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Author Topic: Cell Phone Electrocution  (Read 5934 times)

lindsay Dean

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Re: Cell Phone Electrocution
« Reply #10 on: July 11, 2017, 02:28:16 pm »

Here's my uninformed guess .
shes in the bathtub probably on the phone.
it starts going dead, she plugs into the charging port on
her phone, with wet hands plugs the wall wart in (with wet hands)
completes the circuit at the outlet.
Needless tragedy.
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Stephen Swaffer

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Re: Cell Phone Electrocution
« Reply #11 on: July 11, 2017, 04:43:21 pm »

Yes its a USB charger-probably made as cheaply as possible.  If there is no GFCI, then the only thing standing between a person and the mains is the cheapest parts that can make it past QC (probably not even UL listed)-and if you have wet hands and are well grounded in a tub that is all that stands between you and a severe injury or death.

Who wants to take that bet?
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Steve Swaffer

John Roberts {JR}

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Re: Cell Phone Electrocution
« Reply #12 on: July 11, 2017, 05:31:21 pm »

I wasted a bunch of time and money trying to work with UL on another project so I can understand enthusiastic capitalists trying to FF to the market without safety approval but where are the lawyers... ? They haven't stopped chasing ambulances I suspect.

I recently bought a cheaper than dirt hot air rework station that didn't even pretend to be agency approved... my old one had CE marked on it that is also meaningless... new one nada..

I own stock in the company I ordered the hot air station from so I might inquire as to their opinions about selling non UL equipment in the US.  :o

JR
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Jeff Bankston

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Re: Cell Phone Electrocution
« Reply #13 on: July 11, 2017, 05:37:19 pm »

My 12,14.4, and 18 volt Milwaukee power tool battery chargers have a warning label that state 120 volts could be present at the charger terminals. Just because something is very small doesnt mean high voltage isnt present. I have never seen a fone charger with a ground pin. Even if it was plugged into a power strip the strip would have a ground and if plugged into a GFCI would have tripped. But the tip of the charger would not have tripped the GFCI due to the lack of a ground. It says she might have grabbed her fone while charging or attempted to plug it in.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2017, 05:40:38 pm by Jeff Bankston »
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John Roberts {JR}

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Re: Cell Phone Electrocution
« Reply #14 on: July 11, 2017, 06:12:22 pm »

My 12,14.4, and 18 volt Milwaukee power tool battery chargers have a warning label that state 120 volts could be present at the charger terminals. Just because something is very small doesnt mean high voltage isnt present. I have never seen a fone charger with a ground pin. Even if it was plugged into a power strip the strip would have a ground and if plugged into a GFCI would have tripped. But the tip of the charger would not have tripped the GFCI due to the lack of a ground. It says she might have grabbed her fone while charging or attempted to plug it in.
Consumer products use double insulated power transformers so are generally safe.

JR
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Jeff Bankston

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Re: Cell Phone Electrocution
« Reply #15 on: July 11, 2017, 10:34:21 pm »

The comments were enough to make me not watch the video.
The video is restricted. You have to be 18 and sign in which I think is not right. If you are old enough to plug something in you are old enough to see what happens if you are careless. We watched "Death On the Highway" in the 7th grade in pre permit driving class. In the 1970's in Mississippi you could get your permit at 14-1/2 years of age. I was taught when I was very little iirc 5yo about electrocution and hanging my arms out the window of a car and the hot stove burners,etc. I have seen what appears to be 5 and 6yo kids with smart fones or dummy smart fones. Children need to be taught at an early age and a video to see what happens will leave a lasting impression that electricity can kill and has killed.
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Stephen Swaffer

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Re: Cell Phone Electrocution
« Reply #16 on: July 11, 2017, 11:19:01 pm »

My 12,14.4, and 18 volt Milwaukee power tool battery chargers have a warning label that state 120 volts could be present at the charger terminals. Just because something is very small doesnt mean high voltage isnt present. I have never seen a fone charger with a ground pin. Even if it was plugged into a power strip the strip would have a ground and if plugged into a GFCI would have tripped. But the tip of the charger would not have tripped the GFCI due to the lack of a ground. It says she might have grabbed her fone while charging or attempted to plug it in.

???  A GFCI does not require the device to have a ground pin to protect the user.  It simply compares current going out the hot wire to current returning on the neutral-a mismatch trips it.  So if > 5 mA goes anywhere but back through the neutral it trips.

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Steve Swaffer

Jeff Bankston

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Re: Cell Phone Electrocution
« Reply #17 on: July 12, 2017, 05:01:27 am »

???  A GFCI does not require the device to have a ground pin to protect the user.  It simply compares current going out the hot wire to current returning on the neutral-a mismatch trips it.  So if > 5 mA goes anywhere but back through the neutral it trips.
that was a brain fart on my part.
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Mike Sokol

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Re: Cell Phone Electrocution
« Reply #18 on: July 12, 2017, 07:07:59 am »

???  A GFCI does not require the device to have a ground pin to protect the user.  It simply compares current going out the hot wire to current returning on the neutral-a mismatch trips it.  So if > 5 mA goes anywhere but back through the neutral it trips.

That's correct. Here's a few graphics I drew to explain the sensing current path of a GFCI.
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Mike Sokol
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Mike Sokol

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Re: Cell Phone Electrocution
« Reply #19 on: July 12, 2017, 08:56:22 am »

Here's my uninformed guess .
shes in the bathtub probably on the phone.
it starts going dead, she plugs into the charging port on
her phone, with wet hands plugs the wall wart in (with wet hands)
completes the circuit at the outlet.
Needless tragedy.

I've contacted the reporter at KCBD to see if I can get an interview with the local electrical inspector. Perhaps they know a little more than was presented in the story.
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Mike Sokol
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