12v Sparks flying!!





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  1. #1
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    Default 12v Sparks flying!!

    From time to time, it happens that I need to check a fuse here and there, some of the fuses is the type with two eyelids, inline on a positive wire...

    so anyway, whilst unscrewing the nuts of the fuse, every now and again the socket wrench or whatever touches the body of the vehicle and then just sparks, ek skrik ek my gat af elke keer!!!

    Does one get socket extension handles that are fully rubber coated

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    Default Re: 12v Sparks flying!!

    Yes you do, but the sockets are in the serious price range.

    Rather take an old clipboard, magazine and place it in between whatever you are testing to try prevent a short.

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    Default Re: 12v Sparks flying!!

    Get plasti-dip (think that is what it is called) from Midas/Auto Zone/Builders. Dip the handle in it a couple of times, then you have an isolated handle. Not that expensive.
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    Default Re: 12v Sparks flying!!

    Insulation tape should insulate it nicely, too.....
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  7. #5
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    Default Re: 12v Sparks flying!!

    the best practice will be to remove the positive terminal off the battery...
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  9. #6
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    Default Re: 12v Sparks flying!!

    Quote Originally Posted by iLandy View Post
    the best practice will be to remove the positive terminal off the battery...
    No never.... no you do not remove the positive as a short with the spanner might/could happen.

    ALWAYS remove the negative first, no short can happen if you short out negative to negative.

    First rule of batteries, neg first.
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  11. #7
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    Default Re: 12v Sparks flying!!

    Quote Originally Posted by K-9 View Post
    No never.... no you do not remove the positive as a short with the spanner might/could happen.

    ALWAYS remove the negative first, no short can happen if you short out negative to negative.

    First rule of batteries, neg first.
    well Iíve learnt something today, makes sense, thank you.
    Iíve done it once where I was undoing the pos terminal and the spanner touched some metal. I shat.
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    Default Re: 12v Sparks flying!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Graham View Post
    well Iíve learnt something today, makes sense, thank you.
    Iíve done it once where I was undoing the pos terminal and the spanner touched some metal. I shat.
    It's a good practice to disconnect the negative terminal wire from the battery first and then the positive side as previously mentioned. A friend of mine had a silver chain and pendant touch the positive terminal of the battery as he leaned over the motor to adjust the timing. In a flash the thin silver chain had melted and burned into his neck. It left him with a nasty scar / brand around his neck. 12v DC from a battery in your car can do serious damage to your health with the amps it can deliver.
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    Default Re: 12v Sparks flying!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaptein Jack View Post
    From time to time, it happens that I need to check a fuse here and there, some of the fuses is the type with two eyelids, inline on a positive wire...

    so anyway, whilst unscrewing the nuts of the fuse, every now and again the socket wrench or whatever touches the body of the vehicle and then just sparks, ek skrik ek my gat af elke keer!!!

    Does one get socket extension handles that are fully rubber coated
    Just wrap it in insulation tape.
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    Default Re: 12v Sparks flying!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Graham View Post
    Iíve done it once where I was undoing the pos terminal and the spanner touched some metal. I shat.
    That spanner get hot very quickly hey!
    Everything is a hammer.
    Unless it is a screw driver.

    Then it it a chisel.

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    Default Re: 12v Sparks flying!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Graham View Post
    well Iíve learnt something today, makes sense, thank you.
    Iíve done it once where I was undoing the pos terminal and the spanner touched some metal. I shat.
    It's one thing just crapping your self on a normal 12v system, it's another thing when you are working on a truck with 24v system and a few more amps.
    That 13 spanner will ark and weld it self to what ever it touched, then the dangerous bit starts!

    Always negative off first.

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    Default Re: 12v Sparks flying!!

    Quote Originally Posted by K-9 View Post
    No never.... no you do not remove the positive as a short with the spanner might/could happen.

    ALWAYS remove the negative first, no short can happen if you short out negative to negative.

    First rule of batteries, neg first.
    Would that be the opposite when re-connecting? i.e. Positive first?
    Some good tips here.
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    Default Re: 12v Sparks flying!!

    Insulation tape not a good option. In no time it gets sticky, messy and the end starts unwinding. Nothing worse than sticky hands while using your spanners. Rather Plastidip as suggested earlier or even heat shrink on socket extentions.

    There are three golden rules however, when working on 12v or in the engine bay:
    1. Always remove the battery earth when working on batteries.
    2. Remove all watches, rings and jewelry to prevent accidental short-circuits and burns. (think sticking hand down the side of the engine and the ring on your finger touching the live on the back of the starter and at the same time earthing against the starter body. The ring could weld in place and turn it white hot in seconds. You could (dare I say "WILL") loose a finger because of the severe burn like that...
    3. Always remove the earth first and reconnect it last. That way you can never cause an accidental short-circuit with the spanner.
    Last edited by mvcoller; 2020/02/14 at 06:16 AM.
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    Default Re: 12v Sparks flying!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter1949 View Post
    Would that be the opposite when re-connecting? i.e. Positive first?
    Some good tips here.
    Yes

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    Default Re: 12v Sparks flying!!

    Quote Originally Posted by mvcoller View Post
    Insulation tape not a good option. In no time it gets sticky, messy and the end starts unwinding. Nothing worse than sticky hands while using your spanners. Rather Plastidip as suggested earlier or even heat shrink on socket extentions.

    There are three golden rules however, when working on 12v or in the engine bay:
    1. Always remove the battery earth when working on batteries.
    2. Remove all watches, rings and jewelry to prevent accidental short-circuits and burns. (think sticking hand down the side of the engine and the ring on your finger touching the live on the back of the starter and at the same time earthing against the starter body. The ring could weld in place and turn it white hot in seconds. You could (dare I say "WILL") loose a finger because of the severe burn like that...
    3. Always remove the earth first and reconnect it last. That way you can never cause an accidental short-circuit with the spanner.
    Insulation tape works, but needs to be removed afterwards for the "sticky" reasons above.

    Number 2 above is very important - I know of someone who lost their finger when his wedding ring became the short circuit - apparently it got red hot in an instant and it was impossible to remove quickly enough. In this case the ring completed the circuit between the spanner attached to the battery positive terminal and the vehicle body. It would not have happened if he had removed the negative terminal first, or of course his ring.


  21. #16
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    Default Re: 12v Sparks flying!!

    Not sure I understand, with the earth disconnected and you touch accidentally positive and any place on the earth body nothing will happen.?
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    Default Re: 12v Sparks flying!!

    I once had blisters around my left wrist in the shape of a watch strap. Never wore a watch again till this day.
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    Default Re: 12v Sparks flying!!

    Quote Originally Posted by mikeml View Post
    Insulation tape works, but needs to be removed afterwards for the "sticky" reasons above.

    Number 2 above is very important - I know of someone who lost their finger when his wedding ring became the short circuit - apparently it got red hot in an instant and it was impossible to remove quickly enough. In this case the ring completed the circuit between the spanner attached to the battery positive terminal and the vehicle body. It would not have happened if he had removed the negative terminal first, or of course his ring.
    Swambo has been buying me silicone wedding rings since I started losing weight, and now I just won't wear anything else. No shocks, no heat, and they are super comfy.
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  24. #19
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    Default Re: 12v Sparks flying!!

    My ups setup is 16x12v series 192v. The original setup in ups was 3 x 16x12v total 48 7ah batteries
    Changed to 16x12v 105ah connected to house for loadshedding
    I am scared to touch that inappropriately
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  25. #20
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    Default Re: 12v Sparks flying!!

    Quote Originally Posted by JLK View Post
    Not sure I understand, with the earth disconnected and you touch accidentally positive and any place on the earth body nothing will happen.?
    100% correct.
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