The key to the difference in the meter and the pruning sheers is the word “rated”
As you pointed out the meter is “rated” for 1000 volts but the pruning sheers are not rated at all.
No you were not safe and no matter if you try to convince yourself from now till the end of time, what you did will never be safe.
The word ignorant means, the lack of knowledge or training
Your comments show that you are ignorant of the safety issues involved in using pruning sheers to cut live wires.
Stupidity comes into play when shown the err of your actions you repeatedly defend your actions. You have carried ignorance far beyond the point of stupidity.
Using the proper methods for changing a service one can have power through the process and no one is ever exposed to live circuits.
What has happened throughout this thread is a very stupid method was used to demonstrate a procedure to accomplish a service change and when the method was pointed out as being dangerous a couple of the posters has done everything short of embarrassing their selves to prove that the method posted poses no danger.
What Brian said was;
The proper use of the old service can give the electrician some borrowed watts without anyone ever cutting the service at all and especially with lawn equipment.
I have to agree with what's been said here that what you've done is very unsafe. Given many trials I think you'd eventually no longer be with us. The biggest issue I have is with your statement above.
How can you know the cutters were insulated. The only way I could understand your choice is if you did a full disassembly of them to prove there was no metal rods running through the handle. Not even the customer service rep would know that info so how could you. Even asking a customer service rep for a pruning sheer company wouldn't be enough. You'd be trusting your life to an $8/hour employee.
I'm glad you're alive.
How do you borrow some watts without an unmetered tap, you don't...you plug the meter back in, it continues to meter the power used.Originally Posted by jwelectric
Which makes you the expert on changing energized service drops, do you even prune your own fruit trees?Originally Posted by jwelectric
This thread is like the Energizer Bunny, it keeps going and going!
I wasn't using "pruning shears". I was using an anvil lopper with long fiberglass reinforced handles containing no metal and covered with plastic in the holding area. The resistance between the single metal blade and handle exceeded the 30 Megohm scale on my meter.
I suggest that you study Ohm's law (Amps = Volts/Resistance). It's the amperage that kills, but the amperage available through 30 Megohms (The scale limit of my meter) at 120 Volts is 4 microamps. That is about 1/1000 of the trip current of a GFCI. It was SAFE.
How do you dismount the old meter pan and move it without disconnecting the service drop? All of the meter pans that I have seen are mounted via fasteners inside the pan. If you haven't disconnected the service drop (I cut the service drop BEFORE I removed the meter and the meter pan.) you are working in very close proximity to energized meter terminals. That is a lot more dangerous than cutting a hot wire with 30-Megohm-insulated tool.
Last edited by Cookie; 10-25-2007 at 06:33 AM.
If the licenses out there have not been cutting any live wires, then they are probably aware of ways to accomplish a job like BobNH described, without the cutting of live wires, which rather paints the unlicensed amateur as someone who might forbear from posting about his achievements in electrical work, if they involve any procedures which might lead someone, reading about it on the internet, towards harm.
Ignorance is the lack of knowledge and this is something that you can see for yourself in any dictionary.
Ignorance of the danger in using an unlisted and untested tool to cut a energized conductor and the continued “proving” of the lack of danger has gone far past the point of stupidity.
Although I am no expert in tree surgery I am smart enough to know that the “lopper” is used to “prune” trees and the like so to call it a lopper or pruning sheer would not make much difference.
I am also very sure that you have the expertise to do listing and labeling on equipment and tools and to list them as either cat I, cat II or cat III. Which level of safety do you rate your “loppers?”
The key in you statement is; “working in very close proximity to energized meter terminals” and this can never be as dangerous as, “I cut the service drop” especially using a cutter designed for cutting plant life no matter how many times you check it with your meter.
There is a very distinct difference between the cutting action of a lopper and a cable cutter and I truly hope that you learn the difference before it is too late and your faimly is burdened with an expense and the loss of a loved one.
'Amateur' is not a perjorative, but an accurate term to describe the individual using loppers to cut live wires. An amateur isn't devoid of skills, but may not be aware of standard procedure to accomplish a task. I was contemplating a complete rewire of a cottage I was residing in, including a new meter box, breaker panel, and service connection. At no time was I ever planning to cut a live wire to accomplish the task.
The criticisms may not be polite, but they are being launched from the technical/safety/whatever high ground, and are fundamentally unanswerable. Protest if you wish, but you can expect to be shouted down, and lacking the high ground, you lose in the court of public opinion.
There's stuff I do using a blowtorch, that I will never post about on an advice forum, because I know someone reading it, who lacks the experience I possess, may be likely do damage if they attempt the same thing.
Amateur (old Webster): A person attached to a particular pursuit, study or science, as to music or painting; one who has a taste for the arts.
Amateur (Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary): one who engages in a pursuit, study, science, or sport as a pastime rather than as a profession; one lacking in experience and competence in an art or science.
"Amateur", then, at least can include knowledgeable and has no direct connection to selection(s) of tools.