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Author Topic: Stray voltage kills dog  (Read 1232 times)

Lee Douglas

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Stray voltage kills dog
« on: February 07, 2019, 09:00:39 pm »

This happened here in Spokane this week, presumably from aging pavement heaters. It electrocuted a guys dog, but this could have just as easily been a small child or someone slipping on the ground and completing the circuit.  Anyway, I thought it might be of interest to this forum in particular.

https://www.kxly.com/news/stray-voltage-kills-dog-walking-on-downtown-spokane-sidewalk/1005129764

 
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Mike Sokol

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Re: Stray voltage kills dog
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2019, 07:03:40 am »

IIRC, a year or so ago a young girl was injured or maybe even killed from a sidewalk junction box that the city electrician had unbonded from ground on purpose. The electrician said he was tired of resetting the circuit breakers every time it rained and the junction box filled up with water.
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John Fruits

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Re: Stray voltage kills dog
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2019, 08:34:08 am »

I do wonder about the poor word choice for the linked article,  especially since the poor dog wasn't a stray.....
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: Stray voltage kills dog
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2019, 12:48:54 pm »

IIRC, a year or so ago a young girl was injured or maybe even killed from a sidewalk junction box that the city electrician had unbonded from ground on purpose. The electrician said he was tired of resetting the circuit breakers every time it rained and the junction box filled up with water.

City of Salina, Kansas.  Not sure what the final outcome was but City was doing a song and dance about who was responsible for maintaining the installation that was on a city easement (sidewalk planter).
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Stephen Swaffer

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Re: Stray voltage kills dog
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2019, 12:57:47 pm »

It seems improbable that low voltage (120-240 V) sidewalk heaters could create enough of a voltage gradient to electrocute a dog-though I suppose with wet paws in direct contact with the pavement it might not have taken much?
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: Stray voltage kills dog
« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2019, 01:01:13 pm »

It seems improbable that low voltage (120-240 V) sidewalk heaters could create enough of a voltage gradient to electrocute a dog-though I suppose with wet paws in direct contact with the pavement it might not have taken much?

How conductive is dog urine?  Just guessing that the pup was doing or had done what dogs do... and if he stepped in the wet spot.

It's unfortunate for the dog and his human and very fortunate that it wasn't someone's kid.
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Jason Glass

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Re: Stray voltage kills dog
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2019, 05:14:15 pm »

It seems improbable that low voltage (120-240 V) sidewalk heaters could create enough of a voltage gradient to electrocute a dog-though I suppose with wet paws in direct contact with the pavement it might not have taken much?

Heaters pull a lot of current, so it's easily possible that merely a few volts could kill a large animal that was unfortunate to complete the circuit while it was under such a load.

Craig Hauber

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Re: Stray voltage kills dog
« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2019, 09:59:11 pm »

It seems improbable that low voltage (120-240 V) sidewalk heaters could create enough of a voltage gradient to electrocute a dog-though I suppose with wet paws in direct contact with the pavement it might not have taken much?
Never heard of a "sidewalk heater"  is is something buried in the slab?
Around here that would have to be one serious heater -and it would cause ice buildup around it when any runoff from the heated area hit the -20F not heated area.

As an aside, does anybody know if ice is conductive?
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Chris Hindle

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Re: Stray voltage kills dog
« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2019, 08:38:12 am »

Never heard of a "sidewalk heater"  is is something buried in the slab?
Around here that would have to be one serious heater -and it would cause ice buildup around it when any runoff from the heated area hit the -20F not heated area.

As an aside, does anybody know if ice is conductive?
Hi Craig.
Up here in the Great White North, Montreal division, a plan was floated a couple of years back for putting sidewalk heaters in the slab while doing a re-model of a major downtown street. (Keeping in mind that these things are usually done by the lowest bidder..)
The idea was finally shelved due to a bit of research of other cities that had done it in the past.  It consumed a but-load of electricity, and seemed to work nice for 2 or 3 seasons before starting to break down. You really want to bust up a sidewalk to replace an element ? No, I didn't think so.
Actually, I'm kinda surprised. Our current administratin is quite car/bike friendly, and anti-car.
Chris.
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Mark Cadwallader

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Re: Stray voltage kills dog
« Reply #9 on: February 14, 2019, 11:35:36 am »

The driveway out of Fire Station #1 in my town has a large and long heated pad. The main boiler for the large municipal building, of which the fire station is a part, supplies the heat for the pipes in the pad. No electrical elements to burn out and replace.
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John Roberts {JR}

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Re: Stray voltage kills dog
« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2019, 12:56:20 pm »

The driveway out of Fire Station #1 in my town has a large and long heated pad. The main boiler for the large municipal building, of which the fire station is a part, supplies the heat for the pipes in the pad. No electrical elements to burn out and replace.
Just pipes to leak...

I hope they are pushing anti-freeze if/when the heat is off.

JR
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Keith Broughton

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Re: Stray voltage kills dog
« Reply #11 on: February 14, 2019, 02:12:48 pm »

I do wonder about the poor word choice for the linked article,  especially since the poor dog wasn't a stray.....
Those "stray voltages" wander around the city looking for trouble.
It's shocking... ;D

As for sidewalk heaters, we lived in an apartment building  in Toronto,and the ramp from the underground garage was heated.
It doesn't take much to melt the ice or snow.

We have 2 floors in our current house that are electrically heated and the controller has a GFCI function that can be easily tested.
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Re: Stray voltage kills dog
« Reply #11 on: February 14, 2019, 02:12:48 pm »


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