I’ve been using heated riding gear for well over a decade and for the most part it’s been very reliable. I’ve had a couple of bullet connectors that have failed and needed to be replaced, I’ve had to fix the wiring inside my 10-year old Gerbings heated jacket, I’ve had two pair of Gerbings gloves that have ceased to deliver the necessary warmth after they were about 5 years old and I’ve had a Gerbings controller go bad. But, other than being left in the cold now and again, nothing that couldn’t easily be fixed or that left a mark.
Well, that all changed tonight when I suddenly realized that my left hand was being burned inside my gloves by what had to be an electrical short in my Powerlet glove liner nestled inside the Olympia leather glove that I wear over my liner.
I was pulling up to a stoplight and felt an intense blast of heat on the side of my hand and pinky. As quickly as I could I reached down and shut off the power to my heated gear which immediately curtailed the intense burning feeling I had on my left hand. I stopped at a gas station a short time later and imagine my surprise when I pulled off my glove and found I had a small electrical burn on my hand where the glove’s nichrome wiring had shorted-out and burned/melted the surrounding glove material at the short as well as the insulation on the outer glove.
I’ll have to break out my old Gerbings gloves for tomorrow’s commute, but will definitely be taking the shorted-out gloves back to my local Powerlet dealer to see if this is / was a common problem with the FIRe technology or Powerlet products.
What’s interesting is that I think this may have been a problem in the making as it was only about a week ago when I found my left glove getting incredibly hot to the point that it left a 1st degree burn under the nichrome wire on the back of my hand. I blew it off as I assumed that I must have accidentally cranked the heat all the way and didn’t pay attention until the heat got my attention. The redness went away after about 30 minutes.
Not so with this burn and less severe 1st degree burn that extends down my pinky finger from the shorted nichrome wire that ran down the length of the glove’s little finger. Fortunately, it’s not all that painful; perhaps on par with your typical kitchen burn. It’s the aroma of cooked skin that doesn’t sit well more than anything else, something that I haven’t had to deal with since my days as a first responder / EMT back in the late 70’s and early 80’s.