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View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

GFCI does not save mouse

by TopamaxSurvivor
posted 10-25-2013 02:00 AM


23 replies so far

View patron's profile

patron

13182 posts in 2094 days


#1 posted 10-25-2013 02:18 AM

must have hit the ‘line’ wires
which are always hot

not the ‘load’ wires
which use the GFCI
and trip it

am i right ?

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View Karson's profile

Karson

34916 posts in 3154 days


#2 posted 10-25-2013 02:25 AM

I was working in a computer room one Sat and a electrition was working on the electric panel.

All of a sudden a bright flash came from behind the computers. The electrition came out with sparks burned into his safety glasses. He didn’t look too happy. He had run a screwdriver across a 660 Volt line.

All of the computers came grinding to a halt.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware karson_morrison@bigfoot.com †

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

15519 posts in 1091 days


#3 posted 10-25-2013 02:37 AM

About 3 years ago a squirrel committed suicide taking out the power across about half the city I work in.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View crank49's profile

crank49

3524 posts in 1724 days


#4 posted 10-25-2013 02:58 AM

A cat got into one of our arc furnace transformer rooms a few years back.
13,200 volt 15,000 KVA transformer.
Cat must have chased a mouse up the buss tower and got on the incoming line.
Created a new definition for cat litter.
About the only thing still intact was a piece of tail.
Knocked out the mains for about half of the town.

-- Michael :-{| “If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.” ― A H

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

15089 posts in 2429 days


#5 posted 10-25-2013 03:17 AM

David, Click the link and it will show you a picture of the quad outlets. They are down stream from the GFCI. Hot on the right and neutral on the left. Obviously, a mouse does not require 5 milli-amps for electrocution. GFCIs are a wonderful safety invention, but not sure I would want to bet my life of one!

Karson, The voltages over 250 have a potential of ionizing the atmosphere. He and maybe even you were luck that day.

Monte, Lots of animals and birds get into IT! In the Birds of Prey Refuge along the Snake River, moving the lines to a width wider than an eagle’s wing span has been a big help to them ;-)

Crank, that is definitely a new definition of cat litter ;-)

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Greg..the Cajun Wood Artist's profile

Greg..the Cajun Wood Artist

5279 posts in 2062 days


#6 posted 10-25-2013 03:54 AM

Should have been a wireless mouse…

-- Each step of every Wood Art project I design and build is considered my masterpiece… because I want the finished product to reflect the quality and creativeness of my work

View oldnovice's profile

oldnovice

3872 posts in 2121 days


#7 posted 10-25-2013 06:38 AM

TopamaxSurvivor GFCI is to electricity as Sawstop is to woodworking … they are both good technologies but I don’t want to test them with my body!

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

15089 posts in 2429 days


#8 posted 10-25-2013 06:58 AM

Me either. Obviously Sawstop works better on wieners than GFCIs work on mice ;-))

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View bluekingfisher's profile

bluekingfisher

1107 posts in 1733 days


#9 posted 10-25-2013 08:06 AM

I hope you’re ensured Bob, the Federation of Mice and all things wild will have you for not installing the appropriate “Mice keep out” signage.

Roll on retirement!

-- No one plans to fail, they just, just fail to plan

View stefang's profile

stefang

13633 posts in 2087 days


#10 posted 10-25-2013 08:42 AM

The mice here like to chew on wires under cars. they’ve caused a lot of fires. My son’s car burned up that way quite a few years ago.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View EEngineer's profile

EEngineer

906 posts in 2366 days


#11 posted 10-25-2013 10:48 AM

You have to understand how GFI works.

The GFI compares current flowing out through the HOT line (black) and compares it to current returning on the neutral line (WHITE). If there is a difference greater than ~5-10 mA, then it will trip. The assumption is that somebody or something is conducting current through a separate path to ground.

The mouse probably got across the line and neutral connections, which the GFI allows, and electrocuted himself.

GFI is not universal protection! If you plug a cord into a GFI circuit, grab the HOT in one hand and NEUTRAL in the other (providing a direct path through your heart) then you WILL electrocute yourself and the GFI will never trip.

If, however, you grab the HOT line in one hand and touch a ground rod with the other hand, the GFI will trip and save your life.

-- "Find out what you cannot do and then go do it!"

View Tedstor's profile

Tedstor

1507 posts in 1386 days


#12 posted 10-25-2013 11:29 AM

given your handle- I’ll assume you’re correct. That said, thanks. The best, simplest explanation I’ve read of GFI.

View GeneR's profile

GeneR

147 posts in 691 days


#13 posted 10-25-2013 02:22 PM

I am not sticking my weiner on a sawstop or gfci. :-) And you are correct the gfci 9nly works on things plugg3d into it.

-- Failure is always an option. :-)

View Grandpa's profile

Grandpa

3211 posts in 1428 days


#14 posted 10-25-2013 02:55 PM

The GFI is like the safety on a firearm. The ranger tells us they are a mechanical device that sometimes works and should be treated as such.

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

15089 posts in 2429 days


#15 posted 10-25-2013 03:44 PM

Good point EE. I did not think of the mouse being in the normal circuit.

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View GOOD LUCK TO ALL's profile

GOOD LUCK TO ALL

418 posts in 481 days


#16 posted 10-25-2013 03:57 PM

Was pulling out a fuse (using channel locks) from a 3 phase disconnect that was wired directly to the incoming hots, (no breaker) when I touched the sides with the pliers. Saw the biggest white flash and was knocked on my but, wasn’t shocked, just jump started.

View EEngineer's profile

EEngineer

906 posts in 2366 days


#17 posted 10-26-2013 12:11 AM

And you are correct the gfci 9nly works on things plugg3d into it. null statement

The GFI is like the safety on a firearm. very poor analogy. In fact, it is nothing like a safety on a firearm!

I did not think of the mouse being in the normal circuit.

Well, that shocks me, Topamax. You yourself said he crawled up in between the sockets. That is just exactly where the HOT and NEUTRAL have exposed terminals right next to each other.

Look, there absolutely is no substitute for understanding exactly how these protection mechanisms work!

-- "Find out what you cannot do and then go do it!"

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

15089 posts in 2429 days


#18 posted 10-26-2013 12:19 AM

Well, that shocks me, Topamax. Shocks me too EE ;-) Must be time to retire. I thought I had pretty well recovered from Topamax Poisoning, but once in a while I will have a total collapse of rational thought processing when something so simple pops up! I have known how it works for as long as I can remember. It is surprising how many “electricians” do not have a clue!

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Grandpa's profile

Grandpa

3211 posts in 1428 days


#19 posted 10-26-2013 02:42 AM

The GFI is like the safety on a firearm. very poor analogy. In fact, it is nothing like a safety on a firearm!

The point I was trying to make was don’t trust your life on anything. If it saves you life good but don’t depend on anything. Be careful. I wouldn’t put my finger in a SawStop either. If it saves a finger great.

View Dark_Lightning's profile

Dark_Lightning

1828 posts in 1862 days


#20 posted 10-26-2013 02:53 AM

Grandpa, when I train people to shoot, I point out that the safety is a mechanical device like any other, and is prone to failure like any other. As you said, “don’t trust your life on anything.” On this I will never disagree.

View Loco's profile

Loco

210 posts in 502 days


#21 posted 10-26-2013 09:03 AM

A good ZZZAP ! now and then stimulates the soul.

-- What day is it ? No matter. Ummmm What month is it ? No moron. I paid for a 2 x 6. That means Two inches by six inches. I want the rest of my wood.

View Karson's profile

Karson

34916 posts in 3154 days


#22 posted 10-26-2013 01:46 PM

Loco:

You are so right. I had a couple of horses a few years ago and I kept them in by the use of an electric fence. Every so often grass would grow up and short out the fence and I’d find my horses wandering around the neighborhood.

This one time I put them back in the yard and cleaned up all the grass and waited. This one horse walked up to the fence and stuck it’s nose on the electric wire to see if it was hot. All of a sudden it was running all around the yard. A good zap helped her that time.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware karson_morrison@bigfoot.com †

View MT_Stringer's profile

MT_Stringer

2120 posts in 1984 days


#23 posted 10-26-2013 04:09 PM

Years ago, a “Throwdown Rat” caused a power outage on our ethylene unit which resulted in an emergency shutdown. That bit of chaos upset our unit (Utilities) which eventually led to most of our equipment shutting down for various reasons. It was a bad day (or week) indeed. Just so happens, as my luck would have it, I was right in the middle of it. :-(

That is what “they” determined was the root cause – a rat!

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

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