Yikes! ‘Shocking’ Situations!

Written by: The Bridge on Tuesday, August 22nd, 2006

Working with electrical equipment around here is, well shocking, in more ways then one. The voltage is 220V, unlike our 110V at home. The problem is, the ground wire is usually left out in the wiring, or if it’s there, then it’s often not connected anyway. If the electrician doing the job has only two wire cords on hand, then he does the job with that, besides it does work without the ground wire, so what more do you want? That being the case, you soon learn not to touch anything that is metal and plugged into the wall. If you don’t believe me, then ask Talitha about the experience she had while baking bread with the oven! I found it rather amusing until she told me to go and check the peanuts that were drying in the oven. Ouch! Never check it barefoot! The kids using the computers at the computer lab learn not to swing their feet while sitting in front of the computers because the CPU is right at their feet and if they accidentally touch it! They also don’t play around the transformer boxes when power is on because of the same reason. You should see the jungle of wires they have on top of telephone poles, it must be an Electrician’s nightmare!

Emman Dan and I were working at the chicken barn, replacing some light sockets, which by the way are all imported from China. If you think that things back home that are imported from China are cheaply made, well you haven’t seen anything yet! A lot of the electrical plug-ins, light fixtures, wires and stuff like that are so thin and flimsy, I’m surprised that they last as long as they do. For example, if you’re using an extension cord and a drill, everything fits together so poorly that’s it’s a good idea to have someone hold the cord in the wall, another guy holding the other end of the cord together, and the other guy drilling, it’s a three man operation. If you happen to drop the extension cord end two or three times, then you have to get a new one.

Emman and I were trying to figure out why we were only getting 50 Volts at the light socket. We followed the wires and found everything to be connected. Electrical connections are often made by twisting them together, often there are no marets on them, not even tape, just bare wire twisted together and the two ends spread far enough apart so that they don’t touch. It looks like it works, I suppose the mice and lizard that crawl along there soon learn to stay away from things like that. While we were troubleshooting, the power was on, when we wanted to rewire something we went to the main breaker box coming into the barns to turn off all the power. However, we discovered that even with the main breaker off, we still had about a 80 volt difference from the neutral and live wire to ground. Ground meaning, the step ladder that we were working on, it was a rather jolting discovery to say the least. What we might have to do is run a wire from the breaker box to ground, or maybe just work on it when the power is not on.

The guys told me a story, that a few years ago there was a bad short in the chicken barn. A wire had rubbed through and was touching bare metal. If you touched anything metal inside the barn, like the chicken wire, locks on the door or the door handles, you got a shock. The chickens learned not to eat when the power was on because the feeders are made of steel too, I had to laugh at that one. Picture someone trying to open the door when the power is on, he must have done quite some jumping around before he finally got it open. A lesson we could take from this is how important it is to have our spiritual life well grounded, otherwise we will do a lot of jumping around as well.

On a different note who can guess what kind of flower this is? The yellow flower sits on top of a delicate milky, white stem and it bears fruit. I never thought that this plant would have a flower, but then I never really thought about it either.

Showing 17 comments

MIchelle CS said:
On: 22nd Aug, 2006 at 11:51

And here you thought asschwinge in the schlochto haus was bad! Matthew will want you as his right hand man when you get home. 😛

leanne said:
On: 22nd Aug, 2006 at 17:53

what chickens not to touch the feeders when the napa is on! 😀 just make sure ‘you’ don’t shock youself silly!

in my professional opinion, the flower is a delicate Yellow-Milky/White Stem Sitter. but i could be wrong…..jonathan, keystone, should be able to give you a second opinion.

stahl said:
On: 22nd Aug, 2006 at 18:00

…might the flower be a blossom on your peanut plants? 🙂 Just a thought…

Markus - Netley said:
On: 22nd Aug, 2006 at 18:09

The joke that goes “what’s black, shrivelled, and hanging from the ceiling?” takes on a whole new meaning.

mw said:
On: 22nd Aug, 2006 at 22:01

How kewl, it really is a peanut plant! Well that’s impressive!  Just imagine that tiny, delicate, milky, almost invisible stem being able to hold that flower in place! Muh kuhn muniga vund’n nit grasp’n vuh nature. What a mighty God we serve!

Hey careful with those electrical failures! That’s quite a shocking reading you got there for us. Of how run down a Country can be, and nobody seems to really care, unless ehs lohst lah. Mach’s gut!

Lance said:
On: 23rd Aug, 2006 at 08:56

Lol, yup Markus, rather humours now isn’t it!!! And yes that yellow flower is a peanut flower.

Jeremy/Newdale said:
On: 23rd Aug, 2006 at 11:39

WOW ‘Electricians Nightmare’ looks like an interesting….ummmm….pot of spaghetti. Ick!
What happens if you shake it? ‘twould be pretty at night!:D

You shouldn’t post such stuff; electrical inspector’s gonna get you. 😛

us all said:
On: 23rd Aug, 2006 at 13:42

so tell us the joke.

ohhhhhh!! I get it. it’s a twist on:
what’s big, red, and eats rocks? lol

Jeremy/Newdale said:
On: 23rd Aug, 2006 at 15:05

Something I’d like to share with you, since you seem to be playing sparky.

There are bold electricians, and there are old electricians; but there are no bold old electricians.

Take care, it can be nasty stuff.

leanne said:
On: 24th Aug, 2006 at 11:41

ummmm…….a big, red rock eater??

ha ha w/ all the ‘jokes’

Matthew said:
On: 24th Aug, 2006 at 21:42

some tips
-live to neutral should be 220
-live to live should be about 400
-live to ground should be 220 but ground should be connected to eqipment frame only (if available)
– 99% of loads will be connected live to neutral (except 3 phase loads)
-put marettes on all connections to keep them tight and to keep from corroding
-if you have lights dimming then getting bright your neutral at that building supply is probebly not connected properly

Jonathan said:
On: 25th Aug, 2006 at 20:09

Yoh, ich het ach zog’t doss ess eh pienetz iss, because ich kenn die plutschen. If I wouldn’t have seen the leaves, I might have guessed something in the legume family, or a clover or alfalfa. Something like that.

And yes, I can relate to getting a rix on top of a tall stepladder. Ess geht nit guet. 😛

Ian/Crystal said:
On: 25th Aug, 2006 at 23:56

Hi Lance

“If you happen to drop the extension cord end two or three times, then you have to get a new one.”

Wouldn’t it help to wrap the extension cord ends with electrical tape (about 1/8″ or so). That way it would be cushioned a little when it hits the ground.

Robert, Newdale said:
On: 26th Aug, 2006 at 17:21

I’m guessing that wrapping the ends with duct tape would help – not only by cushioning but by strengthening the connector housing.

Lance, will you be installing grounds on those places where they’re needed? E.g. the oven. Leaving such equipment ungrounded can be quite dangerous.

Lance said:
On: 29th Aug, 2006 at 09:25

Hey everybody, thanks for the ideas, it will come in handy. Matthew I’ve been wondering about that, thanks.

lynda said:
On: 29th Aug, 2006 at 18:23

Ol!! We’ll have to call you ‘Jack’, for jackofalltrades when you come home. Hmmm, sorta reminds me of our fan in the kitchen here at home, some ‘shocking’ way I found out it’s not grounded properly. Keep up the blogs, we appreciate them…and don’t let that ‘hair’ of yours stand straight up….

Larry SHC said:
On: 1st Sep, 2006 at 22:57

couple more tips to add to matthews
Never work on live wires or equipment.
PS: If you have to work on live wires use the one handed rule ( meaning… leave one hand in your pocket , you do not, repeat not,, want to get a shock across your chest as those are the bad ones