#1
OK, so I've heard that if you get zapped by a DC third rail (or fourth rail in the UK), you end up getting 'sucked in' like a magnet and your skin melts against it. Conversely, if you do the same with AC overhead lines, you'll get shocked massively but 'blown away' by several feet instead.

Any electricians around here? Just curious, ya know.
#2
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    #3
    Quote by DaFjory
    OK, so I've heard that if you get zapped by a DC third rail (or fourth rail in the UK), you end up getting 'sucked in' like a magnet and your skin melts against it. Conversely, if you do the same with AC overhead lines, you'll get shocked massively but 'blown away' instead.

    Any electricians around here? Just curious, ya know.


    Well, DC is a constant electrical pulse. So when you get zapped by it your muscles tense and won't release till the electricity is turned off. So you burn yourself.

    AC is a constantly switching electrical pulse, so if you get caught on an AC line your muscles will tense then untense for a fraction of a second before the current has switched polarity and then they tense again. So if the source of the AC is higher than you, it's likely that when you untense for that split second you'll fall away from it.
    #4
    Quote by SG_dave
    Well, DC is a constant electrical pulse. So when you get zapped by it your muscles tense and won't release till the electricity is turned off. So you burn yourself.


    Makes sense, but is the part about getting 'sucked in like a magnet' false, then? As in, something about not being able to pull away once the electric field grabs you.
    #5
    You can't be "grabbed" by an electric field, what usually happens is the eletricity tenses your muscles and you can pull yourself into it but it will feel involuntary giving the feeling of being "pulled".
    But don't mess with high voltage electricity, no such thing as a second chance.
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    #6
    Getting shocked really really hurts. Really hurts. You feel like you'll have a heart attack for about half an hour afterwards, too. I have been shocked by mains electricity. Don't do this just to find out (especially not on lines or rails, chances are you'll just die.)

    To be honest, not knowing is probably better, because you'll still be breathing.


    edit: fyi though, I was thrown across the room after feeling intense initial pain running through my arm and chest which seemed to last for ages, i dont know if that answers your Q as I don't even know which category mains falls into
    Last edited by Mazzakazza at Jul 12, 2011,
    #7
    Its the fact that you cannot let go of the wire and yeah it will tense up all your arm muscles so you will be 'pulled' in towards it but that is your muscles doing it, not the electricity. And yeah any long exposure to a high current of electricity will cause severe burning which i guess could look like melting
    #8
    Quote by DaFjory
    Makes sense, but is the part about getting 'sucked in like a magnet' false, then? As in, something about not being able to pull away once the electric field grabs you.


    There's no force acting on you from the electrics that you can physically feel.

    It'll be that your tensed muscles will make it impossible to let go of the source of electricity, thus despite trying to let go and get away form it you physically can't.
    #9
    as for the sucked in thing, have you ever played one of those electric shock games or touched one of those prank pens and your muscles spasm? its like that, only alot worse. it doesnt "suck" you in, it just makes your muscle clench.

    as for melting your skin, google "electric shock burn" and thats the result of bad burns. i wouldnt say it melts, but it certainly messes you up.
    #11
    Rather than start a new topic, I'm revisiting this existing one with a new question - y'know the overhead AC lines on railways? If you were to touch the wires without being grounded, would a shock still occur?

    As in, rather than standing on something and creating a path for the current to go through the body to the earth (which I assume results in that massive shock which sends you flying), somehow you instead manage to fall onto the lines from a bridge above. Since you're not grounded by that point, will you still get zapped?
    Last edited by DaFjory at Apr 21, 2012,
    #12


    Glad I could help.

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    Last edited by behind_you at Apr 21, 2012,
    #13
    Quote by SG_dave
    Well, DC is a constant electrical pulse. So when you get zapped by it your muscles tense and won't release till the electricity is turned off. So you burn yourself.

    AC is a constantly switching electrical pulse, so if you get caught on an AC line your muscles will tense then untense for a fraction of a second before the current has switched polarity and then they tense again. So if the source of the AC is higher than you, it's likely that when you untense for that split second you'll fall away from it.


    This.

    Exactly this, word for word.

    Quote by DaFjory
    Rather than start a new topic, I'm revisiting this existing one with a new question - y'know the overhead AC lines on railways? If you were to touch the wires without being grounded, would a shock still occur?


    Most likely not. The resistance of human skin is very high and without a ground on one part of you, your body wouldn't become the least resistant thing in the circuit.


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    Last edited by Deadlock Riff at Apr 21, 2012,
    #14
    Quote by DaFjory
    Rather than start a new topic, I'm revisiting this existing one with a new question - y'know the overhead AC lines on railways? If you were to touch the wires without being grounded, would a shock still occur?

    As in, rather than standing on something and creating a path for the current to go through the body to the earth (which I assume results in that massive shock which sends you flying), somehow you instead manage to fall onto the lines from a bridge above. Since you're not grounded by that point, will you still get zapped?


    If you were only touching one line, no. Birds do it all the time.
    #15
    Doesn't being grounded mean you have some way to not be the least resistant thing in the circuit?
    ^^The above is a Cryptic Metaphor^^


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