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Replacing electrical outlet while current is live

DMully

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Hey guys, for reasons to weird to go into, I need to change an electrical outlet (AC) while the current is live. There are only two wires coming out and not a third like the newer outlets I've seen. I just need to do a quick replace of the old outlet for a new one, without killing myself, preferably. Especially before I've had the opportunity to contribute more to the styleforum.

Any tips? Should I use rubber gloves and plastic handled screwdrivers and pliers. Is there a reasonably or even somewhat "safe" way to perform this procedure with live current, or am I doomed to have to have to go to the ER?

Thanks!

Mully
 

Tokyo Slim

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Ok, so was probably a bad idea for me to be giving electical advice to a stranger over the internet.

I've been overruled by logic. Electricity is too unpredictable for me to tell you that you'll PROBABLY be fine, even if you are shocked.

It is POSSIBLE that 110 volts at 15 to 20 amps of AC current will kill you or cause severe burns.
So its probably wiser for you not to do this.

If you MUST do it. Take all the precautions you can. Rubber gloves, face shield of some sort, rubber handled equipment, caution, patience, etc.
 

CoryB

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May I suggest simply flipping the breaker and then simply change it without live current. Safety is generally my highest priority when dealing with electricity.
 

acidboy

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Don't do it! My work sometimes involves juicing up electrical components in machines, and we never ever take risks like that. That's just crazy, imo. Shut the breaker off, as CoryB mentioned. Doing electrical work with a livewire is really asking for it.
 

Huntsman

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Yeah, don't do it.

Hate to counter Slim, but if you are grounded in any way, touching the hot wire will short the current through you. There exists live wire equipment, but you don't have it. Ther's no way to not touch the bare end, because some tool will have to contact the screw-- it's probably not new enough for a plugin.

Regards,
Huntsman
 

j

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I'll go as far as wiring up a light fixture while only the switch is off, but if anyone else is anywhere near, I'll tape over the switch before I do it. Replacing an outlet on live wires is extremely unwise. You might be okay, but you also might die. I've taken house current before, and even if you live, it's not very pleasant.
 

mbc

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This is an exceptionally stupid idea. Shut the power off.
 

Joel_Cairo

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Nice knowing you DMully! Best regards to the Big Guy.
 

Tokyo Slim

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Zap!
 

ratboycom

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Doesnt it only take like .5amps to make you shit your pants and one full amp to stop your heart? I guess if you really wanted to do it and be cautious you could get some of the rubber gloves they use at Toyota shops to work on the Prius, from experience dispite their thickness they are surprisingly tactile.
 

j

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Then again, I've also seen that nice gentle current pop a big hole in a pair of wire cutters and shoot molten steel around.... but go ahead.
 

Tokyo Slim

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Originally Posted by ratboycom
Doesnt it only take like .5amps to make you shit your pants and one full amp to stop your heart?
At extremely high voltage, yes. But consider, while DC is more forgiving in prolonged exposure than AC is, a police stun gun uses 25,000 - 50,000 volts at 7-26 amps. (depending on the model and whether its on drive stun or not) This is generally enough to override the nerve impulses to your brain, and cause lots of muscle pain, but rarely kills anyone. With AC power, its the actual charge fluctuating poles that wreaks havoc with the heart, but AC has a much lower chance of actually penetrating the skin than DC does, and tends to cause more surface damage (burns) than deep tissue or organ damage. AC will push you away from the power source, so the actual shock will only last a fraction of a second, while a DC electrocution causes your muscles to contract around the source of the charge, in effect prolonging it.
 

DMully

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Originally Posted by Tokyo Slim
At extremely high voltage, yes.

But consider, while DC is more forgiving in prolonged exposure than AC is, a police stun gun uses 25,000 - 50,000 volts at 7-26 amps. (depending on the model and whether its on drive stun or not) This is generally enough to override the nerve impulses to your brain, and cause lots of muscle pain, but rarely kills anyone.

With AC power, its the actual charge fluctuating poles that wreaks havoc with the heart, but AC has a much lower chance of actually penetrating the skin than DC does, and tends to cause more surface damage (burns) than deep tissue or organ damage. AC will push you away from the power source, so the actual shock will only last a fraction of a second, while a DC electrocution causes your muscles to contract around the source of the charge, in effect prolonging it.



Hey dudes -- I decided to wait until I had access to the power box to turn off the breaker. I know people who've done electrical with live current, but decided not to risk it. But once a long time ago, I stripped a 110 wire, plugged in it and hooked it up to the phone line to see if 110 would take out the phones in my neighborhood. It didn't but I ended up shocking the shit out of my self. Felt like some serious shooting pains in my hand and arm.

But since there's the risk of killing myself, I thought it was good to wait.
 

globetrotter

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Originally Posted by DMully
Hey dudes -- I decided to wait until I had access to the power box to turn off the breaker. I know people who've done electrical with live current, but decided not to risk it. But once a long time ago, I stripped a 110 wire, plugged in it and hooked it up to the phone line to see if 110 would take out the phones in my neighborhood. It didn't but I ended up shocking the shit out of my self. Felt like some serious shooting pains in my hand and arm.

But since there's the risk of killing myself, I thought it was good to wait.


DMULLY,

you have passed your first test - the board has decided that you are, in fact, intellegent enough to breed.
 

marc237

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Originally Posted by globetrotter
DMULLY,

you have passed your first test - the board has decided that you are, in fact, intellegent enough to breed.


I am not so sure, sometimes if you have to ask. . . .
 

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