Appliances store huge power, can be lethal

Published: Oct. 16, 2012 at 10:47 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 19, 2012 at 10:47 PM EDT
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Jimmy Roddy was electrocuted while he was trying to fix his unplugged microwave
Jimmy Roddy was electrocuted while he was trying to fix his unplugged microwave

SYLVESTER, GA (WALB) - We now know an unplugged microwave electrocuted a 25 year old Sylvester man. Police originally thought Jimmy Roddy was electrocuted while he was trying to fix his microwave while it was plugged in.

This tragic accident shows just how dangerous appliances can be, hours or even days after you pull the plug.

We depend on our appliances for just about everything..from washing clothes..most people use them everyday so if something goes wrong, most people try to fix it on their own. But what may seem like a simple fix..could cost you your life.

"Something as simple as a microwave can do a lot of damage," said Chuck Knight of Knight's Appliances.

It cost 25 year old Jimmy Roddy his life. He went to heat up his lunch over the weekend..and when his microwave wasn't working..he unplugged it..and tried to fix it on his own, but he was shocked and later died.

"Certain transformers and capacitors hold a charge. You can hold that and get electrocuted," Knight said.

Microwave ovens use high voltage, and are dangerous even after they are unplugged.

"Sometimes you have some residual electricity that needs to dissipate before you start working on it," Knight said.

Knight says it's not uncommon for folks to try to repair things on their own, especially to save a few bucks.

"If someone comes in to buy a part and they want to quiz us on some things to be cautious about we will do that," said Knight.

But sometimes taking matters into your own hands can not only cause more damage to the equipment and injure you. Knight says it's best to hire a professional.

"We spend a lot of time making sure our people are trained so they don't have mishaps happen to them," Knight said.

Sylvester Investigator Kenneth Washington says most people aren't aware of the dangers.  "The average microwave put out about 2,000 volts, so that's dangerous."

But its not just microwaves, any appliance can be dangerous. "I've known people to get hurt by the old TV sets as well," Washington said.

From 1995 to 2002, microwave ovens were involved in an average of seven electrocutions a year.

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