Handy Hints Blog

Why Water And Electricity Don't Mix

  • 16 Dec 2010

Most people know that water and electricity do not mix, but many do not know why. The simple answer is that water conducts electricity.

The deadly combination

Interestingly, the complex answer may initially seem to contradict the simple answer. Water itself doesn’t conduct electricity, it is the impurities that are suspended in the water. Impurities such as minerals and dust that are found in most water. As a matter of fact, scientists and engineers use a special type of water, unsurprisingly called low-conductivity water (LCW), which has had all the impurities removed, to cool high voltage equipment.

Because none of us don’t have LCW running from our taps, we need to be incredibly careful around water and electricity. That is why bathrooms have special electrical outputs and it is why you shouldn’t use extension cords designed for indoors, outdoors.

If you have a water leak in your house you should be concerned not just because of the structural damage it may be doing but also because it may come into contact with the electrical supply. Likewise, if you have any worn or old cabling that is near water then you should get it checked by an electrician as this is incredibly dangerous.

Whenever water and electricity are in close proximity, you need to be extra aware and always ensure your home has at least one safety switch.

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