Five myths of electricity

May 20, 2016


Myth 1: Wood is a good insulator. How many of us have done the ‘wooden spoon in the toaster’ trick? Wood is actually still a conductor. Not a good one, but a conductor all the same. High voltage electricity has no problem moving through wood. What’s worse is if the wood has moisture, it increases it conducting capabilities


Myth 2: All power lines are well insulated. The startling truth is that approximately 90% of outside power lines are bare wires, i.e. not insulated. They are weatherproof to protect from the elements, but this does not mean protection against electric shock. Unfortunately, even weather proofing is susceptible to years of weather wear and tear, leaving them completely without protection. In short, stay away from power lines, always.


Myth 3: The electricity is shut down on power lines that fall to the ground. Most of the time when a power line it hits asphalt, which is a poor conductor of electricity. However, on the electricity company’s side of things, they see an increase in electricity (i.e electricity request), not an electrical fault. To them this increased electricity request is no different to families returning home from work and using their appliances, or kids coming home from school and switching on their televisions.


Myth 4: Rubber soled shoes protect against electricity. They’re good insulators. Well, that’s only if they are made of 100% rubber. The problem is, most aren’t.  The fact is most manufacturing companies add other materials for sake of our comfort – many of which are actually conductors, not insulators.


Myth 5: When live wires fall, they make sparks. This is only the case if they fall and make no contact with the ground or another conductive source. However, when wires fall to the ground and make firm contact they seldom create any sparks or noise at all. What you must be weary of here is that it will look like a dead wire or one that has been safely de-energized. Of course, that doesn’t mean that it is a dead wire!


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