The Old/Illegal Electrics and Electrical Disaster Stories Thread

Silhouette ManSilhouette Man The last refuge of a scoundrelPosts: 8,703MI6 Agent
edited December 2015 in Off Topic Chat
illegal_wiring1.jpg

Here is the thread for your stories/videos on old and illegal electrics, whether real-life or in fiction (Jeffrey Deaver's The Burning Wire comes to mind) and for general electrical disasters etc.

I'll start this thread rolling with the following true story:

My brother told me of a job he was on in an old house in Kilkeel, Co. Down, NI a few years ago (he has been a burglar alarm maintenance man for many years). Basically he went up into the attic of this old house and was confronted with an electrical wiring system that was rather eccentric to say the least of it. Apparently back when the house had been wired originally (a long time ago one supposes!) the practice had been to wire the house using only the bare current-carrying copper wire that one would find inside our much safer plastic covered wires nowadays. The lady of the house warned him (superfluous to say!) "I think it might be live up there!" In effect, if anyone had touched the live copper wire that went around the wooden support (wood is not a conductor of electricity luckily) it was nailed to they would most likely have been electrocuted. I asked him about this little story a few days ago and said that I wondered what one would have called this particular wiring system. I was expecting a name for it. His reply was simply "Insanity, insanity!" :)) -{

I wonder if any of our members here have any other stories about electrical wiring disasters they'd like to share with us? :) -{
"The tough man of the world. The Secret Agent. The man who was only a silhouette." - Ian Fleming, Moonraker (1955).
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Comments

  • ThunderpussyThunderpussy Behind you !Posts: 63,792MI6 Agent
    Would anyone know if this is true, or just another old wife's tale ?

    If you have to knock a live wire out of the way to save someone. And there's
    Nothing to help. You should use the back of your hand as, with the shock your
    Muscles will contract, so pulling your hand away ?
    Or is this Bo!!ocks, told to give me a fiery death ! :))
    "I've been informed that there ARE a couple of QAnon supporters who are fairly regular posters in AJB."
  • Silhouette ManSilhouette Man The last refuge of a scoundrelPosts: 8,703MI6 Agent
    Would anyone know if this is true, or just another old wife's tale ?

    If you have to knock a live wire out of the way to save someone. And there's
    Nothing to help. You should use the back of your hand as, with the shock your
    Muscles will contract, so pulling your hand away ?
    Or is this Bo!!ocks, told to give me a fiery death ! :))

    I don't know I'm afraid as I've not heard that one before. This is exactly what this thread is for, though! :))

    I suppose though it's probably better to stick to the wooden broom/brush shaft to remove the source of the electrocution from the victim as (dry) wood is not a conductor of electricity obviously. I think your hand is still a conductor so I can't see that doing much good but maybe someone out there in the ether knows? :) -{
    "The tough man of the world. The Secret Agent. The man who was only a silhouette." - Ian Fleming, Moonraker (1955).
  • ThunderpussyThunderpussy Behind you !Posts: 63,792MI6 Agent
    I've seen that in a few garages and work shops ! :))
    "I've been informed that there ARE a couple of QAnon supporters who are fairly regular posters in AJB."
  • HigginsHiggins GermanyPosts: 16,618MI6 Agent
    In my younger days, I was on a campground in Corse where there was something wring with the wiring.
    One morning a girl came to me telling me that she's getting a shock from e shower. I did nit believe her, went there and tried it iut. She was right - 220 Volts!
    President of the 'Misty Eyes Club'.

    Dalton - the weak and weepy Bond!
  • always shakenalways shaken LondonPosts: 6,287MI6 Agent
    Not so much a electrical wiring problem but one involving electrical wires
    many years ago a call came in to the 999 ,saying there was a bomb in the local shopping mall ,myself and Bob (not his real name)was despatched to investigate (we had the fastest car ) :D . The mall security had managed to evacuate about 75% of the staff and shoppers, One of the stoe girls said to me "its in there "and duly scarpered .
    Imade my way into the store ,making sure my P.R was witched off first ;) .I could see at the back off the store in one of the fitting rooms ,was a unattended bag,(doh). I approached the bag by crawling on my stomach the length of the store,(didn't want my size 10s vibrating the floor 8-) .I peared into the bag and low and behold WIRING,
    To cut a long story short ,it contained just a bag of old wires ,but scarry stuff all the same :)
    By the way, did I tell you, I was "Mad"?
  • ThunderpussyThunderpussy Behind you !Posts: 63,792MI6 Agent
    :))
    I'm sure everyone knows the story of the Sydney
    Police call to a bus with a buzzing package !
    Which turned out to be a sex toy. :))
    "I've been informed that there ARE a couple of QAnon supporters who are fairly regular posters in AJB."
  • Silhouette ManSilhouette Man The last refuge of a scoundrelPosts: 8,703MI6 Agent
    Okay, here is footage of the dreaded phenomenon known as the arc flash:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4bBvmPRqfmo
    "The tough man of the world. The Secret Agent. The man who was only a silhouette." - Ian Fleming, Moonraker (1955).
  • Silhouette ManSilhouette Man The last refuge of a scoundrelPosts: 8,703MI6 Agent
    Interesting webpage on electrical faults/outdated electrics in the UK:

    http://www.niceec.co.uk/electrical-faults/
    "The tough man of the world. The Secret Agent. The man who was only a silhouette." - Ian Fleming, Moonraker (1955).
  • AlphaOmegaSinAlphaOmegaSin EnglandPosts: 10,924MI6 Agent
    In College, I made loads of Circuits with LED's and Buzzers. Ah good Times :))
    1.On Her Majesties Secret Service 2.The Living Daylights 3.license To Kill 4.The Spy Who Loved Me 5.Goldfinger
  • Silhouette ManSilhouette Man The last refuge of a scoundrelPosts: 8,703MI6 Agent
    In College, I made loads of Circuits with LED's and Buzzers. Ah good Times :))

    Yes, me too. We did that in CDT - Craft, Design and Technology (at Secondary School). Good days indeed. :) -{
    "The tough man of the world. The Secret Agent. The man who was only a silhouette." - Ian Fleming, Moonraker (1955).
  • AlphaOmegaSinAlphaOmegaSin EnglandPosts: 10,924MI6 Agent
    I've always had a love for fixing and creating Electronic Devices.
    1.On Her Majesties Secret Service 2.The Living Daylights 3.license To Kill 4.The Spy Who Loved Me 5.Goldfinger
  • minigeffminigeff EnglandPosts: 7,884MI6 Agent
    At Uni I had a mad mate called chris who was in the REME. Chris took a disposable camera apart out if curiousity and then.... 'Modified' it. To do this he got several disposable cameras, robbed all the capacitors out of them and wired them all up in parallel.

    I'm no electronic expert, but he basically ended up with what we called the god machine, replacing the flash element with two electrodes, the god machine charged nearly a 1000v off a single AA battery, and with it I sh1t you not we revived a dead fly. Subject #2 was not so fortunate, on attempting defib we accidentally blew it's head off.
    'Force feeding AJB humour and banter since 2009'
    Vive le droit à la libre expression! Je suis Charlie!
    www.helpforheroes.org.uk
    www.cancerresearchuk.org
  • AlphaOmegaSinAlphaOmegaSin EnglandPosts: 10,924MI6 Agent
    In Secondary School, me and a couple of Mates were Suspects in the Theft of five Laptops from the Library. The Police were involved and everything. Luckily, the real Culprit was caught trying to flog one of them down a local Pub. The Headteacher just happened to be in there at the Time -{
    1.On Her Majesties Secret Service 2.The Living Daylights 3.license To Kill 4.The Spy Who Loved Me 5.Goldfinger
  • HigginsHiggins GermanyPosts: 16,618MI6 Agent
    bild-251.jpg
    President of the 'Misty Eyes Club'.

    Dalton - the weak and weepy Bond!
  • ThunderpussyThunderpussy Behind you !Posts: 63,792MI6 Agent
    :)) :)) :))
    "I've been informed that there ARE a couple of QAnon supporters who are fairly regular posters in AJB."
  • HigginsHiggins GermanyPosts: 16,618MI6 Agent
    somewhat related to the topic, it's a real problem in the Philippines where homeless people are cooking their lunch straight at the pipeline:

    image813565gaxd5lapetmi.jpg
    President of the 'Misty Eyes Club'.

    Dalton - the weak and weepy Bond!
  • AlphaOmegaSinAlphaOmegaSin EnglandPosts: 10,924MI6 Agent
    Imagine if that went off :#
    1.On Her Majesties Secret Service 2.The Living Daylights 3.license To Kill 4.The Spy Who Loved Me 5.Goldfinger
  • Charmed & DangerousCharmed & Dangerous Posts: 7,358MI6 Agent
    It would make your mate's home made bomb look pretty harmless by comparison AOS! :))
    "How was your lamb?" "Skewered. One sympathises."
  • danjaq_0ffdanjaq_0ff The SwampsPosts: 7,283MI6 Agent
    I see she is growing her own erbs :D
  • AlphaOmegaSinAlphaOmegaSin EnglandPosts: 10,924MI6 Agent
    :))

    I don't think anything can top that :D Me and a few old School Mates still get a good Laugh out of that Story.
    1.On Her Majesties Secret Service 2.The Living Daylights 3.license To Kill 4.The Spy Who Loved Me 5.Goldfinger
  • ThunderpussyThunderpussy Behind you !Posts: 63,792MI6 Agent
    Is that a collection of trainers on the top of the pipe ?
    "I've been informed that there ARE a couple of QAnon supporters who are fairly regular posters in AJB."
  • Silhouette ManSilhouette Man The last refuge of a scoundrelPosts: 8,703MI6 Agent
    A very good British Public Information Film ('Electrical Safety') from the 1970s on this subject matter:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u_sUFEMzzA0
    "The tough man of the world. The Secret Agent. The man who was only a silhouette." - Ian Fleming, Moonraker (1955).
  • The Domino EffectThe Domino Effect Posts: 3,632MI6 Agent
    When I was little, if I couldn't get the plug in the socket, I would press the prongs together as I slid it in. Of course, I got a number of shocks from doing that. But did it stop me? Nope. Would I do it now? Nope. Did it have any effect of me? Don't know, but it does explain rather a lot about me today :s
  • Ammo08Ammo08 Missouri, USAPosts: 387MI6 Agent
    Probably true. My dad's house was built in 1854 and the first wiring was installed in the 1920s. The wiring of the time was a bare copper wire that was threaded through ceramic eyelets set in metal screws attacked to joists in the attic. That wiring was replaced in the 1950s but the old stuff is still up there. Indeed, if a person had touched that wire it would have hurt or killed them. Those houses regularly caught fire from critters such as coons, squirrels and possums getting into the attic and shorting the wiring.
    "I don't know if the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or imbeciles who mean it."-Mark Twain
    'Just because nobody complains doesn't mean all parachutes are perfect.'- Benny Hill (1924-1992)
  • ThunderpussyThunderpussy Behind you !Posts: 63,792MI6 Agent
    Like many I can remember seeing matchsticks holding wires into sockets,
    And fixing a fuse with some of the silver paper, you used to get in cigarette
    Packets.
    "I've been informed that there ARE a couple of QAnon supporters who are fairly regular posters in AJB."
  • Silhouette ManSilhouette Man The last refuge of a scoundrelPosts: 8,703MI6 Agent
    Ammo08 wrote:
    Probably true. My dad's house was built in 1854 and the first wiring was installed in the 1920s. The wiring of the time was a bare copper wire that was threaded through ceramic eyelets set in metal screws attacked to joists in the attic. That wiring was replaced in the 1950s but the old stuff is still up there. Indeed, if a person had touched that wire it would have hurt or killed them. Those houses regularly caught fire from critters such as coons, squirrels and possums getting into the attic and shorting the wiring.

    Thanks Ammo08. It is stories like this I started this thread for. It reminds me of the wiring system I mention in the OP of this thread where bare copper wiring was used. :)) -{
    "The tough man of the world. The Secret Agent. The man who was only a silhouette." - Ian Fleming, Moonraker (1955).
  • Silhouette ManSilhouette Man The last refuge of a scoundrelPosts: 8,703MI6 Agent
    stag wrote:
    The illegal aspect........

    I remember visiting a house once where he homeowner had wired the door handles up to the mains to deter intruders!

    This tactic is sometimes employed by drug dealers to stop other criminals in their tracks is they attempt to steal their money/drugs.

    Yes, I've heard of that sort of thing myself. Thanks for sharing that, stag. :) -{
    "The tough man of the world. The Secret Agent. The man who was only a silhouette." - Ian Fleming, Moonraker (1955).
  • Silhouette ManSilhouette Man The last refuge of a scoundrelPosts: 8,703MI6 Agent
    Electricity has such amazing power - Compilation:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yX5TIDLvMyw
    "The tough man of the world. The Secret Agent. The man who was only a silhouette." - Ian Fleming, Moonraker (1955).
  • Silhouette ManSilhouette Man The last refuge of a scoundrelPosts: 8,703MI6 Agent
    edited January 2016
    Just thought that I would update this thread a little (there are other stories I want to share in time as well):

    My brother (see his old electrics story related in the OP) was telling me a while back that workmen that are going in to paint doors, walls etc. in electrical substations are told by the Electric Board/Public Authority that if it is dry weather they are to keep at least ten feet away from any of the electrical components in the substation. We all know that electricity can jump to the nearest conductor - in this case potentially a human being (if they get too close).

    And if the weather happens to be wet when the workmen want to paint in the substation? They are not to enter due to the vastly increased chance of their being electrocuted. We all know that water acts as a conductor of electricity of course.
    "The tough man of the world. The Secret Agent. The man who was only a silhouette." - Ian Fleming, Moonraker (1955).
  • Silhouette ManSilhouette Man The last refuge of a scoundrelPosts: 8,703MI6 Agent
    Awesome Electrical "Improvement":

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XKZUFu97vus
    "The tough man of the world. The Secret Agent. The man who was only a silhouette." - Ian Fleming, Moonraker (1955).
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