I think it’s understood that if someone is taking a bath, and a running hair dryer falls in, they will be electrocuted. What I don’t understand is why? I understand that the human body is a better conductor then tap water, but why would the current travel through the human? Assuming that the drain is the only ground, and the person isn’t touching anything, wouldn’t the current travel directly from the hair dryer to the drain? What if the person is sitting at one end of the tub, and the hair dryer falls in directly over the drain? Would they still be shocked?
Current doesn't only takes the shortest path 'cos if the shortest path is full of electrons moving about, it is easier for some of them to go a longer way without bumping into each other than to get in line with the others. Compare to traffic in a busy city. Electrons don't bother about signs...
#44485 - 11/05/0404:00 PMRe: Hair dryer in bath: Why would you be shocked?
Electricity takes every path available to it. Use Ohms law to determine the current flow through each parallel path. Distance is a factor in the resistance put up by the water, which is why the fellow 500 yards from the hair dryer dropped in the lake doesn't feel a thing.
#44487 - 11/05/0409:09 PMRe: Hair dryer in bath: Why would you be shocked?
"Mythbusters" just tested this out- and they had no trouble 'electrocuting' their dummy with a variety of appliances. Those with GFI or imersion protective devices were, in fact, effectively protected.
Also, out here Fish & Game uses electricity to stun fish for census purposes; it's amazing how large an area a little jolt will stun.
#44488 - 11/08/0410:06 AMRe: Hair dryer in bath: Why would you be shocked?
We have a site where we divert trout from swimming upstream into a controlled side channel to collect eggs etc. using an electric field which temporarily paralizes the fish. So growing scales won't protect you.
#44490 - 11/08/0410:07 PMRe: Hair dryer in bath: Why would you be shocked?
Good ole dynamite fishing... illegal in most areas. Common joke here is the "dynamite fishing in the aquarium" using firecrackers. Nobody ever did it as far as I know, but everybody gets a laugh of the idea... will effectively shatter the aquarium.