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live wires laying around that are supposed to be dead


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#1 dodge trucker OFFLINE  

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Posted July 22, 2016 - 10:44 PM

I have access to a barn ~30 miles away to store my junk in and have had for probably 8-10 years now.
I mow the yard out there at least once a year usually more. usually the property owner does it.

This year the property owner's tenants ( farm ground renters) seem to have been keeping up on it for him.  but they don't like to get close to trees or buildings, I take care of that around "my" barn to hopefully keep the mouse/snake population down.

 

I have mowed around that barn many times over the years, there is (ok was) a piece of Romex about 12' long that has been laying there "forever" with the end going nowhere. there never have been lights or outlets in "my" barn, I think they ran the wire over there to be hooked up "some day"

I had a talk with the property owner about some disconnects in the (abandoned) corn crib as to whether they were "live" and was told just a couple weeks before that it was "dead" along with the wire around the barn that I use, and that if I need to do anything out there that takes electricity that I'd be better off to bring a generator with as the house is too far away for extension cords to be practical...

well last weekend I mowed around that barn and forgot about that piece of Romex which was buried in ankle high grass along the wall.

I accidentally found out that that Romex line to nowhere wasn't as dead as was claimed. I hit it with the push mower and killed the mower, there was a huge arc,  the wire was then popping and smoking.... my wife heard something pop at the disconnect on the power board/pole..... I got there and it was smoking too,,, probably 150' from where I had hit that live wire with the mower!   so I threw the disconnect and watched as the smoke dissipated, and drove down the road to get his land tenant/ he came down with a bucket load of electrical tools,  and we disconnected that fried line, fixed a burnt bare spot on the line coming from the power pole and  had a huge collective sigh of relief that it wasn't worse.....

 

and the 20 year old Tecumseh-powered push mower started right up on the 1st pull after the smoke cleared.... a mower that I have tried to kill with high weeds and junk laying in the yard.... but didn't plan on hitting a live power line with it, for sure...


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#2 Auburn David OFFLINE  

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Posted July 23, 2016 - 02:02 AM

Yep..I had one of the old ones..never tried to zap it though..happy you lived man!


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#3 KennyP ONLINE  

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Posted July 23, 2016 - 04:43 AM

Glad there was no more damage (except maybe your shorts). Might want to check the blade for balance on that mower. Don't need a generator anymore.


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#4 KC9KAS OFFLINE  

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Posted July 23, 2016 - 07:26 AM

Yep, I have been shocked with more "dead" wires than "live" wires!!


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#5 ol' stonebreaker ONLINE  

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Posted July 23, 2016 - 09:29 AM

  I picked up a handy little gadget several yrs ago called a "Triplett sniff it". You just hold it next to an AC powered wire and push a button, if it starts beeping the wire's hot. Would have been handy for this case.

                              Mike


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#6 dodge trucker OFFLINE  

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Posted July 23, 2016 - 11:19 AM

  I picked up a handy little gadget several yrs ago called a "Triplett sniff it". You just hold it next to an AC powered wire and push a button, if it starts beeping the wire's hot. Would have been handy for this case.

                              Mike

yeah it sounds like it;  but being that it was buried in ankle high grass where the big mower missed, I just plum forgot it was there. 

You gotta remember stuff like that is there before you think to test it in the 1st place, right?

and though the wheels on the mower are plastic, the mower blade and deck itself took the direct hit, so that would bypass the wheels as "protection" or "insulation"   I'm surprised that I didn't get zapped....

well that line is now gone for sure. cut off just below ground level with side cuts, and disconnected at the box....


Edited by dodge trucker, July 23, 2016 - 11:30 AM.


#7 Sawdust OFFLINE  

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Posted July 23, 2016 - 12:05 PM

Glad your ok that could have been real bad. Just curious did you check to see if there was more wire near that one in case it was cut at another time leaving the live end exposed. I was tapping into an old plaster wall one time with an old chisle & hit a live wire in an open box. It exploded with the plaster hitting me in the face. I felt like I had been sand blasted. Fortunately for me I had safety glasses on or I would probably be blind.
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#8 dodge trucker OFFLINE  

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Posted July 23, 2016 - 12:25 PM

Yeah it just startled me more than anything when heard the ZAP.
Then with it snapping and popping on the ground, and trying to catch the grass around it on fire, right away I went looking for a broom or other wood handle to prop it off the ground til I could figure out what next...

Edited by dodge trucker, July 23, 2016 - 12:26 PM.


#9 jpackard56 OFFLINE  

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Posted July 23, 2016 - 12:34 PM

Yep, I have been shocked with more "dead" wires than "live" wires!!

AMEN !! Sounds like Sawdust has too ! Dodge Trucker, glad you weren't zapped with the circuit, hot and sweaty from working, that could have been much worse...

I keep a fried pair of cutters in the top of my portable box as a visual reminder of what happens when somebody told me the circuit was off and I didn't verify it myself ...


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#10 skyrydr2 OFFLINE  

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Posted July 23, 2016 - 06:28 PM

Fella brought a new deere mower to my brother the other day and it wouldn't start.. looked at everything on it.. DOH needed a computer to diagnose. The ecm, we'll while waiting for a friend that works for deere to stop by, we looked at the rest of it, blades looked good except for one that had a huge blow out in it, asked customer what happened? And he said he hit a wire in his yard and then the tractor stopped..
We asked him what it went to... doh!!! 240volts to his septic pump.. killed that deere dead and smoked the ecm.. he was lucky it didn't nail him as well..

Edited by skyrydr2, July 23, 2016 - 06:30 PM.

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#11 dodge trucker OFFLINE  

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Posted July 23, 2016 - 08:45 PM

ECMs on a GT... what is this world coming to??? Crazy.


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#12 MH81 ONLINE  

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Posted July 24, 2016 - 07:00 AM

Yep, I have been shocked with more "dead" wires than "live" wires!!


If that isn't the Gods honest truth.

When we are doing kitchen appliances, I pretend every wire is live. Especially the dishwashers.
Turned one off one time and then someone in the house turned it back on because it was the same circuit as ______ (coffee pot, maybe?)
Thankfully, it just surprised me when it turned on as I connected the wire nuts.
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#13 lrhredjb OFFLINE  

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Posted August 15, 2016 - 12:41 PM

Kind of like the old gun no one thought was loaded.






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