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#127059 - 04/15/01 12:08 PM path of least resistance  
Steve T  Offline
Joined: Feb 2001
Posts: 306
Oak Park, IL, USA
If a radio was dropped into a tub full of water with a person in the tub, would that person get electrocuted? ( A regular one drain, one supply tub--not hydro massage with multiple jets and such)

Assume metal drain and supply and the person is completely in the water--e.g., they aren't leaning on the faucets or such.

Tools for Electricians:

#127060 - 04/15/01 04:04 PM Re: path of least resistance  
sparky  Offline
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 5,311
well the juice would take the path(s) of least impedance to complete the circuit, hopefully using the metal pipe, properly bonded, grounded ( i'm having a bad definition month here) back to the OCPD.

the water may be a secondary, or lesser path, given the pipe has the least impedance(makes you think about pvc) also if the bather was a puity fanatic of sorts and this was distilled water, the effect of the 'human' path would be less.

this is a real quailty Q ! comes up in de-fib recert every time!
i'm looking forward to others comments here!
[Linked Image]

#127061 - 04/15/01 07:45 PM Re: path of least resistance  
resqcapt19  Offline
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 2,148
One of the reasons that water and electricity create such a problem for people is because water is a poor conductor. Wet skin is a better conductor and if the body is in the current flow current will flow through the person. The current will flow on all available paths, with the most current on the path with the lowest resistance and the least on the highest resistance.
In this case the most current should flow between the hot and the grounded conductor connections at the radio, but there may be enough current on the path through the water to kill a person, assuming a metallic drain pipe. With no metallic connections in the tub, I don't think that there would be a problem, but don't try this at home folks.

In a related question, have you ever heard of a documented case of an EMT or other person using de-fib equipment getting shocked by touching the victim's body while it was getting zapped?


#127062 - 04/16/01 12:32 AM Re: path of least resistance  
Bill Addiss  Offline
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 3,878

Your comment reminds me of somehing I saw on TV once. Did anyone see the Baywatch (I watch it for it's informational content [Linked Image] ) episode where they happen to have a portable De-fib in a cave underwater and use it to kill an Electric Eel underwater? would all the current flow between the pads?


[This message has been edited by Bill Addiss (edited 04-16-2001).]

#127063 - 04/16/01 04:41 PM Re: path of least resistance  
sparky  Offline
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 5,311
i've never heard of an incident of any measurable harm.( even though i've seen plenty of boners!) i really have to bite my tongue because it's taught with the threat of rectal lightning for anyone making even a remote contact.
thanks, now i can tell my wife i'm lookin' to see the eel episode! [Linked Image]
the unit is a capacitive discharge 200-360 joules , about a second duration. I would think there would be a graduated effect, with the lesser charge being further away.

where is Scott?
eel vs defib while the radio's on is worthy of his attention here
[Linked Image]

#127064 - 04/16/01 05:47 PM Re: path of least resistance  
Bill Addiss  Offline
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 3,878

All I can tell you is it's an episode where they're wearing Red bathing suits and run on the beach. Sorry I don't have any more info, you may have to sit through quite a few before you come across it. [Linked Image]


#127065 - 04/16/01 06:52 PM Re: path of least resistance  
Scott35  Offline

Broom Pusher and
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 2,707
Anaheim, CA. USA
Hey guys,

Pardon the lack of involvement - I was sitting back watching this thread and the various replies by everyone, but didn't want to spoil anything by posting a long winded message.
Responses are good. Enjoyed reading all of them.
I've got a little story that fits right in line with the "hot water", but first I have to comment on the TV angle!!

Bill, I'm going to try [like Steve] to get away with watching Baywatch without hearing too much static. I've got to see that one!! My Father is a Die-Hard Baywatch - er, maybe he has seen it.. I'll ask.

The first thing that popped into my head was just how much that De Fib pulse would piss off an electric Eel!! Those Eels push a full 1 ampere at upto 800 volts!! and maybe as long as 5 seconds!! [they mentioned all this at Sea World, but someone sneezed when the guide was saying for how long of a duration - sounded like upto 5 seconds].
They blast each other when fighting, so maybe the De Fib pulses would make one go away??
Just seems like the Eel's going to laugh and show that person what a real shocking experience is like [Linked Image]

Gosh, I just love the mixture of TV and Electrical stuff!!!

Squad 51 was at someone's house trying to save this guy's life after he got barbequed while tinkering with the Electric Range. While they were explaining the situation to "Rampart", they just had to say "220"!!
Quote: " Rampart, we have a victim of Electric shock - possibly by 220".
I figured if the joker wasn't satisfied with the shock from one hot - or the lack of shock if he wasn't connecting to ground [EGC, metal frame or the concrete slab?], then he deserves to get fried by grabbing the other hot!!

Another one is the famous quote from the movie "Mr. Mom" when his Wife's new Boss came to pick her up - the part about the room addition.
[boss] So, you're going to redo the wiring??
[Mr. Mom] Oh, Ya.
[Boss] So, are you going to wire it all with 220??
[Mr. Mom] Oh, Ya - 220, 221 - whatever it takes.

There's a million of 'em - enough to start an entire newsgroup forum on!!

What are some of your favorites?? [this goes out to the entire group].

Anyhow, here's the story.

When I was in 4th grade, there was a little pond made from a 3 or 4 foot diameter kid's plastic pool, which was placed in the ground so that the top lip was flush to the grade. In this pond were a few fish, plus some real cool little frogs. There was a small 120 VAC pump that recirculated water.

One evening I was watching the frogs. The pump was on. As I would lean a certain way, the frogs would suddenly stretch out both front legs and both hind legs. When I would move back, they would go back to their normal relaxed state. Happened a few more times, so I [like a 4th grade moron!!] decided to pick one up to see what that was all about.
Didn't take too long to figure it out, once my hand touched the water's surface! [Linked Image]

What was happening when I leaned that certain way was I had pushed a twig, which also pushed a frayed / cracked part of the cord from the pump, into the water.
The water contained dirt and whatever else ran in there from rains [plus fish and frog poop].
Current flowed in all possible directions through the water, then into the moist dirt below the pool.
Even though the pool was plastic, all the dirt and stuff that washed into the pond - plus the grasses that grew into the pond - created multiple points for current to flow out of the pond and into the dirt [earth].
The currents were definitely low [not enough to trip a breaker, but high enough to trip a 6-10 ma GFCI - there wasn't a GFCI protecting it - yet!!].

The poor frogs were just caught right in the middle of these multiple current flow paths!

The moral[s] of the story:

1: If there's a path for current to flow to, which is in some kind of direct contact with water containing minerals [hard water, salts, dirt, metallic stuff like rust, magnesium, calcium, etc.] and a person / living creature gets in series with that current flow, that person / creature will receive a shock! The shock will continue until the current flow has been stopped from flowing through that contact [GFCI trips, Radio gets thrown out, person / creature manages to jump out {not too likely}, conduction path changes, etc.].
Boy, now that's got to be a real bad one!! OUCH!!! [Linked Image]

2: When you see frogs in lilly ponds suddenly "stretch" their legs and keep them real stiff - plus do not try to get away from you, the best thing NOT TO DO is to play Squad 51 and reach in to grab them!!
I know this from experience!! [Linked Image] [Linked Image] [Linked Image]

3: If being chased by Electric Eels, forget the De-Fibulator!! Just get the heck out of the water!! The De-Fib thingee is just going to pulse the surges of current between the pads. If the Eel is caught between the pads while the pulses are active, he might get violently pissed off and demonstrate what a real charge feels like!!

The Eel will curl it's body around whatever it's going to zap, then let loose with the fireworks!! Placing some living creature in that current flow path will result in a "Shocking Experience"

Dang Eels have natural Electrochemical cells inside of them, which connect in a series additive fashion!!

Now that's really something different!! ~:-O

Scott SET

Scott " 35 " Thompson
Just Say NO To Green Eggs And Ham!

#127066 - 04/16/01 07:29 PM Re: path of least resistance  
Bill Addiss  Offline
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 3,878

From what I remember the de-fib was cranked all the way up and the person slapped them on both sides of the eels head underwater.
Yeowww!! [Linked Image]


#127067 - 04/16/01 09:54 PM Re: path of least resistance  
Steve T  Offline
Joined: Feb 2001
Posts: 306
Oak Park, IL, USA
Red huh?

So Scott--do you like frog legs or not?

Are those eels DC?

#127068 - 04/17/01 06:42 PM Re: path of least resistance  
sparky  Offline
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 5,311
great thread!

i bet most here have been the 'frog' at one point or another!

[Linked Image]

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