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Bathtub Electrocution Myth

  • Listed: 2019-09-14 7:08 pm
  • Expires: 8263 days, 19 hours
before turning light on
light in tublight in tub2light in tub3light removed from tub closeup


As a life-long “Maker,” I’ve always doubted the stories about electrocuting someone by throwing an appliance into the bathtub. After watching a show recently about a guy murdering his wife by throwing a radio into the tub, and electrocuting her with sparks shooting out of the radio, I decided to test it out. Sure, if your tub water is saltwater, or if you have a lot of Epson salts or whatever in the water, then your water will be more conductive of electricity but regular tap water does not conduct much electricity.

So I took a standard light socket with bare exposed wires, filled up the tub and placed the light in the water. Then I plugged the lamp into a nearby 120 volt wall socket. No problem, the lamp lit fine, no blown fuses and no sparks and no problem.

Sure, if I would have been in the tub, grabbed a bare live wire, and touched a water tap with the other hand I would have got a good shock but it’s not much different than when I was standing on a wet lawn once in runners, touched a live bare wire on my skill-saw, and got one helluva shock. Most of the people who supposedly died from an electric shock in a bathtub (if there actually were any,) were probably 80 years old and actually died from hitting their head on the railing.

This reminds me of a 48 hours murder mystery recently, of a woman who told her friend one month prior to her mysterious death, that her husband “accidentally” dropped a TV into the bathtub while she was bathing. This after mysteriously insisting that she watch a show while having a bath. He should have done some tests first because his mistaken belief about killing someone by dropping an electric appliance in the bathtub helped the jury convict him.

Having said that, if your power is 220 volts as in Europe, your electric shock will be 4 times higher than with 120 volts. And yes that’s 4 times the power with only 2 times the voltage…much more dangerous.

Anyway, I’m not encouraging anyone to experiment with this stuff…just stating what I’ve learned on the topic, from working on numerous electrical projects.

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One Response to “Bathtub Electrocution Myth”

  1. why don’t you put your hand in the water if you feel its no problem

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  • Listed by: Richard
  • Member Since: 2015-12-08

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