Electricity and water: we know from a young age to keep the two apart. We are told of the dangers of mixing these two essential elements of daily life, but why is this mixture dangerous? It’s more complex than you might think.
Now, why are we bringing this article to you? Because many people like to listen to the radio in the shower or when in the bath, and while that sounds like a risk not worth taking, there are ways to make it safe. Let’s begin by explaining why water and electricity should never be mixed and what you can do to prevent it from happening.
Why Is Electricity Dangerous Near Water?
First, we cannot stress just how dangerous electrical appliances are when immersed in water when switched on. The risk of electrocution is very real and not just confined to horror films! So, what happens when electricity meets water?
First, it’s important to know that water itself does not conduct electricity. What does conduct electricity are the many impurities that are found in our regular water supplies?
These can be debris picked up on the journey from source to your home – through a network of pipelines and pumping stations – plus minerals and other elements that are microscopic and perfectly safe. Safe, that is, until they are ‘switched on’ by an electrical current is applied.
Once the contaminants in water are charged, the danger is present and real. In large high-voltage installations, there is a need for cooling. This is usually done by way of water.
How does that work? The water used in such installations is known as ‘low conductivity water’ (LCW). This has been purified to the extent that most of the contaminants have been removed. Yet this is not the water in your home!
If you check out Crunch Reviews, you’ll find some examples of an appliance that has been designed to be used in the shower despite being electrical. These shower speakers have been carefully constructed to be waterproof. If you are listening to the radio in the shower, make sure you have one of these and a genuine item. Now let’s talk about the damage done to the equipment if water gets in.
What Damage Will Water Do To Audio Equipment?
A mixture of water and electricity will ruin any appliance if it happens to get wet. If the appliance is on when the water hits it, it may simply blow all the fuses but will also destroy much of the internal wiring and components. If the appliance is accidentally dropped in water when switched off, there is a chance it can be fixed. Under no circumstances attempt to turn it on when it is still wet.
You can buy ‘dry packs’ that include material that will extract the water from the item – this may take a while – and only when you are certain should you try it out. Note that the danger from battery-powered items is not great; the main concern is that of mains-powered devices being involved in, for example, a flood. What can you do to prevent the danger of water and electricity mixing? That’s what we will talk about next.
What Precautions Can I Take?
When you buy an appliance for use in, for example, the bathroom, it will have been designed with waterproofing in mind. Here are some further precautions you can take to minimize the risk of water and electricity dangers.
- Ensure your bathrooms and kitchen are equipped with the correct outlets and switches for the purpose. Newer homes will already be furnished as such, but we advise checking with older properties.
- If using extension leads keeps them away from water and outdoors, ensure they are designed for that purpose. For safety’s sake, bring them indoors where possible in the rainy season.
- Never use electrical appliances in the bathroom or near water unless specifically designed for the purpose.
- Do not let children near portable electrical equipment.
- If there is a flood and there is a danger of electricity being involved, turn your supply off at the source and call the emergency plumbers to sort the flood immediately.
- Never use power tools in the rain or near a source of water.
The likelihood of a water and electricity mix in the home is slight, but it always pays to be on the right side of safe.
In summary, water and electricity should be kept apart. There is a genuine danger if the two mixes and your audio equipment will certainly be damaged beyond repair if it becomes wet. Check out shower speakers if you want your radio on in the bathroom, as they are safe, affordable, and a great addition to the room.