Dangerous threads


Old 06-01-12, 05:37 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Wet side of Washington state.
Posts: 18,399
Dangerous threads

I mostly keep to only four topic forums but I am seeing too many of what I think are dangerous threads, especially in the electrical forum.

Someone, usually a first time poster, will ask an elementary question; a question so elementary that it is obvious to me they know nothing about electricity. I try to gently (or not so gently) tell them they need to educate themselves by reading several books on the subject and also strongly suggesting the buy one particular book and read it cover to cover before attempting their project. But others are quick to offer advice that may not be complete and when someone without any knowledge but they glean from an on-line forum attempts electrical work the results may be fatal.

I've been playing/working around electricity since I was out of diapers. My mother would tell the story of how I dragged a cord with an unguarded light bulb around, periodically plugging it in to see if it still would light. I don't remember that at all but I've still worked around everything up to 26,000 volts (when I worked in a utility generation station) and I still haven't killed myself. I attribute my long life to the fact that I took the time to educate myself to the dangers of electricity BEFORE actually working with it. When someone admits to me they know nothing about electricity, or demonstrates the same by asking extremely elementary questions I either tell them to hire someone or to first learn about the dangers. If the person is in front of me (rather than on the Internet) I will likely go into a lengthy training session.

What really is bothering me is that in my opinion far too many members of this forum are too fast in dispensing information to these unknowing people. I don't for a minute think that most home electrical projects are "rocket science" or beyond the capabilities of a reasonably intelligent and capable person but electricity is an equal opportunity killer and anyone working with it needs a certain minimum education (even a self education) on the dangers and the necessity of doing things a certain way BEFORE they start their project. I don't see that taking place in far too many threads.
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Old 06-04-12, 07:01 AM
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Canada
Posts: 2,542
Being that I was supposed to be a third generation electrician, I know where you are coming from. (I opted to go into Communications and electronics instead, kicking myself for that.)

I have only been on this forum for a short time, but have notice on here as well as across the internet, a lot of quick fire short answers which don't give the whole answer and leaves a lot of room for dangerous errors.
The video I had posted on my Home/Generator thread was a prime example of a very, very unsafe and illegal home generator tie-in to a home electrical panel. Guess I wasn't clear enough that it was really unsafe and illegal in most areas as it was removed by the mods.
The kicker is some people actually think this was safe and proper.

My general rule of thumb has been that if I was to hire someone to do the work, and that someone had completed an apprenticeship, and is licenses, I'd have better know everything there is to know about the task at hand and probably have someone licensed in that trade to review my work before I go live with it.

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