I was watching Spike channels's 1000 ways to die.
Some kid hit an overhead line with a sword.
Spike said 240V killed him.
If you hit an overhead line with a sword, the voltage would be 120V
I know it is just TV. Just saying. :)
Unless it was one leg of a three phase and 277 go him. TV, especially the
news is notoriously wrong on so many little facts like that. In our town
thee was a fire and the reporter said "the fire was so hot it melted the
aluminum siding on the building across from it" No it was vinyl siding (I
was there and saw it) and the temperature difference needed is a few hundred
On Sat, 20 Mar 2010 23:22:19 -0400, "Ed Pawlowski"
Which it usually is. 240/277, I think they're pretty close
But i agree that the news makes loads of mistakes, especially tv new.
The few times I've been present at something that was on the news,
they made at least one clear mistake.
As in electrocuted to death in the absence of an underlying health
condition? Having myself received 120V a few times, I'd be interested in
120V feels like the world's biggest, wriggliest worm crawling through you
at about 500 miles per hour. But I'm not dead. I think.
We just got a new electric forklift at work. The guy who installed it said
he'd been shocked once while doing a similar installation, working on a
600V panel. He didn't specifically say, but I'm guessing he took one leg of
the power (200V+?). He said he could not at first let go of the screwdriver
he was using in the panel; his hand muscles clamped down hard on the
screwdriver handle, and it took considerable effort to un-clamp them. The
next day his shoulder felt like it had sand in it when he rotated it, but
that eventually went away.
This article puts deaths caused by 120VAC electrocution at about
12% of the total electrocution deaths: http://tinyurl.com/ye7ghwk
Look almost at the bottom here: http://tinyurl.com/ybtutkj
There is a breakdown of the voltages involved.
The current needed to stop a person's heart is measured in milliamps.
That is why they beat into us as young kids- any time you are working
near or on hot panels. stuff your left hand down the back of your pants.
It improves your odds a little if the current path isn't arm to arm.
Don't know if it actually true, but it SOUNDS plausible. And if nothing
else, the teaching makes you remember to pay attention to what you are
doing, and plan your moves before you make them.
It's not the voltage that kills you, it's the current.
For example, a typical static shock can be thousands of volts, but the
current is so low it's usually nothing more than a quick "ouch" (though
it's still enough to destroy some sensitive electronic circuitry).
I've been shocked by 120V a few times in my life as well. The reason I
lived to tell about it is because there was enough resistance through my
skin, clothing, shoes, carpeting, or whatever to keep the current low
(combined with the reflex jerk that pulled me away from the wire).
Think of a bird sitting on major power transmission line. There may be
thousands of volts in that wire, but the resistance to ground (i.e. the
air) is so high that it can sit there unharmed.
Common 120V household electricity can easily kill you if the resistance to
ground is low enough. i.e. dropping a hairdryer in your bathtub, or
changing a fuse while standing barefoot in a puddle of water.
I seem to remember reading somewhere the lowest voltage causing a
fatality was 40V. But 10mA through the heart will stop it. We have
240V single phase/415V three phase in the UK and also in most of
Europe. However we also have Residual Current Circuit Breakers the
detect more than 30mA leakage to earth and cut off power in less than
Yes, it's the current that kills (if enough of it passes through the
right path), but the voltage creates that current:
I (current) = V (voltage) / R (resistance)
The lower your skin/body resistance (wet skin has much lower
resistance than dry skin) or the higher the voltage, the higher the
Lower voltages often aren't as dangerous for 2 reasons:
1) Whatever your body's resistance, the current is lower
2) The low voltage is often supplied by batteries or transformers
with lower current capacity (high internal resistance) -- if your body
tries to sink a lot of current (low body resistance), the voltage
drops significantly. On the other hand, a car battery can supply
hundreds of amps at 12V, and you could easily electrocute yourself
with one if your body resistance/path is right.
You can get thousands of amps from the mains under fault conditions,
even in the house.
I never heard of anyone killed with a car battery. I did see a seroius
injury when someone shorted out a car battery with a metal wrist watch
strap. He had a serious burn right round his wrist.
Of course not, this is Usenet!
Upon research, I'll retract most of that (especially the "easy" part)
and say that generally, 12V isn't considered enough to break the skin
resistance -- some references say 48V is required for *dry* skin, with
wet skin less but still not enough to kill. I can buy that.
However, almost everything I've read is talking about *touching* the
terminals with your skin in the way -- if you punctured the skin
through to blood/other fluids, you create a much lower resistance path
that I believe could be deadly. Imagine falling on the sharp edges of
the jumper cables, for instance. I can't find reference to specific
instances, but I wouldn't chance it myself...
The bigger risk with a car battery is burns (shorting across a
ring/bracelet and a wrench) or explosion/acid burns.
I've heard stories about burns caused by watch bands, jewelry
and such. It's always someone who heard about the guy
who..................... Harry's is the first eye witness account
I've heard. Mechanics I know don't wear anything metal on their
hands or arms.
I do irrigation wiring. We can run anything under 30 volts (AC
usually) into a panel without going through a disconnecting means.
news:0469b86f-2567-4491-abcd-> I've heard stories about burns
caused by watch bands, jewelry
While not electrical, I stopped wearing my wedding band for
anything more than just "going out," as a very young married man.
During college, I was the building electrician for our highrise
married student housing complex. One day, I'd left the toolbelt
in the roller kart and had left for class. As I was crossing
campus, I spotted a fellow who had been drilling a form with a
5/8" augur bit. He was dancing around and holding his hand. I
ran over and spotted the squirting blood. The bit had caught
under his wedding ring and had entered inside the ring: cutting
off his finger. I helped him wrap the hand in his shirt and my
handkerchief, picked up the finger and ring from the ground and
helped the poor guy over to the infirmary. This was the 60's and
sewing a finger back on wasn't in the cards. When I got back to
our apartment, my wedding ring went into the jewelry box.
Come to think, I saw another accident with a battery. This guy
disconnected a battery from a charger without first turning the
charger off. (ie took the crocodile clips off the battery
terminals). There was an exposion that blew the top off the battery
and showered him with acid. He was wearing spectacles, so he was
fortunate, he didn't get any in his eyes. The electrical spark must
have ignited hydrogen gas. He didn't do that again! Heh! Heh!
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