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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Electrical Systems
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  #11  
Old 11-18-2011
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Old 11-18-2011
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12 volts can not only shock you, it can kill you .... its the amperage that does the damage not the voltage. Your 12 volt starter probably draws about 400amps and your alternator could probaly push out 20 - 50 amps depending on what you have. It takes milliamps to cause paralysis. You have a short somewhere and this is one of those times you should hire a qualified marine electrician and not rely on "dock talkers"
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Old 11-18-2011
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Possibly static electricity and not wiring related at all? Heck, maybe it's just a different pair of shoes.
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Old 11-18-2011
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12 volts can not only shock you, it can kill you
I can touch the positive terminal and negative terminal of a 600 amp battery bank. How come I don't get shocked? And why am I still alive?
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Old 11-18-2011
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Was there any AC on at the time? Inverter?
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Old 11-18-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by btrayfors View Post
Twelve volts isn't going to shock you.Bill
Obviously you have never set the timing on an old style ignition distributor.

I have been zapped more than once by a leaky spark plug lead when twisting the distributor. It was comparable to what hits you when you get tickled by a defective 110 outlet or switch.
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Quote:
12 volts can not only shock you, it can kill you
Based on the resistance of skin on the average person, that statement is not true. If the 12 volts is applied to a more conductive part of the body, mucus membranes or an open wound, perhaps it could do some harm.

The National Electrical Code has designated high voltage at over 40 volts. The place where most people could experience a shock or induce the flow of current through the skin.

That said, I fully advocate seeking professional or qualified assistance in any area someone feels a lack of understanding.

For the OP's original question, more information about the circumstance will be required.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SloopJonB View Post
Obviously you have never set the timing on an old style ignition distributor.

I have been zapped more than once by a leaky spark plug lead when twisting the distributor. It was comparable to what hits you when you get tickled by a defective 110 outlet or switch.

That is not 12 volts.
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Old 11-18-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SloopJonB View Post
Obviously you have never set the timing on an old style ignition distributor.

I have been zapped more than once by a leaky spark plug lead when twisting the distributor. It was comparable to what hits you when you get tickled by a defective 110 outlet or switch.
I'm pretty sure that ignition systems work by accumulating a very large potential difference across a high-resistance medium (the spark gap). The voltage in a spark plug is way over 12V.

Quote:
Originally Posted by boatpoker
12 volts can not only shock you, it can kill you .... its the amperage that does the damage not the voltage.
That's true, but first the current has to get past the resistance of your skin, which requires high voltage.
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I work with 12 volts and batteries all the time and I have never got a hint of a buzz - even when I was holding an non-insulated wrench that arced to a ground.

If you shorted a battery terminal and held it long enough it would get hot - I didn't.

Now 120 volts - you notice that.
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