Electrocuted from neutral

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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Did you have the neutral disconnected when you touched it? That might explain how there could be enough voltage to feel. If the neutral was grounded, maybe the conductor the other probe touched had voltage.
If the meter registered only momentarily, that sounds like a DC charge. A spike of more than 100VDC might show only a couple of volts on a DMM set for AC or DC.
In the furnace, I suppose the voltage could come from a capacitor charged through a diode. Maybe the source was instead static generated by air flow in the furnace.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Neutrals are live! That's why when you put your ladder near the power line that goes into your meter and touch the bare neutral you die.
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wrote:

the neutral is the TOP wire of the old style 3 wire overhead lines. Put on the top to help dissipate lightning and high voltage if a high voltage line from above breaks and falls on it.
properly grrounded at each service touching a neutral shouldnt kill you, although you might feel a little tickle
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IMO working with neutrals is far more dangerous than working with hot leads. For these reasons:
Hot leads are logical, they terminate at specific devices and they have specific breakers that you can trun off, they are easily identified. To put your body in series with a hot requires that you hold the hot and a neutral or ground, very obvious, breakers are specific also very obvious.
Neutrals on the other hand travel througout the house, they are frequently bundled across multiple live branches. When you undo a neutral bundle in a box and you have shut off the breaker you think is correct. That neutral may still be carrying a load on a different breaker. When you undo the bundle then happen to grab two neutrals you could very easily put your body in series with a load carrier. Instant death if you gripped them hard.
I have gotten more inadvertent shocks and sparks from neutrals than hots over the years by undoing bundles to get in another neutral in the wire cap, then discovering that I opened a live crcuit on a different branch where I did not trip the breaker.
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On Tue, 30 Dec 2008 20:18:27 -0800 (PST), " snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com"

A 1 or 2 volt reading is nothing to be alarmed about and could be due to resistance differences. A good outlet tester (about $20) will make quick work in testing all the outlets in the circuit.
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