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Sunday, September 30, 2012

My suddenly "electric" chair and FaceBook

A picture is worth a thousand words. What would I do without Wonder Woman?

Note: as Tracey added to the FaceBook thread because people were [understandably] confused by my metaphorical use of the term "electric chair".

Tracey James Just to clarify - Den's chair is a regular old mechanical recliner. Normally there is nothing electric about it!

[✺le sigh✺ It payeth not to wax lyrical....]


  1. Are there any safety measures on those chairs, so that any electrical accidents will be somehow 'grounded'? Or does everyone who uses them take their life in their hands? I think this is important for us all to know!!! Or else everyone get rid of their 'electric chairs'! Will you continue to use yours?

    Julie M

    1. Julie: as I added to the original posting, the chair itself has no electrical components, though I am very familiar with ones that do. It's just a standard recliner. There is to my knowledge nothing unsafe about an electrically-powered recliner. On the contrary.

      The safety issue here is complicated and I don't wish to go into it, except to say that every electrical device we own is plugged into a powerboard with safety shutter.

      Every one i.e., except the laptop, which had its excess length placed under the chair. That cord, with a transformer turning the current into DC, we didn't worry about, thinking only of the part of it below the transformer. I mean, what could possibly go wrong?!

      That was a mistake. It never occurred to me that it could get tangled in the purely mechanical action of the recliner in that way.

      There's no way it can happen twice, particularly as no power cord will ever find its way under the recliner again.

      Sorry for the confusion.

  2. That is truly one of life's scary bits -- the close encounters that could catapult one into the next world without warning. Thank the goddess for Tracey! It sounds as though the bared wire could have also burned the house down. Double lucky.

    I do know how lucky you feel, and how stunned and shaky you feel as well. You've been in the electric chair, and I've been on the roof of an electric train. A few years ago while grinding paint off the roof of the bedroom train carriage, I dropped the angle grinder, which proceeded to cut right through the grinder's cord. With a generator banging away down on the ground, I couldn't exactly reach out and turn off the switch. I was just lucky. The entire steel carriage could have become electrified with me on it and nowhere to go but straight up or straight down. I did manage to unplug the live grinder cord before it could get me. Obviously. I'm still here and still grinding train carriages.

    1. I don't know if this sounds crazy, but this incident didn't shake me up on purely personal grounds. I am used to living daily with the prospect of immediate death from other causes. Yes, you get used to it.

      I was more concerned about the fire that might have endangered all our lives, and all our possessions, and turned us out of our home. The effect of the last two on us all would have been horrendous.

      Yours is a good but unfortunate example of DC current being converted into deadlier AC by the generator [the reverse of what the laptop transformer does] and I'm glad you're still grinding away! And, no doubt, so is Carl glad to seeing you do domestic chores like angle-grinding steel carriage roofs – and your many friends.

    2. If the damage was at the DC level, after the transformer, then you were in no danger of exiting this world sooner than you'd hoped. Also, given that you would have to be in the chair, using your laptop for the power to be starting a fire, the house wouldn't have been in danger because you would have thrown the flaming chair out the door. N'est ce pas?

      Given that you've worked so hard to stay alive, it would be a cruel pity to be done in by your laptop.

    3. No, the damage to the cable was at the AC level, but I assumed as that part of the cable was "safely" under the chair that any likely human contact would only be at the computer end [DC] of the transformer.

      It's also a miracle that sometime through any given night when we were sleeping, a fire did not start. We would then have been relying on the smoke detectors to get us awake in time and get ourselves out.

      So there was indeed cause for alarm and a lesson was learned that could have been by a very much harder way, i.e., be careful about the assumptions we make.

  3. Oh! OH! This is the stuff of my nightmares! Dave's recliner is awash with (shudder!) the bane of my life i.e. cables! They are everywhere! This blog entry is immediately being drawn to my dearly-beloved's attention. PS Good work, Wonder Woman. What would they do without us!

    1. Ros: if your house has safety shutters at fusebox level, the plugs are into power boards with overload switches, and the cables aren't under the recliner itself, then I doubt you have anything to worry about.

      But yes – what would we do without our Wonder Women? I can't imagine. Or Wonder Men, where the situation is reversed, which happens just as often, no doubt.

  4. Joan, the laptop, like the desktop, is on night and day. The chair is so heavy that it can only be lifted by two men and the sliding door needs to be removed to get it outside as it is wider than the door opening. Given how long it takes Denis to actually get up out of one of those chairs the electrician says he is lucky that he is not dead.

  5. We are unable to leave appliances on all night or even for a few minutes if not in use, so I'm always astonished when I see people's computers or TVs on when they are not sitting in front of them. To me it's like leaving a tap running and I panic. :)

    I suspect that most housefires not caused by slow combustion stoves are caused by electrical faults. You are very lucky in this instance, as I was on the roof with a live 240 volt exposed wire. I think we probably all have these "close shaves" in our lives, and more than we are conscious of.


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