Read this-directly from the mouth of someone who works on the RR and should know:Really, not to discredit what you said because it makes a lot of sense, however, I thought it was the other way around. I'm fairly sure the pulses of AC will lock muscles above around 60ma.
"DC current tends to lock your nerves up, which is why electricians touch wires with the back of their hands in case it is charged and they cannot let go. AC(without a significant DC offset) lines do not have this effect because the current runs in both directions and the average direction of current is close to zero."
Another interesting post in that thread regarding the effects of DC:
"I've peeled more than one dead, smouldering body off of the third rail only to find their skin, muscle and other soft tissue adhered to the rail. I've cut metal bars and garbage pails with a torch that have become welded to the rails. And I work with men who carelessly came in contact with the third rail, burned to a crisp and laid in a hospital bed for months.
One was sitting on the protection board and his dangling keys hit the rail. The docyor had to dig the brass key out of his hip bone."
In fact, the entire 4-page thread makes for interesting reading if you have the time. I just picked a couple of highlights. High voltage anything is bad news, but all other things being equal DC is way worse.
Oh, and the AC used in electric chairs may well have had enough of a DC offset to lock muscles. In fact, I'd be surprised if it didn't. Hard to make 2000 VAC without having a DC offset of a few volts, which is really all it would take to lock muscles once the surface resistance of the skin was overcome.
Agreed although you can still get shocked using a multimeter or test light (yes, it happened to me more times than I care to admit). Now I tend to wear rubber gloves even when working on supposedly deenergized line voltage circuits just in case.I don't know why electricians wouldn't use a multimeter instead or test probes with a light... seems safer
Yep-I've gotten mild shocks touching 12VDC right after washing my hands if I've neglected to dry them completely. Same thing also happened coming in contact with sharp test points of opposite polarity. Once they penetrate the skin, ouch! And the old 9V battery on the tougue trick vividly shows how little voltage it takes to get a detectable current flowing through your body.Experience tells me that DC grabs, AC throws. A friend of mine suffers from the loss of the use of two fingers and two thumbs from a 12VDC lighting circuit (amperage unknown)"... perhaps DC is the more dangerous one. Either way I don't intend to test it for the forum