Proper Battery Etiquette

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LRiddle
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Re: Proper Battery Etiquette

Postby LRiddle » Mon Dec 11, 2017 9:34 pm

I agree with most that the ground should be disconnected when working on the positive side of vehicle batteries, but it is important to note that while working on 120v or above, the ground, or neutral, is the fist connection made and that last connection undone. Not really relevant to tractor talk, just figured I'd mention it.
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Re: Proper Battery Etiquette

Postby Scrivet » Mon Dec 11, 2017 10:43 pm

LRiddle wrote:I agree with most that the ground should be disconnected when working on the positive side of vehicle batteries, but it is important to note that while working on 120v or above, the ground, or neutral, is the fist connection made and that last connection undone. Not really relevant to tractor talk, just figured I'd mention it.

Which, I would bet, was to what Steve was referring with his post.
KC2LLW wrote:Ground first to make, last to break
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Re: Proper Battery Etiquette

Postby radioguy41 » Mon Dec 11, 2017 11:14 pm

Ground and Neutral are two different things in the context of mains wiring and are not interchangeable.
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Re: Proper Battery Etiquette

Postby LRiddle » Tue Dec 12, 2017 4:32 am

radioguy41 wrote:Ground and Neutral are two different things in the context of mains wiring and are not interchangeable.


Correct. I worded that poorly.
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Re: Proper Battery Etiquette

Postby Jim Becker » Tue Dec 12, 2017 11:08 am

I am probably just stating the obvious.

Hopefully when someone is messing with a 120+ volt system, there is a master shutoff or breaker that has been pulled to kill power to the whole system. When you are done working on it, power is applied at the master shutoff by use of some well-insulated and guarded mechanism. When you are dealing with battery connections, you are in the process of killing/applying power to the system using tools that generally provide no protection to personnel or from stray short circuits.

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Re: Proper Battery Etiquette

Postby staninlowerAL » Tue Dec 12, 2017 11:46 am

Agree 100% with Jim Becker. Since this has evolved into a safety topic I'd like to contribute one more thing that I learned after 20+ years in industrial safety. It's important to remember that electricity is always seeking the easiest and usually the most direct path to ground, no matter if it's AC, DC, high voltage, low voltage. Even DC in the mA range if applied in certain ways is enough to cause unwanted heart rhythm patterns. The safe approach is to have NO unwanted contact with an live electrical circuit.

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Re: Proper Battery Etiquette

Postby Pompiere » Sun Dec 17, 2017 3:01 pm

radioguy41 wrote:Back in 1962 I was using a wrench to tighten the hot cable on a battery. I had my hand wrapped around the wrench so it wouldn't contact any metal but,,,, the wrench was against my wedding ring and the ring touched metal causing the gold ring to instantly get hot as blazes and burn my finger all the way around. Learned two things that day; disconnect the ground before fussing with the hot cable and also not to wear a ring when doing mechanical work. That was the 2nd time I was injured due to the ring but it was also the last.


Both electrical and mechanical work can be made more hazardous by rings, watches, and other jewelry. I have heard of rings getting smashed enough to cut off circulation in the finger. Also, rings can get caught on something and pull the skin off the finger. De-gloving is the medical term, and it is exactly what it sounds like.

For the same reason birds can sit on electric lines, you should disconnect the ground first, reconnect ground last. Then if you accidentally touch the hot side to ground, there won't be a path back to the battery. You still need to mind your wrench while working on the hot side of the battery to not bump the other terminal. I try to use a short wrench so it can't reach the other terminal.


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