Resetting a electrical disconnect

Wed Apr 16, 2008 7:30 am

About twenty years ago I was working on a electrical problem with one of my maintenance guys. I pulled the 2000 amp 480 volt disconnect. we repaired the problem. I went back to the machine room where the main electrical panels were. I reset the switch and pulled the handle. When I did I wasn't aware that part of the insulator around one of the disconnect poles had over time got so hot that it got brickle and when I turned the disconnect off part of the insulator fell off. When I put the disconnect back in service a bolt holding the insulator went directly to the hot post creating a direct ground. There was a big flash and a loud boom. The next thing I knew was I had been thrown across the room and against the wall. When the other maintenance men got me out (of course in the dark) I was about half knocked out and all of the hair on half of my head, the right eye brow and right side of my mustache was burnt off. I was very thankful that God had spared my life and that I wasn't seriously hurt. The point I would make is when you reset a disconnect or even a breaker in your breaker panel stand to the side (not directly in front) and look away before reseting disconnect or breaker. It has been twenty years but I will never forget it.

Jim

Re: Resetting a electrical disconnect

Wed Apr 16, 2008 2:42 pm

Wow, that would be a life altering experience for sure. I've never heard that recommendation of standing to the side, but it makes sense, especially with high voltages. Other than the painful memory, I hope you had no other permanent injuries.

Thanks for sharing with everyone,
Dennis