Author Topic: What is the Dumbest Thing You've Ever Done Related to Electricals?  (Read 7427 times)
wattMaster
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Re: What is the Dumbest Thing You've Ever Done Related to Electricals? « Reply #15 on: June 02, 2016, 09:57:38 PM » Author: wattMaster
1. I had an NOS HPS multi-tap ballast that came out of my m250r2 before I converted it to PSMH.
One day I tried to wire it up but, rather than it powering the lamp, it went "PFFFFFSSHHHH!" and a huge mushroom cloud of smoke erupted out of it like Mount Saint Helens. I immediately unplugged it and opened some windows and put fans in them. I have no idea why this happened, as I am sure it was wired properly. To say the least, it really irritates me that I destroyed a perfectly good new HPS ballast that I was going to use in a county fair project.  :(
Maybe you connected the wrong tap.
Connecting the wrong tap shouldn't make it do what it did... I had the 120v tap connected
Must have been faulty.
The ebay seller where I got the light from said that they came from a flooded warehouse. The box was water damaged and inside the light there was some water damage. maybe that caused it?
Must have not dried out.
Ouch, sorry for your loss. Also, quoteception. :o
It's not hard to do.
the quote caption or drying the ballast? To dry the ballast, either use an infrared bulb about 6 in from the ballast or put it outside and flip it every so often over a series of a few sunny days.
Both. Another option for drying the ballast is to put it in a toaster oven for 30 seconds.
or an oven-oven. And stupid fone, i meant to say ception.
This is getting off-topic.
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Re: What is the Dumbest Thing You've Ever Done Related to Electricals? « Reply #16 on: June 02, 2016, 09:59:48 PM » Author: Lumex120
1. I had an NOS HPS multi-tap ballast that came out of my m250r2 before I converted it to PSMH.
One day I tried to wire it up but, rather than it powering the lamp, it went "PFFFFFSSHHHH!" and a huge mushroom cloud of smoke erupted out of it like Mount Saint Helens. I immediately unplugged it and opened some windows and put fans in them. I have no idea why this happened, as I am sure it was wired properly. To say the least, it really irritates me that I destroyed a perfectly good new HPS ballast that I was going to use in a county fair project.  :(
Maybe you connected the wrong tap.
Connecting the wrong tap shouldn't make it do what it did... I had the 120v tap connected
Must have been faulty.
The ebay seller where I got the light from said that they came from a flooded warehouse. The box was water damaged and inside the light there was some water damage. maybe that caused it?
Must have not dried out.
Ouch, sorry for your loss. Also, quoteception. :o
It's not hard to do.
the quote caption or drying the ballast? To dry the ballast, either use an infrared bulb about 6 in from the ballast or put it outside and flip it every so often over a series of a few sunny days.
Both. Another option for drying the ballast is to put it in a toaster oven for 30 seconds.
or an oven-oven. And stupid fone, i meant to say ception.
Well, it sat in my hot porch during the summer for 2 months, that should have helped...
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Re: What is the Dumbest Thing You've Ever Done Related to Electricals? « Reply #17 on: June 02, 2016, 10:17:07 PM » Author: veryhighonoutput
I have cut the extension cord on my skill saw and blew a hole size of a dime in the blade then did the same next day, I also use mini Christmas lights as heavy duty extention cords
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Re: What is the Dumbest Thing You've Ever Done Related to Electricals? « Reply #18 on: June 04, 2016, 02:35:11 AM » Author: Medved
Discharging a 7mF capacitor bank normally operated at about 750..900VDC by things like a screwdriver (instead of something resistive, like a heater element or so), even when it was supposed to be already discharged  by the bleeder resistors.
It turned out, the bleeders were faulty, so the capacitor was practically fully charged.
The screwdriver, made of a half inch diameter steel rod, had virtually disappeared (well, except the handle).
I was really lucky, the glowing molten steel pieces haven't hit me at all...
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Re: What is the Dumbest Thing You've Ever Done Related to Electricals? « Reply #19 on: June 04, 2016, 08:47:22 AM » Author: wattMaster
Discharging a 7mF capacitor bank normally operated at about 750..900VDC by things like a screwdriver (instead of something resistive, like a heater element or so), even when it was supposed to be already discharged  by the bleeder resistors.
It turned out, the bleeders were faulty, so the capacitor was practically fully charged.
The screwdriver, made of a half inch diameter steel rod, had virtually disappeared (well, except the handle).
I was really lucky, the glowing molten steel pieces haven't hit me at all...
Wouldn't the pulse be so quick it would not do much harm?
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Re: What is the Dumbest Thing You've Ever Done Related to Electricals? « Reply #20 on: June 04, 2016, 09:24:59 AM » Author: Ash
There is X energy stored in the capacitor. It converts to X energy elsewhere, in this case - all in the arc on the screwdriver

And if we want to compare it to other forms of energy conversion that happen fast, This capacitor contained about 2000..3000 Joules = about 0.5..0.75g of TNT
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Re: What is the Dumbest Thing You've Ever Done Related to Electricals? « Reply #21 on: June 04, 2016, 09:28:18 AM » Author: wattMaster
There is X energy stored in the capacitor. It converts to X energy elsewhere, in this case - all in the arc on the screwdriver

And if we want to compare it to other forms of energy conversion that happen fast, This capacitor contained about 2000..3000 Joules = about 0.5..0.75g of TNT
That's more than I thought.
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Re: What is the Dumbest Thing You've Ever Done Related to Electricals? « Reply #22 on: June 05, 2016, 12:40:06 AM » Author: tolivac
In one of our transmitters there is a bank of filter caps for its 30Kv supply-one time the bank didn't properly discharge.Two techs were going to do PM in that rig-when they hung the trouble light in the transmitter above the caps-they dishcarged thru the light-most of it GONE!!What remained hung by the transmitter for a long time to remind what that power supply can do.Supplies power to the PDM modulator tube-30Kv@ 20A.When you work in that rig-hang ground hooks on ALL HV points!The cap bnks has 20 1Uf 30Kv oil filled caps and two .5 H filter chokes.Another time a fist sized hole was blown in one of the chokes.Had to have it rebuilt.
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Re: What is the Dumbest Thing You've Ever Done Related to Electricals? « Reply #23 on: June 05, 2016, 03:56:37 AM » Author: Medved
Discharging a 7mF capacitor bank normally operated at about 750..900VDC by things like a screwdriver (instead of something resistive, like a heater element or so), even when it was supposed to be already discharged  by the bleeder resistors.
It turned out, the bleeders were faulty, so the capacitor was practically fully charged.
The screwdriver, made of a half inch diameter steel rod, had virtually disappeared (well, except the handle).
I was really lucky, the glowing molten steel pieces haven't hit me at all...

I forgot to mention the point, why that was really THE DUMBEST thing I did:
I knew very well the bleeders are faulty, because I was about to replace them, that was the main reason, why I've messed up with that bank and so ever removing it from that vehicle in the first place...
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Re: What is the Dumbest Thing You've Ever Done Related to Electricals? « Reply #24 on: June 05, 2016, 09:07:34 AM » Author: ResR
Dumbest thing I did was when I was 7 years old I put the 3,5V flashlight bulb into the E14 socket and plug it into the 230V mains. It weld itself into the base and turned from clear to black with a bang, knocking out power in the whole house.
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Re: What is the Dumbest Thing You've Ever Done Related to Electricals? « Reply #25 on: June 11, 2016, 02:25:59 AM » Author: ace100w120v
I just remembered one.  When I was pretty young, probably 4 or 5, I tried sticking a 4w candelabra-base nightlight bulb in an E26 socket in a table lamp. I actually got it to light if I held it right.  I tried two, but got a huge spark show, and ran out of the room scared.  (my mother couldn't figure out WHY I was running away).  It did melt/char the socket.  I have no idea what became of the nightlight bulbs, vaporized?  Blown across the room?

On two other occasions I tried randomly unscrewing broken-off incandescents from sockets with a rubber-gloved hand...BANG and a huge flash.  Both times other people were with me, who had the crap scared out of them!

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Re: What is the Dumbest Thing You've Ever Done Related to Electricals? « Reply #26 on: June 11, 2016, 06:06:57 AM » Author: Ash
You touched both socket contacts with the screw cap
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Re: What is the Dumbest Thing You've Ever Done Related to Electricals? « Reply #27 on: June 11, 2016, 09:11:10 AM » Author: Solanaceae
Ace, ice done something similar.
When I was a litlun, I cut the cord off a vcr unit I was taking apart. The ends had some small strands sticking out. Naturally, I had the bright (heh) idea of taping a nite lite bulb to it. I ended up either connecting two strand together on their own or using the outer shell. When I plugged it in, the only thing that happened was a loud pop and something within the contraption (not the bulb) was bright red for about five secs.
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Re: What is the Dumbest Thing You've Ever Done Related to Electricals? « Reply #28 on: June 12, 2017, 03:42:57 PM » Author: CEB1993
One time I screwed in a 60 watt light bulb in my bedroom lamp with a large chip in the glass, half way expecting it to burn out quickly due to an air leak.  I was curious and didn't think much could go wrong.  

I was horribly wrong.  Upon turning the switch, I heard a loud, harsh buzzing sound.  The bulb flickered, hissed, and emitted a cloud of smoke that made my bedroom smell terrible.  I promptly unplugged the lamp, opened the windows, and went to remove the bulb.  The aluminum base was totally burnt up and the socket in the lamp was completely black and burnt to a crisp.  My lamp was toast, so I threw it away, along with the remaining 3 light bulbs from the box.  They were store brand soft white bulbs, made in Mexico, probably quality control rejects from GE.  Ever since, I have avoided buying generic brand light bulbs and now I make sure the bulbs I use are not damaged before using them.
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Re: What is the Dumbest Thing You've Ever Done Related to Electricals? « Reply #29 on: June 12, 2017, 07:18:12 PM » Author: Lodge
I had a bad habit as teenager of jamming a penny in those 13 amp 240 volt British plugs and sticking them back in the plug when it was switched off,  yep all those 13 amps plugs have a switch on the wall receptacle and leaving it for the next sucker to come along and turn it on and see the shower of sparks and all the lights in the building turn off because the penny was a perfect size to short out all the plug terminals so the GFCI / RCD would kill the mains power, and in the lab where they had a main power disconnect and they always turned it off when the room was empty, it was fun to stick small capacitors in the plugs across the line and neutral and waiting for the teacher to go and switch it on in the morning to quickly hear the loud bangs of them exploding and then switch it off quickly freaking out.. Kids please don't do this they will more then likely toss you out of school today, we had more freedoms when I was younger, back when you could actually bring your own large coffee though security at the airport try that today...
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