http://customwire.ap.org/dynamic/stories/P/PASTOR_ELECTROCUTED?SITE=FLTAM&SECTION=US&TEMPLATE ÞFAULT&CTIME 05-10-31-00-42-41
Oct 31, 12:42 AM EST
Texas Pastor Electrocuted During Baptism
WACO, Texas (AP) -- A pastor performing a baptism was electrocuted
inside his church Sunday morning after adjusting a nearby microphone
while standing in water, a church employee said.
The Rev. Kyle Lake, 33, was stepping into the baptistery as he reached
out for the microphone, which produced an electric shock, said
University Baptist Church community pastor Ben Dudley.
Water in a baptistery usually reaches above the waist, said Byron
Weathersbee, interim university chaplain at Baylor University.
Lake was pronounced dead at Hillcrest Baptist Medical Center, nursing
supervisor Pat Mahl said...
TO PROTECT AGAINST ELECTRICAL HAZARDS, DO NOT IMMERSE OBJECT IN WATER.
A GFCI would not necessarily protect against a short internal to the
equipment not involving the mains AC supply. I sure would like to see the
failure analysis report on the defective equipment (apparently they had used
the mic before in that way). The output to a PA system can easily be 70V
varying AC frequency and several amps depending on the wattage. A short
from the output or an internal HV DC source to the mic preamp could kill
without tripping a GFCI. It may have been as simple as a shorted decoupling
I think a wireless microphone is much more appropriate for anybody doing
this kind of thing.
On 11/01/05 08:09 pm PipeDown tossed the following ingredients into the
ever-growing pot of cybersoup:
I've read that people who don't understand completely what they are
doing will often disconnect the ground wire or cut the ground pins off
the plugs on some or all of their sound equipment in an effort to reduce
or eliminate hum caused by ground loops.
This story shows why this is *not* a good idea.
But, yes, wireless mikes definitely have an advantage in situations like
Imagine the poor woman who was about to step into the pool with him
when this happened. If she had doubts about her religious conversion
I'm sure that they evaporated in a flash.
God is looking out for that lady<g>. I hope she bought a lottery
ticket on Sunday; with her luck it is a guaranteed winner.
On Tue, 01 Nov 2005 18:05:41 -0600, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
Doesn't sound right. The juice to drive a microphone is in the low DC
voltage value and runs on milliamps. Its even weaker than the current
that drives the big speakers. Water or no water I have never come
across anyone being zapped by a frayed microphone wire let alone
suffer injury by one.
On Wed 02 Nov 2005 05:29:38a, PaPaPeng wrote in alt.home.repair:
Depends on the system. PA systems often run both speaker and microphone
circuits on voltages that could be high enough to do this, given water and
ground. I can remember being shocked by a PA mike that was improperly
Wayne Boatwright *¿*
(Wayne Boatwright) writes:
| Depends on the system. PA systems often run both speaker and microphone
| circuits on voltages that could be high enough to do this, given water and
| ground. I can remember being shocked by a PA mike that was improperly
I got a nasty shock from the mike ground connection on an old PA system that
I had borrowed from a different lab. Turned out that the chassis (and mike
ground) were connected to one side of the line and somebody had replaced the
power plug with a non-polarized version. The poeple I borrowed it from knew
this and had some marking so they plugged it in the "right" way (if you can
ever consider having the mike ground connected to the local neutral "right")
but they forgot to mention any of that to me...
When I was about 12, in 1959, I think I was trying to get more sound
from a crystal radio. Or maybe more frequencies. This would only
pick up one station. Or maybe I was just trying to improve the tv
picture, but I connected something to the tv antenna, and another wire
from the same thing to the metal grill of a heating vent. I got
quite a shock.
Everything I've learned since then says that the potential on a tv
antenna ought to be minuscule, picovolts or something, but it sure
We also had a table radio which we set on a small metal table. There
may have been a chip in the case at the rear of the radio, and when
the radio moved to the side and one leg went off the table, the metal
chassis touched the metal shelf, and when I touched the decorative
metal cap of the leg that extended above the top shelf, I got a little
electric buzz. There were no polarized plugs then, and it was also
fine to have the metal chassis of a radio completely uncovered on the
bottom. Even then it shouldn't have given a shock, but maybe a
condensor between the cord and the chassis had shorted. ??? Or
transmitted enough to give me that buzz.
BTW, if I understand correctly, I was electrocuted on both those
occasions, even if I wasn't killed.
Remove NOPSAM to email me. Please let
me know if you have posted also.
On Wed, 02 Nov 2005 21:56:53 GMT, email@example.com (Doug Miller)
Be sure to emphasize "not".
That appears to be the case. In fact the word seems to be combination
of electicity and execute, making the point even more clearly. I'm
going to try to remember where I got my idea.
It's worth commenting that a court or prison system can execute any
sentence, but somehow it became synonymous with executing a death
sentence. (That's not what accounts for my apparent mistake regarding
Remove NOPSAM to email me. Please let
me know if you have posted also.
As others have mentioned, PA systems are different than consumer-grade
stuff. 70 volt audio lines etc.
In order for this to happen, tho, it probably required both a frayed
cord and a defect inside the amplifier.
While it isn't very common, over the years I've heard of about
half a dozen people getting killed by microphones. Usually in
the UK, with their higher mains voltages means that you have less
chance of survival (with some sort of line-microphone cord short).
If I recall correctly, some fairly famous rock vocalist was killed
on stage this way.
Chris Lewis, Una confibula non set est
It's not just anyone who gets a Starship Cruiser class named after them.
A source close to the scene indicated that this particular mic was on
48V phantom power and may have fallen into the font and then been
grabbed by the pastor. That'd certainly be enough to have this happen
considering as little as 100mA for 2sec is enough to fibrillate your
"70V audio lines" are typically only for commercial PA applications
with speaker distribution systems (e.g. installed musak in a store),
and wouldn't be involved here, as we're on the input side of the PA.
However, phantom power, a DC standard of 48V for biasing electret
condenser mic capsules, is extremely likely to be present on the
3-conductor XLR cables that are used with PA systems. If there is any
current limiting in their design, it's in excess of an amp iirc.
Electrocutions and shock hazards have been around since the very early
days of sound systems. The old amplifier designs were more likely to
present a hazard, but anything connected to directly to the power
mains with a hardwire cable can also present a hazard. The hazard is
greatly increased if water is involved. Broadcasters have known this
A conventional wired microphone has either 2 or 3 conductors, one of
which is always supposed to be grounded to minimize noise pickup from
stray electromagnetic fields. If there is a fault in the amp or the
power supply wiring, it is quite easy to have the microphone ground
become a live AC mains "Hot Wire". Apparently this is what happened
to the preacher and the current passed through his body into the water
which was at or near ground potential.
As has been said before, an inexpensive RF mic is the way to go in
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