|reply to Clever_Proxy |
Re: Turning off Power to a Building
Nothing should happen if you throw those switches but you can further minimize the risk by having every load individually turned off beforehand.
The other piece of instruction I received was to never stand directly in front of the switch. Stay to the left or to the right whichever side gives you better leverage to move the switch handle (but also consider which side gives a better exit route should things unexpectedly go wrong).
The worst case scenario (not very likely, but something you should know) would be a heavy load still live when you turn the switch and a plasma arc forming across the contacts that doesn't self-extinguish. In that case hot metal vapor will develop inside the switch and it may not stay inside.
Based on the looks of those switches you are not dealing with currents where such a problem would be likely.
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