The human heart beats roughly the same. This is one factor why humans make such good conductors. As a journeyman I can tell you that if you touch a 220 circuit without a load as opposed to one with 100 amps on it, the one with 100amps will kick your ass way worse.

So pop quiz everyone, what is more dangerous? 10,000 volts at .01 mili amps, or 110 volts at 30 amps?
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Old 02-10-2013, 08:29 PM   #63
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Its because voltage typically flows at 60hz. The human heart beats roughly the same.
Err, a human heart does not beat 60 times/second.

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Old 02-10-2013, 08:41 PM   #64
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I can tell you that if you touch a 220 circuit without a load as opposed to one with 100 amps on it, the one with 100amps will kick your ass way worse.
Why would touching loaded circuit hurt you worse?

Typically the voltage on a loaded circuit will be slightly less, although not significantly so if the circuit is sized properly.
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Old 02-10-2013, 08:57 PM   #65
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Err, a human heart does not beat 60 times/second.

Kal
Correct, I was wrong about the beats. Its the micro electronic system of the heart that is very similar. IE electrolytes. I've had a few too many home brews today.
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Old 02-10-2013, 10:04 PM   #66
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Holy crap this thread is full of bad info.

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Old 02-10-2013, 10:11 PM   #67
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Why would touching loaded circuit hurt you worse?

Typically the voltage on a loaded circuit will be slightly less, although not significantly so if the circuit is sized properly.

Because higher amperage means the intensity of the current is higher. It is common knowledge.

Here is a simple way to see for yourself. Take a lamp, switch it to off. Plug it in to a 20 amp circuit. See, there is a passive patch into a hot circuit. Now un plug it and plug it back in to the circuit but make sure the lamp is turned on. You should see a small arc. Now you can see how much more volatile current is with a load. Now try to imagine that traveling through one arm, through your heart and lungs, and out through the other hand. That small arc is just a light bulb. Now imagine patching into a breaker box with your fridge, dish washer, washing machine, hair dryer, house lights, etc pulling a load. You definitely Dont want that because all that amperage runs through that box in your house. Make sense now?
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Old 02-11-2013, 01:46 AM   #68
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No, it still doesn't make sense.

If I go touch one of the main lugs in my breaker panel and complete a path to ground I'm going to get the same shock, within a couple volts, regardless if there is zero electric load in my house at the time or if my 18kW of electric heat is on.

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Old 02-11-2013, 02:12 AM   #69
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I hear the "its not voltage that kills, its amps!" line a lot, and while it is true most people seem to mis-interpert it.

6-10mA through your heart can kill, however you need significant voltage to produce 6-10mA across your heart. So there are many factors involved, including the path the current may take through your body. Grab both terminals of a AAA battery, did you survive? Surely a AAA battery can supply more then 10mA. So unless your dealing with circuits fused at 6mA, its the voltage that is going to detail the risk.

An unloaded circuit is capable of just as much damage as a loaded one, although loaded ones can become more dangerous when connecting/disconnecting. The only real difference is when you break the connection the arcing that will occur, if you touch both leads the damage will be the same.

EDIT: I said 6-10mA because it is mentioned the most, most studies have found this to be much higher though (50-100mA).

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Old 02-11-2013, 02:26 AM   #70
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preferably an electrician who is in a union. Because if they aren't union, they are probably a hack.
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+1
As a union electrician. I've gone in after many "rats" throw stuff together and have to fix a lot of stuff.

So what do you union guys say about this?

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As a journeyman I can tell you that if you touch a 220 circuit without a load as opposed to one with 100 amps on it, the one with 100amps will kick your ass way worse.
Union or not, means nothing. There are plenty of union guys out there that know pretty much nothing. As well as there are plenty of non-union guys out there that know just as much as a union guy.

What you should have said to the OP was "Hire an electrician that knows what he is doing."
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