oxoiron wrote:I knew a naval electrician who could be standing in the bilge in sea water half way up his shins, and not get shocks from 110V lines. He used to check if 220V lines were live by licking his fingers and grabbing them. He claimed that if he didn't lick his fingers, he was unable to get even the little tingle he got by doing so.
Given this necroed thread (if not electricians), I'm bound to mention the old adage:
"There's good electricians, bad electricians and dead electricians. The good electrician remembers his current-testing screwdriver [or equivalent modern tool/device], the bad electrician checks with the back of his hand and recoils from any shock, the dead one goes to grip the wire and can't release it".
However technically accurate/whatever special circumstances apply, many UK electrical sockets have a plastic 'gate' internally across the L/N slots that is moved aside only when the substantial Earth pin is inserted into its hole. But if
I had a mind to do anything like this (Om knows why!) and I first jammed any such gate open and had decided to switch the socket on beforehand* is to make sure the wire was solidly in the neutral side first (not without risk, itself, under various circumstances I couldn't rule out) before sending the other end in to the live contact with a backhand nudge. I suspect those here who note having survived the experience to tell of it may have been more likely to have done that, along with all other chance not-as-bad-as-it-could-have-been circumstances surrounding the incident.
Like for skirting-board level sockets, shoes don't help if I'm kneeling. Perhaps I'd need to kneel on my removed/second pair of shoes to benefit from their sole useful feature? Or crouch, providing an electrical route between arm and leg (depending on clothing) that doesn't pass so much through the torso and across the heart.
Look, I wouldn't do it. But there are ways that I definitely
wouldn't do it, on top of that.
I'm wondering if the Sparky, in the above quote, was actually like the possibly apocryphal mortician-trainer/surgeon who got his students to repeat his "getting used to the messiness of dead bodies" exercise of sticking a finger in the corpse's anus then in his mouth. But which also was a test of observation as it was a different finger when he
had done it.
My own tale (the closest I have been to this, except for tapping a plucked dandelion stalk on an electric fence and not liking the result, when v. young) was in a Physics lab when working with a High Tension power supply (kilovolts or greater,proportionally very few amps), on some test I now forget exactly, I unscrewed the 'stop' on the dial edge to illicitly access even higher voltages during an idle moment. A few moments later I got a kick from… I don't know what, but some part of the apparatus within the cordon must have spawned a spark to jump the gap to me. I switched it all off and restored the safety screw (nobody had noticed, that I knew, maybe the HT supply safeguards had tripped quickly enough, and nothing required physically re-fusing) and stuck to the script again for the remainder of the session.
* Another much used feature, even on extension strips and some direct splitting-blocks is individual socket switching