An electrical safety question


Taffycat

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Knowing that water and electricity can be a dangerous combination... I'm seeking a bit of advice please. :)

Here is the scenario. A small tree has blown down at the far end of the garden (about 30 yards from the house.) It will have to be cut into short lengths, so that the Council will consider it to be "garden waste" and take it.

Hubby already owns a Bosch all-purpose electric saw, which will easily do the job using very little effort.

We don't have an outdoor electric socket, so normally, (in dry weather) we would run a long extension cable (connected via an RCD) from inside the house.

But, right now, the ground is wet underfoot, so not safe to trail ordinary cables. My question is, are there any weatherproof cables which would be safe to use? And if so, what sort should we look out for please?

I'm okay with wiring-up a connector if need be, so it's not essential for it to be a ready-made reel, if there is a better/safer alternative.... if you see what I mean?

Incidentally, we have looked at some cordless saws, but the ones we've seen, don't have the same cutting depth and not the same degree of "oomph" as the wired saw.... unless one is happy to pay a few hundred pounds, that is. But can't really justify that amount, because it would only get occasional use.

Sorry this is a bit long, but thank you for reading. :)
 
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floppybootstomp

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Methinks you're being over cautious. As long as the cable isn't damaged, no inner cores exposed, you'll be fine using it. In the trade, tough yellow 110 volt cable is used in such circumstances but how waterproof do you want a plastic sheath to be?

As long as the saw is protected by an RCD back in the house, you're protected. and I think you'd need to immerse the saw in water before it tripped. Think of all those lawn mowers used with a domestic cable on wet grass.

Strictly speaking I'm probably breaking some health and safety law by saying this but I have frequently used domestic mains cables outdoors, sometimes even trailing it through puddles where it's partly underwater, and so far I haven't been zapped.

If you really want an alternative, have the saw rewired with some tough flexi mains cable (it's called 'perm') as the only real danger point comes where the saw plugs into the extension lead. And thinking of which, it's probably a good idea to hang the end of the extension lead off the ground where the saw plugs in.
 

Taffycat

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Gosh, thank you for the speedy reply Flopps.

I very much appreciate your views - and feel much happier to know that we're not doing anything stupid. I have always fussed about protecting the part where the saw plugs into the cable, insisting that it's either off the ground completely, or swathed in plastic. Lol... now Terry can't tell me I'm being OTT.

Many thanks from the both of us. :thumb:
 
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Does Mr TC wear chainsaw protective equipment when using the chainsaw?
I still keep old kit, now 16yrs old just in case i need to kit up before using a chainsaw.
 

Taffycat

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Does Mr TC wear chainsaw protective equipment when using the chainsaw?
I still keep old kit, now 16yrs old just in case i need to kit up before using a chainsaw.
It's not a chainsaw, it's actually a slightly older version of this one:



But yes, hubby is always careful :)
 

EvanDavis

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When I do me mam's grass, I wrap the extention cable where ya plug the mower into in a plastic bag if it is a bit damp.But as FBS says, if the cable is good and Mr Taffycat doesn't decide to plunge into the pond while holding said device then he will be ok. Besides its only 240 volts, just hurts a bit :D
 
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floppybootstomp

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Besides its only 240 volts, just hurts a bit :D
Mostly, yes, but 240 volts should be taken seriously - it can kill. Not the volts so much as the current. If your body supplies a convenient conduit as little as half an amp can kill you, 'specially if you have a weak ticker.
 

EvanDavis

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Mostly, yes, but 240 volts should be taken seriously - it can kill. Not the volts so much as the current. If your body supplies a convenient conduit as little as half an amp can kill you, 'specially if you have a weak ticker.
Thats how them tazer things work innit. 2 AAA bateries, but massive amps. My comment was very sarcastic BTW :D
 

crazylegs

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You won't have any problems with the extension cables TC just make sure you wrap the plug ends in a carrier bag and all should be absolutely fine!
 

nivrip

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I clean my drive with a power washer and there is water everywhere. The cable itself is often in the water but I make sure that any socket/plug combinations are well off the ground and covered in plastic.

And I'm still here to tell the tale. :D
 

muckshifter

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Police Taser's use about 50,000 volts, volts do not kill, amps do, it takes about .2A (200 mA) to kill. :)



Remember to remove your pacemaker before inserting fingers into household sockets.
 
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nivrip

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volts do not kill,
They certainly can. It's often a combination of volts and amps as Power = Volts x Amps. Shaving sockets in bathrooms are deemed to be safe as the voltage is 240V but the current is very small, therefore the power is also small.

Factors in lethality of electric shock
The lethality of an electric shock is dependent on several variables:
  1. Current (the higher the current, the more likely it is lethal)
  2. Duration (the longer the duration, the more likely it is lethal — safety switches may limit time of current flow). Good old RCD.
  3. Pathway (if current flows through the heart muscle, it is more likely to be lethal)
  4. Voltage (the higher the voltage, the lower the resistance and the more likely dielectric breakdown occurs)
 

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