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Black Forest
02-20-2012, 11:04 AM
I don't know why yet but my grinder somehow managed to have the steel frame live with electricity. I am not sure how much I actually got hit with but the grinder is connected to three phases of 220 volts each. I grabbed a hold of the frame and started flopping around like a fish out of water and after what seemed like a year I landed on my butt. My arms feel like I was doing bench presses all day meaning I am quite sore. I suppose I am lucky to have survived. I don't understand why the ground fault breaker didn't trip. Tomorrow I will have the electrician come and check things out.

TGTool
02-20-2012, 11:10 AM
BF, glad it was no worse than that and that you're (mostly) okay.

Did you notice what happened just BEFORE that happened. I hope you'll avoid that in the future. :D

thebigron
02-20-2012, 11:10 AM
Glad to hear you did not get "hung" on the grinder. Sometimes the muscles will contract making an ever tighter path for electricity. Smart to let the experts find the problem. Would'nt be stupid to let them check out your other tools. Good luck.

Black Forest
02-20-2012, 11:21 AM
The main reason I have them coming is I want to know why the ground fault didn't trip. The ground fault on that particular circuit normally trips if you just look in that direction. I was even going to have them change it to a Class C breaker.

DFMiller
02-20-2012, 11:24 AM
BF,
I am glad you survived to write about it.
I wonder if 3 phase is sorta like DC. Does not want to let you go.
Not suggesting any experiments. :D
I am very interested in the fault analysis.
Dave

rock_breaker
02-20-2012, 11:31 AM
Black Forest,

Glad you are able to write about your experience. Stay aware (watch for changes) of your situation for a few days. My nephew bumped his head on one phase of 7200 VAC on a powerline. Two days later he stood up to cross a room and passed out falling to the floor. At that time there was not a lot doctors could do. The nephew is alive and working full time, this happened 30 years ago. No apparent long term after affects.

Having worked around rock crushing equipment my first thougt was there is a break in the ground circut and a short circut in electrical supply. Just one armchair electrician's opinion. Getting a proffesional involved is the best way to go.

Good luck

Ray

Black Forest
02-20-2012, 11:48 AM
I have no idea how much I got hit with exactly. I just know It hurt like hell! I have a headache right now and really sore arms. I looked in the mirror and my biceps look good! Maybe I should do it again tomorrow? New work out plan. Wasn't it Bruce Lee that used to train on an electrifed wall?

Maybe I have super powers now. I am going up to the top floor and jump off and see if I can fly.

Black_Moons
02-20-2012, 11:54 AM
Recommend against seeing if you can fly by jumping off a roof. Anything you can do on a roof, you can likey do from the ground floor. :rolleyes:

rock_breaker: Sounds like it.

Not sure why the GFI did not trip, It should unless you got your 3phase via rotary phase converter (Isolates input and output currents, Needs a GFI *after* the phase converter), VFD's are not isolated (Afaik?) And should still be able to trip a GFI.

Could also be that the grinder was the ground, And it was something else you where touching/standing on/holding is what zaped you.

Something like for example, a frayed power cord that just so happens to be resting against the bare metal framework of a workbench on the frayed part that you are leaning against.

When playing with low current high voltage (<10mA) I once got zaped through a series of stray objects on my desk, I think about 6 or so where involved and had to be touching just so to zap me. Thats when I decided no more playing with HV on a cluttered desk!

RussZHC
02-20-2012, 12:01 PM
Count your blessings it was not worse.

Knew an electrician trying to fix such an unknown problem up on scaffolding and I guess he missed something (never did hear those details), anyway, when I first heard I thought he had fallen but what had happened was the muscle contractions basically split his scapula at the weakest point and it was luck that between the body twitching and his now slumping "dead" weight, the grip was released. He is back working.

oldtiffie
02-20-2012, 12:02 PM
Most earth-leakage detection devices have a "test" feature which should be tested periodically.

http://www.google.com.au/#hl=en&rlz=1W1IRFC_enAU360&sclient=psy-ab&q=earth+leakage+protection&pbx=1&oq=earth+le&aq=1&aqi=g4&aql=&gs_sm=1&gs_upl=0l0l1l3618l0l0l0l0l0l0l0l0ll0l0&rlz=1W1IRFC_enAU360&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.,cf.osb&fp=321c5e1c2d9c0cf7&biw=1920&bih=785

gundog
02-20-2012, 12:07 PM
Sounds like an open service neutral. GFI will not work when the neutral is open, you may have and open neutral or ground and have a short on the hot leg to that neutral or ground connection. I would have someone out now looking at it. It is a free call to your power provider fires can and do get started as well as other appliances being affected. I have repaired many of these working for the power company over the years it could be on your side of the service or it could be on the Power providers side.

Mike

rock_breaker
02-20-2012, 12:18 PM
Good point Oldtiffe !

The only super feeling I got after getting hit by a magneto spark system was super wet pants.

lakeside53
02-20-2012, 12:19 PM
BF -just so everyone in the USA doesn't wander off into the weeds, post some info about your grinder and electrical system.

Was it running from 3 phase or just derriving 220 from three phase (by referencing neutral)?

Is it "double Insulated" or does your plug have a ground lead?

If you have grounded grinder, and the ground is continguous from the grinder case to the plug, then from the plug (or extension cord) to the service ground, then you can't get big shock for the case. Start there... Simple multimeter will work.


As for GFCI... these are supposed to be checked regularly (but who does?). Over the years I've found (literally) armfulls of bad GFCI. Today (USA) they are required to fail open, but until a few years ago, they could (and did) fail closed. "Failure" is not always deterministic though.


Open the grinder and check the winding - I've seen some "shocking" repairs ;)

danlb
02-20-2012, 12:23 PM
Do not touch anything else that is on the same circuit. They may also have live frames if your ground has come loose and become 'hot'.

Dan

Black Forest
02-20-2012, 12:29 PM
My right arm is much more swollen than my left. I was holding my right arm a little while ago and the wife came over and was feeling my right arm in the tricep region. It is the most swollen. Then she felt my left arm and it is not so swollen as the right. She smiles and asks me if I couldn't touch my dick to the frame also! We both had a great laugh over that one.

MichaelP
02-20-2012, 12:37 PM
BF, first of all, I'm glad you're OK.

But the next thing I'd suggest you to do is to check if your sister-in-law has visited your place recently. ;)

dockrat
02-20-2012, 12:44 PM
BF, first of all, I'm glad you're OK.

But the next thing I'd suggest you to do is to check if your sister-in-law has visited your place recently. ;)

tooooo funny but it might be worth looking into lol:D

Weston Bye
02-20-2012, 12:47 PM
Revenge of the windmill gods?

http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net/showthread.php?t=51514&highlight=windmill

alanganes
02-20-2012, 12:49 PM
Wow, scary stuff. Glad to hear you are OK, sore arms not withstanding. I've experienced similar, but less severe shocks, not fun at all.

If you got hit with the power to the grinder, you likely got 220V. Hard to say why the GFI did not trip, but if you somehow got across two of the hot legs it may not see a ground fault as such. Please get a good explanation from your electrician and post it here. Maybe we can all learn something to be on the lookout for.

That "sister-in-law" remark is just brutal!

Black Forest
02-20-2012, 12:50 PM
There is a great joke in the jokes and stories thread about a wife coming home early and thinks she finds her husband in bed with someone.

I read that joke and thought maybe I should invite the SIL and try to play nice!!! He says as he wrings his hands and makes funny face!

Mr Fixit
02-20-2012, 12:59 PM
Black Forest,
Sorry to hear about your situation. When I went through my electrical apprenticship training we had a nurse come and speak about the damage to internal muscles and organs from electrical SHOCK, since you say one arm muscle is swolen DO consider seeing a doctor this can lead to permanent damage so I was told 20yrs ago in the class. Take care of your self and let us know how you make out and what the electrican figures out.

A concerned fellow home hobbiest
Mr. Fixit for the Family :)
Chris

Black Forest
02-20-2012, 01:07 PM
Hey no reason to feel sorry for me. I just got shocked. No big deal. Do you all want me to take a picture with my shirt off? I am really buff right now but only on one side!

Tony
02-20-2012, 01:28 PM
BF this wouldn't happen to be the grinder that got snowed on, would it?
Not trying to be smart, maybe you've got some water in there?

Glad all went well.

Tony

Black Forest
02-20-2012, 01:39 PM
Yes it is Tony.

aboard_epsilon
02-20-2012, 01:51 PM
Yes it is Tony.

oh dear :o

all the best.markj

flylo
02-20-2012, 02:12 PM
I think it was the Square Wheel in the sky getting even with you for bad mouthing the worlds most perfect car,the Volvo Diesel! Glad you OK, at least as OK as before.:D

fixerdave
02-20-2012, 02:18 PM
You don't get a shock from touching something, not at 220 anyway. You get a shock from touching 2 things. So, what else? Where did the power go after it went through you?

David...

P.S. for the smart-a$$ replies: no, I'm not counting static - that's way more than 220v.

justanengineer
02-20-2012, 02:28 PM
Being an American in the land of funny power...would you please give us an overview of the electrical setup before more of the armchair electricians speak up? As in...220/440/???V grinder running directly on 3 phase pole, VFD, rotary etc.

Glad to hear youre ok. If not for the postal service "rules," I would offer to send some Shiner your way to help cure the discomfort.

Tony
02-20-2012, 02:29 PM
the wet ground? thats why his GFCI didn't trip?

wierdscience
02-20-2012, 02:30 PM
My right arm is much more swollen than my left. I was holding my right arm a little while ago and the wife came over and was feeling my right arm in the tricep region. It is the most swollen. Then she felt my left arm and it is not so swollen as the right. She smiles and asks me if I couldn't touch my dick to the frame also! We both had a great laugh over that one.

All joking aside,if you do have swelling or soreness after a bad shock like that you really should go see the doc or to the Emergency room.It's possible you may have some tissue damage,Better safe than sorry IMHO.

The Artful Bodger
02-20-2012, 02:39 PM
If your earth protection device failed to protect you I can only imagine that you somehow got yourself between two phases or between phase and neutral.

I think you should be very critical in your investigations as I suspect you have more than one electrical fault condition.

ikdor
02-20-2012, 02:47 PM
In general the systems on this side of the pond use 3x 230V with respect to neutral (which is connected to the ground rod). So the voltage between the phases is about 400V.
The three phase ground fault circuit breakers are supposed to trigger if any current goes outside of the three phases. The one from BF must have been either malfunctioning or wired incorrectly.

If you manage to get yourself in between two of the phases the circuit breaker won't trip, but that usually requires a bit of effort. Your body parts will act like the fuse in that case.

Igor

Black_Moons
02-20-2012, 02:56 PM
If you manage to get yourself in between two of the phases the circuit breaker won't trip, but that usually requires a bit of effort. Your body parts will act like the fuse in that case.

Igor

At no time will your body parts 'act like a fuse' unless by that you mean 'explodes with a flash and is then dead'

GFI's do indeed detect when current flows outside of the the phases *and* neutral. they work even without a ground and without a neutral. They will even work if you manage to get yourself between that circuit and some other circuit. they detect any slight imbalance in the sumed current of all the wires.

Black Forest: Do you have real 3 phase, and a 3 phase GFI? Or do you have a 1 phase motor running a 3 phase motor to produce 3 phase?

Black Forest
02-20-2012, 03:29 PM
Yep, we have real 3 phase. I had an extenstion cable running to my grinder. The cable was in the snow. I had to connect two cables to get power to where I was using the ginder. Where the two cables plugged together the connection was very wet. Could that have anything to do with anything?

johnhurd
02-20-2012, 03:43 PM
Maybe I have super powers now. I am going up to the top floor and jump off and see if I can fly.

I wanna see pictures\video.....................

aboard_epsilon
02-20-2012, 04:18 PM
problem ..solved maybe

you built youreself a Van de Graaff Generator / belt grinder

that's were your shock came from .

all the besat.markj

Toolguy
02-20-2012, 04:25 PM
Mostly dead is not the same as all dead. Hopefully you will recover without any adverse effects. :o

lakeside53
02-20-2012, 04:40 PM
Yep, we have real 3 phase. I had an extenstion cable running to my grinder. The cable was in the snow. I had to connect two cables to get power to where I was using the ginder. Where the two cables plugged together the connection was very wet. Could that have anything to do with anything?


Obviously the gfci should have tripped if the wet plug was grounding.

Assuming you have a grounded (verses "double insulated") device, wet connection shouldn't cause YOU any problem IF the case ground was intact. Check the continuity of the ground though the extension cords.

John Stevenson
02-20-2012, 04:43 PM
Shouldn't you have posted this in the "Extremely high Electric Bill" thread. ? :rolleyes:

gwilson
02-20-2012, 05:41 PM
WET connections???? I don't know enough about electricity to really know what happened,but do be careful. I never let my lines get wet.

DICKEYBIRD
02-20-2012, 06:24 PM
Shouldn't you have posted this in the "Extremely high Electric Bill" thread. ? :rolleyes:That's pretty funny. You could probably make just as much without getting yer hands dirty being a writer for a TV sitcom.:p Wouldn't have to deal with bloody customers either.

rohart
02-20-2012, 07:09 PM
I have an image going through my head of this electric problem reoccuring while BF is taking a photo of all his girlfriends draped over his machinery. He'd need a movie camera for that !

You weren't standing in a bucket of water with the lederhosen on again, were you ?

Please be more careful with wet 3-phase. And google internal tissue damage if you've got swollen muscles. It could start hurting.

taydin
02-20-2012, 07:25 PM
I get zapped with 220V every now and then, touching the live wire with one hand. Depending on the ground path at that point, I either don't feel it, or it tingles slightly or I get shaken. Your symptoms sound much more severe, so I am suspecting it is one of the live wires of a 380V three phase service that zapped you.

Many GFI's have a current rating that it too high to protect a person. For example, if your GFI is a 30mA device and 20mA is flowing through your body, the GFI won't interrupt, but that current can kill you...

J Tiers
02-20-2012, 08:57 PM
A GFCI only trips if the current on all the normally conducting wires does not add up to zero.......

That means 1 amp in on this wire, and 1 amp out on that. If it cone up short, 1.000 amp in , and only 0.995 coming back (in the US) then it is supposed to trip.

if you get "across" the voltage, then it will not trip, because you look like a normal load.

So if the GFCI didn't trip, then you didn't contact to earth, but got across the mains. Either that or the GFCI is no good, OR it is a high setting type.... equipment protector type, set between 30 and 100 milliampere, usually. That will kick you into next week, and not trip the GFCI

Grind Hard
02-20-2012, 09:19 PM
No electrical advice BUT I am going to repeat the advice to visit the medical professionals. If for no other reason, we'll stop nagging when you do! :D

sasquatch
02-20-2012, 09:22 PM
Just be thankfull you weren't taking a pee against it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:rolleyes:

WHOA!!!! YOWSERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

JoeLee
02-20-2012, 09:32 PM
BF, glad you weren't seriously hurt, but I would get that hook up checked out.

JL..................

john hobdeclipe
02-20-2012, 09:40 PM
Glad you weren't hurt too badly. Do keep us informed on what you learn caused this.

Bill736
02-20-2012, 09:53 PM
I once got zapped from a 120 volt source, even though my other hand was not touching anything, and I was wearing white rubber sole running shoes. I then realized, however, that I had been leaning against a steel tool cart, and was wearing jeans pants. Apparently, the jeans were not enough insulation to prevent the shock.

Kiwi
02-20-2012, 09:58 PM
220 volts and still here lucky I've heard of guys getting bold over on less one being a child putting his tongue on a 9 volt battery something to do with hart phase ? any way maybe time to close the shop for a couple of days to recuperate in a casino there may be some surplus luck still hanging around
cheers Kiwi

darryl
02-20-2012, 11:52 PM
In Canada, the water is so clean and pure that it's not conductive. We keep it stored as hemispherical shells. When you want a drink, you just bring a candle close to the wall and collect the drips in your mitt. German water, on the other hand, has so much carbon in it it's considered an alloy. It's stored primarily in brown glass flasks which look very much like beer bottles, and it has to be tested often. Itsch konductif.

Well, it's addictive anyway.

fixerdave
02-20-2012, 11:54 PM
220 volts and still here lucky I've heard of guys getting bold over on less one being a child putting his tongue on a 9 volt battery something to do with hart phase ? any way maybe time to close the shop for a couple of days to recuperate in a casino there may be some surplus luck still hanging around
cheers Kiwi

They say... (no, I'm not going to test the theory) that a 50ma current through the heart is the killer. Less and it's kind of fun, more and you start cooking but don't necessarily wind up dead. At that "fatal current," your heart starts fibrillating and, well, that's not a good thing. That's "CLEAR! - WHAP!" territory. Higher current will cause more tissue damage and that damage may get severe enough to kill you. But, there's a spike in fatality at 50ma, and that's not a lot of current.

In electronics, we were taught to use one hand only. You may screw up. lean against something, and get zapped. But, it's unlikely to go arm to arm through your heart. Again, just book knowledge, and I aim to keep it that way.

David...

.RC.
02-21-2012, 12:55 AM
A disgruntled sheep probably sabotaged it...

oldtiffie
02-21-2012, 02:39 AM
I don't know how it is in the USA or UK or Europe, but in OZ if any shop is or is part of a commercial/industrial enterprise, all electric tools (hand tools included) have to be tested by an OHS ("WorkSafe" here) licenced Electrician and "tagged" as OK for use it it passes or a "Do NOt Use" tag applied for non-conforming machines.

Extension leads are included.

Testing is mandatory and annual or after a machine or toll has been repaired as ready for use.

Having or using non-tagged or "Do Not Use" machines is best described as liable to prosecution.

Not knowing or not conforming is no defence.

mike4
02-21-2012, 02:50 AM
I don't know how it is in the USA or UK or Europe, but in OZ if any shop is or is part of a commercial/industrial enterprise, all electric tools (hand tools included) have to be tested by an OHS ("WorkSafe" here) licenced Electrician and "tagged" as OK for use it it passes or a "Do NOt Use" tag applied for non-conforming machines.

Extension leads are included.

Testing is mandatory and annual or after a machine or toll has been repaired as ready for use.

Having or using non-tagged or "Do Not Use" machines is best described as liable to prosecution.

Not knowing or not conforming is no defence.
That depends on the type of shop that they are in , I dont have to tag any that I am using for test as long as they do not leave the workshop, and are only used under strictly controlled conditions , eg no visitors or lending to anyone .
I even have what is referred to as death leads again only to be used in shop for testing repaired equipment ,there is an earth leakage on each circuit and the main box is also fitted with the compulsory unit which I specified to be only 30ma trip current .
I think it is far better to get annoying trips than be carted off in a box.

However all equipment that even may go outside for any work purpose has to be regularly tested and tagged.
I asked before getting into trouble with the electrical authorities.
Michael

.RC.
02-21-2012, 03:05 AM
I don't know how it is in the USA or UK or Europe, but in OZ if any shop is or is part of a commercial/industrial enterprise, all electric tools (hand tools included) have to be tested by an OHS ("WorkSafe" here) licenced Electrician and "tagged" as OK for use it it passes or a "Do NOt Use" tag applied for non-conforming machines.

Extension leads are included.

Testing is mandatory and annual or after a machine or toll has been repaired as ready for use.

Having or using non-tagged or "Do Not Use" machines is best described as liable to prosecution.

Not knowing or not conforming is no defence.

Tiffie is right, Australian's are total pansies when it comes to mains electricity... I cannot even connect 3 coloured coded wires to a plug.. If you do do that and have not done the required four years mandatory training, they will send you to jail...

Weston Bye
02-21-2012, 06:01 AM
Here in the States, (well, most of them) they still think the average citizen is capable of electricity.

I built and wired two houses, my own, requiring only a desultory inspection by questionable public officials. (I have seen some pretty shabby work elsewhere approved by the same official). I was also self-employed for almost 20 years, wiring control panels and machine tools, all legal, all without benefit of license or certificate. Only got minor zapped twice in the process.

That is not to say that I have anything against the licensed electrician, and BF is wise to have one in to look at his situation.

herbet999
02-21-2012, 06:46 AM
Mostly dead is not the same as all dead....

It'll take a miracle.

Black Forest
02-21-2012, 08:00 AM
The electrician can not come today. I tested the ground fault breaker by shorting across the leads and it triped fine. I put my cable inside last night for it to dry. This morning I had no electricity on the frame. I tested it with one of those screwdrivers that light up. Nothing. So I touched the frame with my finger. Nothing.

I had a tough night but now I am feeling better and not so much swelling. When the electrician comes I will have him change the breaker even though it seems to be working correctly.

Evan
02-21-2012, 08:07 AM
would you please give us an overview of the electrical setup before more of the armchair electricians speak up?

This is how it works. Nothing special about it.

http://ixian.ca/pics9/euwire.jpg

John Stevenson
02-21-2012, 08:22 AM
Mostly dead is not the same as all dead.:o

Is that the same as slightly pregnant ? :rolleyes:

J Tiers
02-21-2012, 08:33 AM
"Shorting across" the breaker only tests if it will open on an overload. That says nothing about the ability to trip for an earth fault. They are far different mechanisms.

An earth fault is (as I said before) leakage from the energized wiring to earth, from any cause. That may include you in the circuit, or not. Wet wiring can cause the earth fault detector (GFCI in the 'States) to open.

EVERY GFCI that I am aware of has a test button, that applies a resistance to earth sufficient to cause the minimum required trip current. If the GFCI does not open for that test button, it is bad, and should be replaced.

Question (1) is what KIND of earth fault breaker do you have?

The type which is for protection of people has a very low trip current, about 3.5 to 5 thousandths of an ampere (0.0035 to 0.005 ampere).

The type which is for protecting equipment requires 10X more current, and offers no protection to peiople.

Question (2) is what were you doing when you got "zapped"? Where were your hands touching the equipment?

Because , as mentioned, the GFCI type device does no good if you are "across the mains", because then you are drawing current just like a legitimate "load".


Evan's picture:

Curiously, although I would not do it for any amount of money that you can name, dropping a live extension cord into THAT SPECIFIC KIND OF POOL is not necessarily instant death.....

It is all about the path of the current.

THAT particular pool is all plastic, and current can only go between the wires....it is (at least theoretically) insulated from earth ground. those at a distance will not have any effect unless they step OUT of the pool and have contact with water AND earth ground at the same time. (if there is some grounded object that we can't see, that's different)

In a normal pool, with concrete sides, and grounded inlet and outlet pipes, the current CAN AND WILL pass from the extension cord to whatever grounded item exists, perhaps the pipes, or directly through saturated concrete. THAT is extremely dangerous, and explains the whole pool (or more especially, bathtub) and electricity deal.....

JoeLee
02-21-2012, 08:45 AM
I would get a volt meter and check to see what else may be hot in you shop that sholdn't be.

JL.................

Black Forest
02-21-2012, 09:15 AM
I would get a volt meter and check to see what else may be hot in you shop that sholdn't be.

JL.................


I invited a friend of mine over this morning. We took coffee up to the shop and I went around the shop asking him various questions about my different machines. In the course of answering my questions he always touched the machines. He is still alive so I guess there was no current on them.

Anyone on here want to stop by for a visit?

aboard_epsilon
02-21-2012, 09:22 AM
you want to watch out for fake chinese mcbs as well

http://schneider-qa.bsky.net/internet/pws/pws.nsf/luAllByID/F2DAEE42760F06F3802573F3004D040C

no trip mechanisms inside ..they are just an on/off switch


all the besr.markj

Black Forest
02-21-2012, 09:30 AM
Just so you all know. That was a joke about my friend in the shop. Even I wouldn't do that.

A.K. Boomer
02-21-2012, 10:09 AM
Maybe I have super powers now. I am going up to the top floor and jump off and see if I can fly.



oh the drama ----- im with SJ on this one - it will be interesting to see next months electric bill,:p

But - on a side note - I knew a guy who had the exact same thing happen and the thing is is he did end up flying afterwords - it was amazing, he said the secret was that you have to have faith/conviction --- just jump and point your chin directly at the ground and you will fly because of your new superpowers,

so good luck to u BF - let us know how it turns out and take some pictures too... god bless...:)

Black Forest
02-21-2012, 12:42 PM
I have super powers! I took a two hour nap today. I have never had a two hour nap. Normally it is fifteen minutes and I am raring to go.