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  • Short circuit

    I am very lucky or stupid or both.

    Was tigging some titanium and all was going well.
    Just finished my last weld and put down my tig wire when there was a bright
    white flash on my bench.

    Lifted up the hood and saw some papers on fire on the weld table as
    well as a big cloud of white smoke.

    Put everything out and went in to change my shorts.
    Came back and discovered what went wrong.

    I hold the tig wire in my left hand and the torch in my right hand.
    Somehow the loose end of the tig wire had found it's way into
    the hot side of my outlet box on my table.
    What are the odds of this happening.

    Must have happened in the split second between me finishing the last weld
    and me putting the wire down on the table.
    The wire was grounded when it touched the table and shorted out.

    I am guessing that the wire ignited before the breaker could trip and since
    it was 6-4 titanium, it was like a flash bulb.
    Surprising to discover the breaker did not trip.
    Stainless wire most likely would have gotten red hot or tripped the breaker.

    I have replaced the duplex outlets with tamper resistant versions and
    have moved the box away.

    I'm living up to my nickname.




    Attached Files
    Miller Dynasty 350, Dynasty 210 DX, Hypertherm 1000, Thermal Arc GTSW400, Airco Heliwelder II, oxy-fuel setup, metal cutting bandsaw, air compressor, drill press, etc.

    Call me the "Clouseau" of welding !

  • #2
    That is both freaky and scary! Good thing it hit the box while it was grounded rather than when you were holding it...not sure if TIG gloves would stand up to 120v. or not. I have to confess I've never once thought about where an outlet was lying while welding...but I will after today! Glad you're OK, and thanks for the warning for the rest of us.

    Comment


    • #3
      That sounds like something I'd do....glad you didn't jump stop your heart.

      Comment


      • #4
        not sure if TIG gloves would stand up to 120v. or not.
        As long as they don't have holes in them they're fine for 120 or even 220. As a tech and home repair guy, I get lit up with 120 every now and then. It hurts but it probably won't kill you unless there are freaky circumstances like maybe being completely sweat soaked or a strong hold on a ground. 220 on the other hand hurts like ****. I'm very careful around 220. It's twice as likely to kill you as 120 simply because it can deliver twice the current of a 120 shock.

        I used to work on 3 phase DC power supplies in the army. Kind of a pre-cursor to our inverter type welders using fist sized triacs. One time another team moved one to our repair bay and plugged it into the wrong outlet. The case was energized with 220 instead of grounded. That hurt.

        Comment


        • #5
          It was either a private or the new 2LT. More than likely the butter bar did it.

          Comment


          • #6
            If the wire hadn't done the flash bulb thing (I'm going to steal that phrase), that breaker would have tripped a few hundredths of a second later, most likely, assuming it isn't a Federal Pacific.

            You'll probably hate the tamper-resistant receptacles for anything you actually have to plug in regularly. I won't use them anywhere I'm not required.

            Comment


            • #7
              It was either a private or the new 2LT. More than likely the butter bar did it.
              Everything about the military is 1/2 assed. Amateurs with a high school diploma and with a year of electronics school repairing systems that cost $100 million dollars or more. On the other hand, if you want to be a tech, you can touch equipment the civilian world would never trust you to touch.

              We had a situation where we started to blow power supplies, not the 3 phase units. At one point the desk was stacked with them. I got pretty quick with the repair. It turned out the problem was that supply was ordering switching transistors instead of power transistors. They had the same case and part number but different internals. I'm not sure who figured that out.

              Comment


              • #8
                Every time I use a big long floppy piece of tig wire, I think about the possibility of that happening. Fortunately I have no outlets near my welding table!

                Comment


                • #9
                  I see oxidation, the outlet box should have been purged. Did you use a large diameter gas lens?
                  HTP Invertig221 D.V. Water-cooled
                  HTP Pro Pulse 300 MIG
                  HTP Inverarc 200 TLP (just added, new!)
                  Millermatic 211 inverter
                  Eastwood Versacut40 Plasma cutter

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by OscarJr View Post
                    I see oxidation, the outlet box should have been purged. Did you use a large diameter gas lens?
                    OscarJr

                    I almost purged myself.
                    Miller Dynasty 350, Dynasty 210 DX, Hypertherm 1000, Thermal Arc GTSW400, Airco Heliwelder II, oxy-fuel setup, metal cutting bandsaw, air compressor, drill press, etc.

                    Call me the "Clouseau" of welding !

                    Comment

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