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Electrical Thoughts
By Tim Pace
Posted on 7/15/2019 9:45 AM
The Presidents TurnWe rely on electricity, but sometimes underestimate its capability of causing injury. Even household cur-rent (120 volts) can stop your heart. All personnel need to be aware of the hazards electricity poses, such as shock, fire and explosion, and either elimi-nate or control those hazards.Shocked Electrical shock happens when current passes through the body. Electricity travels through closed circuits, and people, sometimes tragically, can be-come part of the circuit. When a person receives a shock, electricity flows between parts of the body or through the body to a ground. This can happen if someone touches both wires of an energized circuit, touches one wire of the circuit while standing un-protected or touches a metal part that has become energized.Electrocution refers to the injury or lethal dose of electrical energy. Electricity can also cause forceful muscle contraction or falls. The severity of injury depends on the amount of current flowing through the body, the current's path through the body, the length of time the body remains in the circuit and the current's frequency.The lesson that I am relating here comes from expe-rience. Those are the best lessons in life but they can cost you more than you are willing to pay. My lathe is a great piece of equipment and has some years of service on it but still in fine working order. However, I was enlightened to the fact that I had not properly wired the unit when I installed it in my new shop. While turning one evening, I received a fairly decent electrical zap from the top of my ways. And after further investigation I also received a second shock. And a third and a fourth. I begin to think that something was not right. Stranger still, the lathe had been in service for over a year in my new shop so I assumed that all was well. I decided that it was in my best interest to call a professional for a proper diagnosis of the problem. When my friend arrived and begin his investigation, we found that my ways and other exposed parts of the lathe registered 97 volts of power. Turns out that I didnt properly wire the unit in the first place. The input was 220 V going in to a inverter with a VFD and the output was being converted to 220 V three phase. I dont really understand what all that entails but as it turned out, I didnt have enough wires from the inverter to the motor and therefore I had become the ground. I replace the wiring and all is well.Dont assume that everything is ok until you make a proper inspection and dont try to fix everything yourself especially if you are not qualified to do so.
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