hand tool safety-battery operated?


Old 05-25-04, 11:18 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Iowa
Posts: 252
hand tool safety-battery operated?

would it be safe to use battery operated 18 volt drill while stanign in filled swiining pool? so far the only way to repiar shot of draining the pool
Sponsored Links
Old 05-25-04, 11:37 AM
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 18,497
Certainly safer than a corded drill. But given low enough skin resistance (e.g., it's wet), 18 volts can kill you if you're unlucky enough. To do that, however, you'd have to make contact with both connections from the drill battery, and the connections would need to be with different parts of your body.

All in all, I'd say you'd need to be trying pretty hard to kill yourself. Nevertheless, let someone dry change the battery if need be. And of course keep the drill dry (mainly to protect the drill).
Old 05-25-04, 12:59 PM
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: port chester n y
Posts: 2,117
Could this work be performed using a tool powered by compressed air?
Old 05-25-04, 01:34 PM
GregH's Avatar
Super Moderator
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Manitoba
Posts: 9,668

I always try to be a pessimist in this type of thing and would tend to err on the side of caution.
Just stick your tongue on a 9 volt transistor battery and see what less than 10 volts feels like.

An air powered drill would definitely be the right tool to use in this case.
Old 05-25-04, 02:10 PM
fewalt's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: sw VA
Posts: 3,100
I thought that was the only way to test a 9 volt!!!

Old 05-25-04, 02:16 PM
GregH's Avatar
Super Moderator
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Manitoba
Posts: 9,668
Exclamation fred, good thing YOU mentioned it.

Ya, thats my test too but there I go, being cautious again.

What if someone electrocuted themselves after I suggested it?
Old 05-25-04, 02:32 PM
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 510
I agree with John on this one - you'd really have to try hard to kill yourself using a battery operated tool in this manner. You'd need to complete a circuit from the positive terminal of the battery, across your body, and to the negative terminal of the battery (current won't flow out of the positive terminal unless an equal current flows into the negative terminal). Plus the path would have to be pretty low resistance (certainly less than 2 kohm). A path to earth through your body doesn't matter.

At a guess I'd say you are more likely to be killed by a lightning strike while making your repair than by your drill battery.

Last edited by mikewu99; 05-26-04 at 12:56 PM.
Old 05-26-04, 12:02 PM
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: welland ontario
Posts: 5,599
I think I remember from my high school days that the lowest voltage that can kill someone is 40 volts.
Old 05-26-04, 02:26 PM
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 18,497
There are documented cases of people being killed by a 12-volt car battery. But since the negative pole of the battery is connected to the car chassis, there's much more opportunity to come into contact with both poles of a car battery than a drill battery. I certainly would not go out and grab both terminals of my car battery with wet hands and a weak heart.
Old 05-28-04, 06:35 AM
scott e.'s Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Anderson, IN
Posts: 412
it is not the voltage that kills but the current. It takes only 4 ma to fibrulate (sp?) (make it spasam instead of pumping blood) the heart. Depending on your skin resistance, and the path the electricity takes throught the body, any voltage is potentially deadly by ohms law!
Old 05-28-04, 05:52 PM
ampz's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 536
I may not kill myself but if I dropped my 18v Milwakee into the pool I would want to be beaten, LOL

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes