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Shocking Pipes

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  • Shocking Pipes

    Have you experienced electric shock on plumbing calls?

    Yes I have many times. Trying to do better about looking for it. Just get in a hurry sometimes and not thinking about it. But other times, things just align themselves and you get bit anyway.

    Example: I was working on an electric water heater in the ceiling. Commercial, typical setup here in a suspended ceiling. Turned off the breaker labeled water heater. Check power with meter as well. All good.

    Accidentally touched the two poles and ZZzzzzlllt!!! Knocked me off the ladder. WTH???

    Someone labeled the breaker WRONG and my meter went on the fritz the same day.

    Many other times. Could be biding my time 'til one gets me. Be safe.


  • #2
    Re: Shocking Pipes

    ALWAYS pull the top cover of electric W/Hs and test with an electrical tester before doing anything. I got a surprise shock a few months ago. Replacing a sump pump, stuck my hand in the sump full of water without unplugging the sump pump. First time it's ever happened but something made that water alive and it scared the crap out of me. BE CAREFUL, SLOW DOWN, and THINK. This is some serious stuff, thanks for the reminder.


    • #3
      Re: Shocking Pipes

      I always try to remember to test the heater with a not contacting voltage tester after I turned off the breaker. Breakers are miss labeled all the time.

      “Wealth is the product of man's capacity to think.”— Francisco d'Anconia
      Atlas Shrugged (Part 2, Chapter 2, Page 411)


      • #4
        Re: Shocking Pipes

        with all my shocking toys and even the game operation, i will work on lots of stuff that's still hot. especially when the panel is not labeled or not accessible like in a complex.

        pretty simple to keep 3 wires separate.

        how many of us work on gas to swap a valve or install a cap without shutting off the main. probably all of us that have worked in plumbing for years.

        as long as you're careful and disconnect 1 leg at a time and not ground it then wire nut it closed. do the second one like the first.

        for those that don't have the steady hands, knowledge or the heart, then shut it all off.

        for me, electrical is a close second to plumbing.

        worst shock was the time i had to hydro test a fire standpipe. rented the gas pump and in the old days they had a little spring loaded grounding tab to short out the spark plug. of course the pump comes up to pressure and the tab was missing. grabbed the plug wire while the engine was running full speed and got a good jolt for a couple seconds while the engine was still revving.

        so for me, i can do it,

        for you

        phoebe it is


        • #5
          Re: Shocking Pipes

          Years ago i was trying to look up on a flat roof for the vent pipe to find a sewer

          i stood up on the air cond, put one foot on top of a electric box and grabbed a gas line to get a good look and was stuck to it

          I couldnt let go but i was able to get my legs up and push my hands of the pipe

          I guess all the years putting quarters in the shock machine at the arcade got my tolerance up