There are hundreds of urban legends that have multiplied since the birth of the Internet, since they are now much easier to spread. Most are false, or outright nonsense, but some are scientific facts that have become legends because, as always happens, reality surpasses the best of fictions. Is it true that if you wash dishes or take a shower during a storm, you can suffer an electric shock?
Everything we have ever experienced a power outage in the middle of a storm, and we have even checked how an appliance has broken, if the plugs are not protected against power surges.
The rays of a storm generate a large electric charge, and if they fall near the light cables, this load is carried by the electricity cables, causing all kinds of problems. But what does this have to do with washing dishes or showering?
As John Jensenius, lightning safety specialist for the United States National Weather Service, explains in Reader’s Digest via TICbeat, water also conducts electricity. Pure water is not actually conductive, but it always contains small impurities or minerals, or is generated by the pipe itself, which act as electrically conductive ions.
Maybe your house has plastic pipes instead of metal, and you think you’re protected. But if the water already carries this electricity from the outside, you will also be affected.
So if lightning strikes a pipe or water tank, the discharge can move through the small impurities contained in the running water. If at the moment the lightning strikes we are washing the dishes, washing our hands or showering, there is a possibility of electric shock.
This download will not be very strong because water, despite what has been said, is a poor conductor of electricity. But if it could be high enough to notice a whiplash.
For this reason, experts advise do not use running water or appliances during a lightning storm. Even if they fall far. If we hear them, they can affect us.
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