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 Post subject: Flooded Floor Shock Hazard
PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2011 1:36 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2011 1:26 pm
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How much of a shock hazard is it when a 480v submersable sump pump system fails and personnel are required to go into the water?

Water conductivitry 2500-3000 umhos.

Float swithces - 110v inside sump.

Pump power 480v terminates in waterproof connectors at pumps in bottom of sump.

Pump control box is mounted on nearby wall and grounded.

Pump swithces are ordinary metal toggle switches.

I am concerned if there is any cuts/breakdown in the pump power leads/connectors or float circuits that because of the high conductivity water, I could be exposed to an electrical shock.


Thanks


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2011 2:09 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 07, 2008 5:00 pm
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Location: Rutland, VT
Am I missing something? Why isn't the power LOTO to the pump? Then there shouldn't be a shock hazard. Why is someone going to work on it energized standing in water? :confused:

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Barry Donovan, P.E.
www.workplacesafetysolutions.com


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2011 5:12 pm 
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Company maintains that the sump pump design is safe for personnel to enter the water without need for ppe or loto. I maintain that a voltage potential could exist from damaged or faulty insulation on the pump leads that could deliver a shock through the relatively high conductivity water when standing in and touching a ground. I cannot find info to support/disprove my claim.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2011 5:09 am 
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Location: Yankton SD/ Lead SD
Next time the pump goes bad and needs servicing, ask someone from "The Company" to come out and service it without LOTO and PPE.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2011 8:27 am 
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You indicated the system had failed. A likely failure mode is insulation failure allowing water to intrude as you stated. Since the system has failed, there can be no valid reason to issue an energized work permit. And since the control box is in the affected room, you will need to LOTO at a different location. You should be able to support your claim by searching the OSHA and NFPA regs.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2011 8:28 pm 
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Shocking Results

You are better off contemplating the fate of the universe. The great philosopher Knute Rockne once pondered; how many chickens does it take to cross the road? Considering the road is wet, conductivity 2300 - 4000 ohms range, and wind south by south west. Perhaps it is better to contemplate why you were run over by a truck as you were distracted by your original question. Conductivity doesn’t kill ~ electricity does.

Try sending a senior employee into the water ahead of you.If nothing happens your good, if not, hello day shift! If all else fails, have an electrician (qualified) throw the breaker and strap some boots on. It’s going to be a long day.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2011 9:10 am 
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Location: NW USA
I'm not going in, I'll be watching from way over there. :)


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