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Discussion Starter #1
We've all been there, replace a bad gate valve on a water service and you get shocked. It can be a little scary.
What do you guys do? Do you just wing it and not worry about it when you break it apart, wear rubber gloves, jump it? If you wear the gloves, what kind do you like? The reason I ask is lately I've had a couple of close calls. I started bringing the jumper cables in with me when doing them. Does anyone know if someone makes a smaller jumper link kit, or is it better just to make your own and if so what do you use? I hate electricity!!!!!;)
 

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Always Something
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I don't see it that often but when I do, I stop and figure out what is causing it. I let the HO know about the hazard and usually sell the troubleshoot and repair. If it is a big job and beyone my scope I'll call my EC and have him walk me through the trouble shoot. If no one is there, I just run a jumper from the panel bonding point to the piping. I have seen this maybe 10 times in my life to the poing where I stopped work. I will say this, it is amazing what stupid people can do when allowed to work on homes. If you fine a shocking situation...make sure you protect yourself. Other peoples stupid homes are not worth getting hurt over.
 

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I ground the offending pipe if I can continue to work safely. If not, I stop and HO calls sparky out. I will not fix the problem even though I am very electrically inclined due to liability and licensing issues.
 

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I use a jumper just in case...
You won't know its there til you cut the pipe.
I have heard the suits suggest latex gloves but they do not have a dielectric rating so they are not proper PPE.
When they wear a suit quite often all plumbing knowledge leaves their mind.
 

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Do you all realize that very few apprentices are taught this?

I had never been taught this until my acquaintance died?

This is one of those issues that just makes my stomach knot up. I could have so easily been killed and never known what hit me.
 

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Plumbing and Gas SCO
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Do you all realize that very few apprentices are taught this?

I had never been taught this until my acquaintance died?

This is one of those issues that just makes my stomach knot up. I could have so easily been killed and never known what hit me.

This is a first for me. I have never been shocked by a service line, yet.

The voltage would be measurable with a voltage meter would it not?
I will probably add that to the training for my guys today.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for the replies. It seems to be a problem in my area for some reason. I think I'll be using the jumper cables for now on.
 

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This is a first for me. I have never been shocked by a service line, yet.

The voltage would be measurable with a voltage meter would it not?
I will probably add that to the training for my guys today.
There are some real horror stories out there about this. I never heard them until my acquaintance died from it.

Like you, I had no idea it was a potential problem. The deaths from it seem so needless and senseless.
 

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This is a first for me. I have never been shocked by a service line, yet.

The voltage would be measurable with a voltage meter would it not?
I will probably add that to the training for my guys today.
It would depend on which 2 points you are measuring from.
Selection of those points would involve some degree of luck to get a reading.
Voltmeters rely on a differential of voltage to get a reading.
If the main is carrying current you won't necessarily get a reading until the pipe is cut.
A jumper bonding the 2 sections of pipe created by the cut will save your life!:thumbup:
 

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I have lost an acquaintance to this issue. I think it should be publicized more.

I agree there...I haven't run into that problem before, thank God. I assume it is older homes mostly.
 

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Thanks for the replies. It seems to be a problem in my area for some reason. I think I'll be using the jumper cables for now on.

What do the electrical bubba's say about it? Has there been any chiming in from them on this?
 

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I have to admit ,,,, even with my " old guy" status ,,,,,HAVE NEVER EXPERIENCED OR REALLY HEARD OF THIS ! What causes it ? What do we do to work around it ?

Electrically challenged Cal
 

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I saw it happen once. Someone got zapped changing a meter, then we noticed that if you moved the meter the lights would flicker in the ajacent room. Want to guess who they had to call?

That's the only time I've seen it on a water line. I've seen gas line arc before while removing boilers and water heaters. Is that one normal?
 

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i've ran into this twice. once on a gas line when changing a water heater. i got my job done and informed the owner, i don't know how it was fixed. the other time was an electric water heater that had shorted and had basically electrified the entire water pipe system. that one hurt.;)




paul
 

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I have one of those style testers, I'll give it a try. I was told all water mains do have some current going through them, usually a very small amount. Is that true and if so would that set off a false positive every time?

A couple years back one of those testers lied to me and I got shocked. At that point I put it away at that point and only use the ones with two terminals nowadays. I hate working with electric, I'm scared of the stuff.
 

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I have one of those style testers, I'll give it a try. I was told all water mains do have some current going through them, usually a very small amount. Is that true and if so would that set off a false positive every time?

A couple years back one of those testers lied to me and I got shocked. At that point I put it away at that point and only use the ones with two terminals nowadays. I hate working with electric, I'm scared of the stuff.
The only sure way is to put a jumper across where you are making the cut.
The connection has to be an easier path for the current than through your body.

Another safety tip is the one hand rule that is used by people working on and testing live electrical circuits.

"When working on an electrical device that is active always put one hand in your pocket while adjusting your device to avoid having electricity going through one arm, across your chest and down the other arm to a grounded material which would complete a circuit by way of your heart.

This prevents the flow of electric current across the heart which causes ventricular fribullation of the heart and death.
 
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