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Old 02-19-2009, 05:39 PM   #1
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Default What is the effect of voltage and amperage on a person?

I feel like I keep asking this question, but I never get a clear cut for sure answer.

I always hear and read, that it's the amps that kill you. Someone told me amps are like the "punch", or pressure, and voltage is like the volume?

What causes you to lose control of your muscles, amps or voltage?

I was also told that volts burn, and amps kill.

Is it true that the lower the voltage, the higher the amps are?

If not entirely true, what is that dependent on?

I did some searching on-line but I just can't find proper answers to these.

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Old 02-19-2009, 06:38 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frasbee View Post
. Someone told me amps are like the "punch", or pressure, and voltage is like the volume?
Other way around.
Amps is the actual amount of electrons moving, the voltage is the "pressure"

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Old 02-19-2009, 06:44 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Frasbee View Post
Is it true that the lower the voltage, the higher the amps are?

If not entirely true, what is that dependent on?
Sometimes. It depends what you are talking about.

It is dependent upon Ohm's Law
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Last edited by JohnJ0906; 02-19-2009 at 06:47 PM. Reason: Pie chart incorrect
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Old 02-19-2009, 06:56 PM   #4
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I always hear and read, that it's the amps that kill you.
I have heard that also and it is partially true. If the voltage is high enough it will also kill you or at least toast you.

Don't try this but suppose you had a switch that controlled a motor and you decide to disconnect the switch and grab hold of the feed and the switch leg. if the motor controller has the motor off and you are not grounded you will not feel anything. Now turn the motor disconnect on and that motor will try to strat using your body as part o the circuit. It can be fatal with even a small amp. motor. GFI's trip at about 5 milliamps so that will give you an idea.
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Old 02-19-2009, 07:05 PM   #5
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It all has to do with amperage.

Attachment 1039

Last edited by John; 07-18-2009 at 07:35 AM.
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Old 02-19-2009, 07:09 PM   #6
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It all has to do with amperage.

Attachment 1039
Agreed.

The amount of amperage that goes through you depends on 2 things:

1) The voltage. The higher the voltage, the higher the current.
2) Your skin resistance. The higher the resistance of your skin, the lower the current.
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Old 02-19-2009, 07:31 PM   #7
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1) The voltage. The higher the voltage, the higher the current.
1) The voltage. The higher the voltage, the higher the potential current.
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Old 02-19-2009, 08:37 PM   #8
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quote Frasbee]I feel like I keep asking this question, but I never get a clear cut for sure answer.

I always hear and read, that it's the amps that kill you. If its you time yes! ITS THE AMPS
Well good question as a electrician ive been electrocuted a few times i must say iam not proud of it but it was because we worked hot lots of times . And safety mistakes were made once i got 480 volts when one elbow touched a leg and my other arm touch an opposite phase leg inside of a large voltage regulator ,it was only a short second but it seemed like 2 hours of shock time and i felt that current following thur my arm chest and other arm like water flowing . Dont know the amount of current did not trip the 600amp main broke free as i fell backwards, burned skin arms were cherry red for two days . But the next time was 277V in the head went up a ladder open up a tile put my head up into ceiling and the hot a neutral was above my head 277 volts into my skull i didnt trip the breaker and that was not the best . The best was in military inside a duck tunnel working on a hv splice a tap deal hot 1400 volts dc in a mistake in commmunication it was turned on while two of us were splicen it . the 1400VOLTS DC at 100amps lost one ear cant hear i get va bennys now . i cant say enough about its effects but it hurts and its not fun . best to yas

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Old 02-20-2009, 11:07 AM   #9
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Ever made a 'shock' coil in school to to amuse your friends? We made them in Science class and held hands in a ring of 20 daft teenagers. Oscilloscope measurements showed a voltage of 30,000 ( thirty thousand volts) Since the device was fed only by a 2 volt DC battery the current was practically not measurable. So there we have the clue. It's the current that kills you. It's the voltage that makes you jump.

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Old 02-20-2009, 02:44 PM   #10
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I agree with all the proven theories, But the lasting effect of electrocution largely depends on the route through the body & the conditions of contact.
Voltage & current also play a large factor. The damage depends on the exposure.
I know this from first hand knowledge, My father used make a short circuit loop using his finger & thumb to verify voltage at light sockets. He was so old school at this, that he would sometimes lick his finger, because his hands were so callous that he could not always feel the voltage. It drove me insane to watch him.
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Old 02-21-2009, 10:37 AM   #11
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I agree with all the proven theories, But the lasting effect of electrocution largely depends on the route through the body & the conditions of contact.
Voltage & current also play a large factor. The damage depends on the exposure.
I know this from first hand knowledge, My father used make a short circuit loop using his finger & thumb to verify voltage at light sockets. He was so old school at this, that he would sometimes lick his finger, because his hands were so callous that he could not always feel the voltage. It drove me insane to watch him.
During my earliest days, I did not realize they turned the power on in this room, and I was trying to adjust a receptacle, I actually (not intentionally), grabbed the receptacle by both screws, and slowly realized there was a tingling from my thumb to my pointer finger. It started to creep up into the rest of my hand when I pulled away.

So here's a follow up for clarification:

Are the volts virtually a non factor when it comes to injury? I know I'm slow on this but I just can't figure out this electricity thing.

What do you mean the higher the voltage, the higher the "potential" current?

This guy at work said the amps would stop your heart, but the voltage would cook you.

Ugh, I need to do more research on this.
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Old 02-21-2009, 03:02 PM   #12
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Because of all the variables,(voltage, amperage, resistance, impedance, contact, moisture, static, Etc..) no one rule applies to the lasting effects. It depends on how fried you get...My dad never had any lasting effects from feeling 120vac in light sockets.
Remember, every living thing that thinks is electric. Your brain is a micro computer that sends out millions of impulses(electric) every second. The system operating voltage is minuscule.
The effects of overload,(Electrocution) can vary widely and may completely destroy tissue(burns,pulmonary,etc) Or may just overstimulate sensory paths.
Learn or burn. The lasting effects of electrocution are dictated by the exposure conditions.
Each set of conditions & length of exposure will dictate injury & damage/death.
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Old 02-22-2009, 02:52 AM   #13
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Default Turn It Off Lock It Off Be Safe !

Well lets look at high voltage at low amperage , some items of interest like the old Windhurst ,Vande Graff Generator or the Tesla Coil or just plain static electricity maybe the marx generator like these new stun guns a stun gun is just a voltage multiplier caps and doides some electronics to give thousands of volts to shock you but not kill you . Low current in the micro or milliamp area is some what safe but in a larger amount it will kill .Each person is different in resistance to electrocution or condition of being shocked some live to tell some dont . Take care be safe turn it off lock it off
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Old 02-22-2009, 08:50 AM   #14
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Nick:

If you have been electrocuted how is it you are able to type. 100% of the people that have been electrocuted are in a grave yard or have been cremated. Now I have no doubt you have been shocked several times but hopefully never close to electrocution.
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Old 02-22-2009, 10:06 AM   #15
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Brian John, good point. It is 2 different things, being shocked versus electrocuted. Although, I have heard of people being electrocuted..dead, & cpr'd "back to life"......... I would not count on it though......
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Old 02-22-2009, 10:06 AM   #16
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Well who said i could type Brian, just a bit of luck i think and not much on good common sense but i paid the price with missing my hearing in one ear you might say . I never take safety lightly anymore we lock out tag out everytime . And i type with one finger but it has nothing to do with being shocked one or twice its because i never learned how to tyupe. I work with a electrician who was struck buy lighting on a golf course down here in florida its common to get lighting storms every week in the summer months , blew out the bottom of his shoes but he is still playing golf . Brian take care best to ya

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Old 02-22-2009, 10:59 AM   #17
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Several years ago I was severely shocked an electrician installed a CB in a tagged out cubicle.

My wife called my parents and told them I was electrocuted they damn near had heart attacks.

Nick: This phrasing is often mixed up by trades people and others.
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Old 02-22-2009, 11:16 AM   #18
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Well you are correct Brian in that statement . I tell my wife if the shop ever calls dont believe anything they tell you, just get a good lawyer and dont worry about the funneral because ill be allready cremated she can just box me up and its a lot cheaper . Best part if i go insurance pays off the house just joken Brian we had a few close ones thank god were still here most of them were before i got married . Best to yas
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Old 02-27-2009, 03:14 AM   #19
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When I was in college getting my BA in electrical engineering one semister we had a professor who was also the head engineer at Xerox at the time. Anyway he was an Army electrical engineer and he would tell us stories about how guys would enter fenced off areas and just get electruded and fall dead right there. We did talk about this very topic in some detail, but it really easn't in the plan for EE. Anyhow, as mentioned it is all with respect to ohms Law. A few mA can kill a human. The number he threw out to us...and I remember this class very well...20. I was shocked (no pun intended) at how little the number was. I have always respected electricity....A bit of the theory helps...blowing up a few tools really makes a mark on ones mind.
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Old 02-27-2009, 01:13 PM   #20
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VOLTS JOLTS
MILS KILLS

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