snopes.com  

Go Back   snopes.com > Urban Legends > Science

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 12 February 2011, 08:52 PM
nonnieyrissa's Avatar
nonnieyrissa nonnieyrissa is offline
 
Join Date: 16 July 2007
Location: Brooklyn/Hudson, NY/Rancho Cordova, CA
Posts: 2,554
Default 100s of recorded cases of accidental electrocutions because of hairdryers

I was trying to figure out how to turn a blow-dryer(for hair) into a hand-held fan* when I came across this...
Quote:
In the late 1970s, manufacturers began to focus on improving the safety of dryers. Early hairdryers were dangerous because if they accidentally came in contact with water they would short circuit and cause an electrical shock. There are hundreds of recorded cases of accidental electrocutions because a hairdryer was dropped into a bathtub or sink full of water while it was being used. In the late 1970s the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) recommended guidelines for hair dryer manufacturers to follow that would create safer products.
http://www.answers.com/topic/hairdryer

This seems awfully high even with the amount of dolts I know!

*No luck with this either, so if anyone has a clue it would be great if you could share it.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 12 February 2011, 09:02 PM
jimmy101_again jimmy101_again is offline
 
Join Date: 29 December 2005
Location: Greenwood, IN
Posts: 6,912
Default

Just open up the case and cut and remove the heating element.

Last edited by jimmy101_again; 12 February 2011 at 09:06 PM. Reason: spelling
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 12 February 2011, 09:15 PM
nonnieyrissa's Avatar
nonnieyrissa nonnieyrissa is offline
 
Join Date: 16 July 2007
Location: Brooklyn/Hudson, NY/Rancho Cordova, CA
Posts: 2,554
Default

Won't that leave live wires?
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 12 February 2011, 09:27 PM
jimmy101_again jimmy101_again is offline
 
Join Date: 29 December 2005
Location: Greenwood, IN
Posts: 6,912
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by nonnieyrissa View Post
Won't that leave live wires?
Yes. But the dryer already has "live wires", in fact, it has at least two sets of "live wires". Even when the device is switched off it still has "live wires" in it.

Cut the heater and remove it. Reassemble the case. The resulting device has the same hazards as the original device. And, those hazards are exactly the same as a purpose built hand held fan that never had the heating element in it to start with. The hand-held fan is still a 120V (or 240V) device connected to a power source that is at least 15 amps. More than enough oomph to kill a person.

For increased safety, just plug it into a ground fault (GFI) outlet. (IIRC, in the US all new bathroom, garage and outdoor outlets have been GFI protected for the last 30 years or so.)
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 12 February 2011, 09:55 PM
Cervus's Avatar
Cervus Cervus is offline
 
Join Date: 21 October 2002
Location: Florida
Posts: 21,203
Default

My hair dryer, and my mother's, both have a button that shuts off the heat. I think that's fairly common on newer models.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 12 February 2011, 09:56 PM
nonnieyrissa's Avatar
nonnieyrissa nonnieyrissa is offline
 
Join Date: 16 July 2007
Location: Brooklyn/Hudson, NY/Rancho Cordova, CA
Posts: 2,554
Default

Ok, that makes sense. I really do not know much about finished electronics and was thinking along the lines that I would need to somehow cover the ends. Thank you so much for taking the time to respond.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 12 February 2011, 10:05 PM
nonnieyrissa's Avatar
nonnieyrissa nonnieyrissa is offline
 
Join Date: 16 July 2007
Location: Brooklyn/Hudson, NY/Rancho Cordova, CA
Posts: 2,554
Default

Mine does too Cervus. Micah found a hair-dryer in the attic and decided that he is going to make a fan to blow his parachuting bombs over the wall into his lego city(hope that makes sense, he is a strange kid). I told him to just use a fan but he feels he needs a more directed air flow, so I want to be able to supervise this.

I swear this kid tries to thwart any and all attempts by me to ensure he survives to adulthood.

Luckily I happened to glance over as he was passing by juggling the hair-dryer, several screwdrivers, a steak knife, and several kinds of tape.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 12 February 2011, 10:14 PM
Beachlife!'s Avatar
Beachlife! Beachlife! is offline
 
Join Date: 22 June 2001
Location: Lansing, MI
Posts: 28,667
Default

Don't most hair dryers allow you to turn the heat on or off?

Don't handheld fans cost like $1?
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 12 February 2011, 10:22 PM
nonnieyrissa's Avatar
nonnieyrissa nonnieyrissa is offline
 
Join Date: 16 July 2007
Location: Brooklyn/Hudson, NY/Rancho Cordova, CA
Posts: 2,554
Default

I thought so but it doesn't appear to have one and I love mine and do not trust him to give it back in one piece.

He has several small fans off varying sizes and shapes(even one that shoots water with the air) but he insists they will not work. He wants very strong but directed air. I told him to use the thing that blows up his camping bed and he appears satisfied so far.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 12 February 2011, 10:23 PM
Lainie's Avatar
Lainie Lainie is offline
 
Join Date: 29 August 2005
Location: Suburban Columbus, OH
Posts: 74,585
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmy101_again View Post
For increased safety, just plug it into a ground fault (GFI) outlet. (IIRC, in the US all new bathroom, garage and outdoor outlets have been GFI protected for the last 30 years or so.)
The last few hairdryers I bought also had their own GFI switches.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Kagan’s court nomination not related to Obama cases snopes Snopes Spotting 0 09 November 2010 05:13 AM
Researchers Play Tune Recorded Before Edison snopes History 10 03 April 2008 02:22 AM
'No-Body Cases' Can, and Do, Go to Trial snopes Crime 15 21 February 2008 08:11 AM
The World's Weirdest Cases Victoria J Legal Affairs 9 17 January 2008 08:23 AM
Accidental condom inhalation snopes Medical 6 04 August 2007 07:07 PM


All times are GMT. The time now is 11:58 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.