Jump to content

this could have went real bad


Recommended Posts

From now on I'm going to sweep the top of the panel for loose objects before removing the panel cover. I don't remember being told I should be doing it but I sure as heck will be now.

As I removed screws and the gap at the top of the panel opened I heard a ca chink sound. Sure enough, a metal rod that was on the top of the panel enclosure fell in. It was a close call. I flung it out of there with a piece of quarter round trim.

Download Attachment: icon_photo.gif P1360726.JPG

1593.73 KB

Link to post
Share on other sites

A close call? That's an understatement! I would have been shittin' bricks.

I just added a new procedure to my panel inspection routine.

Well, the second I heard the ca chink, I became very concerned. At that point, both my hands were on the panel. I slowly pulled it away from the enclosure. I guess it wasn't my day for fireworks.

If the insulation on the SEC conductor would have been stripped a bit farther, things would have lit up. However, if you look at the design of the insulation guards, you can see how they performed as designed and prevented the short.

Link to post
Share on other sites

WOW! I'm just starting up, but will be buying a face mask and rubber gloves for panel inspections. As an former industrial electricians, seeing a plasma ball jump out of a 3 phase panel was scary.

Was that a medium voltage explosion you witnessed? Or 480/600 ?

Marc

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a friend who had an up close and personal experience with one last year. He's lucky to be around to talk about it. Spent two months in a burn unit. He'll never be the same.

I want to know what John did next? You didn't just close the panel back up, right? You didn't just walk away and leave it like that before someone took action, right?

Link to post
Share on other sites

I want to know what John did next? You didn't just close the panel back up, right? You didn't just walk away and leave it like that before someone took action, right?

From his first post

"I flung it out of there with a piece of quarter round trim."

Link to post
Share on other sites

480. I was starting out at the time and it scared me into wearing a cotton over shirt, gloves and face shield while working on hot circuits. Great learning experience, and looked kinda cool. No one got hurt so it was ok.

Years ago, I was an electrician in a plant making forged pipe fittings. We had a motor-generator that ran on 480V 3 phase with about a 300 amp fuse, 1,000 amp feeder breaker. Very heavy rotor, took nearly a minute to come up to speed. A starter transformer kicks in first for 20 seconds or so before full voltage is applied to the motor. One day, the controls went wrong and applied full voltage right from the start. This was before I regained my hearing. I felt it in the slab beneath my feet, 2 or 300 hundred feet away in an office. The two steel doors to the 5' wide by 6' tall starter cabinet were blown off and the electric utility called within the minute. It had shown up on their monitors.

Marc

Link to post
Share on other sites

I want to know what John did next? You didn't just close the panel back up, right? You didn't just walk away and leave it like that before someone took action, right?

From his first post

"I flung it out of there with a piece of quarter round trim."

Sorry, didn't see that.

HE DID WHAT?!!!!!!

Link to post
Share on other sites

I want to know what John did next? You didn't just close the panel back up, right? You didn't just walk away and leave it like that before someone took action, right?

From his first post

"I flung it out of there with a piece of quarter round trim."

Sorry, didn't see that.

HE DID WHAT?!!!!!!

In hindsight there was something I should have done but failed to. I should have asked the client to leave the area before clearing the object.

I didn't waste much time with it. I looked at it for about 10 seconds and figured an upward and slightly outward flip would work. Fortunately, it did.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Man, you got lucky the first time. What if?

Probably would have vaporized considerable metal from the enclosure, rod, lug and conductor. That utility fuse is big and it's a super-lag.

John could have been blinded, at least temporarily.

Marc

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been amusing myself by watching the Slo Mo Guys on Youtube, in which Gav & Dave shoot the world around them with super high speed cameras. The videos are fun and fascinating, but one of the most interesting things they demonstrate is how slowly the human body reacts to stuff that's happening around it.

I think that a lot of us figure that if something goes wrong in an electrical panel, we could raise our arms, close our eyes, or otherwise protect ourselves. After watching these videos, you realize that we really just sit there like the faces on Mt. Rushmore while the event unfolds. We don't even realize that anything has happened until it's over.

Check out the videos and then go buy some really cool-looking safety glasses. (You're more likely to use them if they look cool. . . )

Link to post
Share on other sites

I want to know what John did next? You didn't just close the panel back up, right? You didn't just walk away and leave it like that before someone took action, right?

From his first post

"I flung it out of there with a piece of quarter round trim."

Sorry, didn't see that.

HE DID WHAT?!!!!!!

In hindsight there was something I should have done but failed to. I should have asked the client to leave the area before clearing the object.

I didn't waste much time with it. I looked at it for about 10 seconds and figured an upward and slightly outward flip would work. Fortunately, it did.

What you really should have done is to have gone outside and pulled the meter before messing with it. Also the only remedy if it had made contact, something to have mentally imprinted so when it happens, you don't stand there trying to figure out which way to go.

The glasses are great for protection from the hot flying metal but unless they are welders glasses they aren't going to protect you from the brighter than the Sun flash.

My dad having built half of the generators in the assorted power plants of this and several other countries in his 40 years at General Electric, came home many times from the hospital instead of the job site. Besides the scrub down event when he was working at the Nuclear plant, the one that imprinted on me the most when I was a kid was when he pulled up as a passenger in his own car, bandages over both eyes and flash burns on his face. Took five days to get his sight back. I heard the idiot that didn't quite understand the "wait till I tell you to... and throw this switch" was still sore a month after that.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...