Friday, August 22, 2008

Electro-shock Therapy?

I'm used to electric shocks. Mild ones, anyway. Every time I flip on my garbage disposal, I have to make sure my hands are dry, otherwise I get a small zap. I've been zapped at work because of a faulty extension cord. No big deal, just a little annoying. But...

The shock I got today was an order of magnitude higher than anything else I had previously experienced. I had finished testing some PC boards, and was putting the test fixture away. I grabbed the metal frame with my right hand, and...BZZZZTTTT!!!!

Holy crap! (Not the words I used, but hey, this is a PG blog.) It hurt so bad and scared me so much I was almost in tears.

The test technician in the room ran over and asked what happened. I told him I got shocked. He touched the frame...nothing...I touched it again...nothing...

My hand still buzzing, I went to the geek-in-charge (a mousy little PhD in physics with a short-man complex, but that's a whole other story), and told him what happened. We went back to the lab, took the fixture and an ohmmeter, and started investigating. Turns out, the metal frame wasn't grounded because of a loose standoff on a power supply. A simple 3/4 turn of the standoff, and all was well.

Except for my hand. Still buzzing, 30 minutes later. And I have a little burn on my pinky. Maybe I should get a pair of electrical protective gloves.

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4 comments:

Kitt said...

Eek! That's scary!

Vicki said...

Hi Kitt -
Yup. I ought to get hazard pay!

Krizia said...

Aww you poor thing! You could've died!

Vicki said...

Hi Krizia - I don't think there was enough juice in there to kill me, but I read last night that non-lethal shocks can cause blindness - scary!