It is currently Fri Jan 21, 2022 1:29 pm



Post new topic Reply to topic

Have you or anyone you know used the touch method to determine if a panel is energized?
No
Yes - I have
Yes - I know someone that has
You may select up to 3 options

View results
Author Message
 Post subject: Touch Test for Voltage Testing
PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2012 10:32 am 
Plasma Level
User avatar

Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2007 5:00 pm
Posts: 1635
Location: Scottsdale, Arizona
Long ago, it was common practice to use the "touch test" to determine if a panel was energized. A person would take their fingers and touch the conductor/bus. If they felt the "mild buzzing sensation" as one electrician's handbook from the 1940's called it, the panel was energized.

Here is today's Question of the Week:

Have you or anyone you know ever (intentionally) used the touch method for determining if a panel is energized?
  • No
  • Yes - I have
  • Yes - I know someone that has

_________________
Jim Phillips, P.E.
Brainfiller.com


Report this post
Top
 Profile Send private message  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2012 4:39 pm 
Sparks Level

Joined: Sun Dec 23, 2007 1:44 pm
Posts: 348
Location: Charlotte, NC
Yes, but I haven't since I found out what a voltmeter is for! :)


Report this post
Top
 Profile Send private message  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2012 6:53 am 
Sparks Level
User avatar

Joined: Sat Jun 07, 2008 5:11 pm
Posts: 143
Location: Connecticut
Sounds more like a question for the Darwin Awards.


Report this post
Top
 Profile Send private message  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2012 10:11 am 
Sparks Level
User avatar

Joined: Mon Nov 23, 2009 6:37 am
Posts: 51
Location: Tampa, FL
brainfiller wrote:
Long ago, it was common practice to use the "touch test" to determine if a panel was energized. A person would take their fingers and touch the conductor/bus. If they felt the "mild buzzing sensation" as one electrician's handbook from the 1940's called it, the panel was energized.

Here is today's Question of the Week:

Have you or anyone you know ever (intentionally) used the touch method for determining if a panel is energized?
  • No
  • Yes - I have
  • Yes - I know someone that has


I have a client whose procedures called for a "back of the hand" method to determine if a cabinet was alive. This was corrected, when I pointed out that OSHA frowned on using one's body as a voltmeter. It still amazed me that some techs use unbooted test clips on the DVMs. The excuse was the clips didn't come with boots and that the boots were backordered. I told them to use the insulated test probes until the boots for the alligator clips arrived.


Report this post
Top
 Profile Send private message  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2012 10:34 am 

Joined: Fri Aug 26, 2011 7:38 am
Posts: 32
Location: Baltimore, MD
My father used to. However, his skin was so thick, and his pain threshold so high, that sometimes he wouldn't feel 120 volts!


Report this post
Top
 Profile Send private message  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2012 11:24 am 
Arc Level

Joined: Wed Jun 04, 2008 9:17 am
Posts: 428
Location: Spartanburg, South Carolina
I've also known electricians (in Egypt) to determine if a 400 V fuse was blown by feeling the barrel with their bare hands to see if it was hot.


Report this post
Top
 Profile Send private message  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2012 11:35 am 

Joined: Thu Sep 08, 2011 6:56 am
Posts: 1
I knew a graduate EE at Square D in the Plant Engineering Department who would quickly rake his two fingers across the conductors of an unknown source (but due the location and size was pretty sure that they were 277V or less). He was the son of an old industrial electrian supervisor who I'm certain that he had seen do that in the rayon plant where he himself had interned while in college.


Report this post
Top
 Profile Send private message  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2012 12:09 pm 

Joined: Thu Mar 19, 2009 9:40 am
Posts: 19
Location: Wi
One of the first men I worked with did this often. I did it a few times but that was almost 40 years ago and then one day I figured it was not the best idea and that I would probably live longer than the guy that made fun of me because I wouldn't.


Report this post
Top
 Profile Send private message  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 3:50 pm 

Joined: Tue Dec 13, 2011 3:18 pm
Posts: 4
Well they did do the test with their hands, but there are some guys with black toung out there.


Report this post
Top
 Profile Send private message  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2012 9:33 am 

Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2012 11:00 am
Posts: 4
There was an electrician in the "oil patch" during the 60's who would check for single-phasing on 480vAC pump motors using the one finger touch method. I did notice he had a thick callus, insulated sole work boots and stood on the wooden supports when he did this. I never followed his lead even with the hazing. I want to be an "old electrican", not a "bold electrician".


Report this post
Top
 Profile Send private message  
Reply with quote  
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 10 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 7 hours


You can post new topics in this forum
You can reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Jump to:  
© 2022 Arcflash Forum / Brainfiller, Inc. | P.O. Box 12024 | Scottsdale, AZ 85267 USA | 800-874-8883