Don’t Mix Electricity And Water!


– What’s up, guys, we’re back in the lab with an experiment you were
told never to try at home. Today we’re experimenting with water and high voltage electricity. Now we’re told all the time never to get electricity
even close to water, but why? What exactly would
happen, if we accidentally dipped electrical cables
into a glass of water? The purpose of this video
today is to find out. Now, for our first experiment, I’ve rigged up this very unsafe device, which basically takes the
electrical power out of my house and splits it into these two wires. If I touch these two wires together now, you can see the light flickers behind me. When they’re disconnected,
the light is off, but if the wires touch,
the light turns back on. Now for this first test, I’ve filled up this glass
with distilled water. Now, distilled water has nothing in it. It should be pure and non-conductive, meaning electricity should not
be able to flow through it. Let’s see if that’s really the case. Here we go. (funky pop music) Absolutely nothing. So, you can see that both
wires are completely submerged in the water here and nothing
is happening to the light. It’s not even flickering, but let’s try touching the
wires underneath the water and see what happens. (pinging) Wow, it made this little pop and I saw a little flash of electricity and the light turned on behind me. (pinging) It’s actually pretty cool and I can see little bubbles
coming off the electrodes. It makes me wonder if those
are little hydrogen bubbles. I think we’ve got a little mini
electrolysis generator here. So update, guys, we have confirmed that distilled water is non-conductive. We had absolutely no reaction. So I’ve gone ahead and filled our glass up with tap water now to see
if there’s any difference. Electricity versus tap water, here we go. (funky pop music) Oh, interesting, look at that. It looks like the light is
actually turning on a little bit. It’s not like brightening right up, but they’re definitely
is some electrical flow. If I pull the wires further
apart, it gets dimmer and if I bring them closer together, it gets a little bit brighter. That is interesting. Look at that, if I move the wires, the light kind of flickers and these wires aren’t touching, they’re just submerged
in the water itself. So apparently, tap water
is slightly conductive. I mean, it won’t run the
full current through it, but you can see there definitely is some kind of electrical connection, because these wires are not touching and of course, if you
touch the wires together, then it goes to full bright. That’s amazing. So, obviously we’re not
getting the full current flow through the water, but
we are getting something. That’s very interesting. Now, I think the original concerns of electricity mixing with water stem back to when people
had portable heaters falling into their bathtub, or dropping their
hairdryer into the bathtub. We have to remember that
bathtubs are not just tap water. They have soaps and shampoos in them. So for this next experiment, let’s try mixing in a little
bath soap to the water and seeing how that changes things up. Making a little bathtub martini (laughs). If it’s not dirty yet, it will be. Voila! OK, our wires are live, here we go. (funky pop music) And you can see things
are a little bit brighter. Oh yeah, that light is
quite a bit brighter. I wouldn’t say it’s full bright. Those are the wires touching
and that’s disconnected. I’d say we’re maybe 50
to 75% of the power, but that’s quite enough, that’s
enough to give you a tingle, if you’re sitting in a bathtub with a high current
device like a hairdryer. So yeah, bath soap and water definitely increases the conductivity. Interesting. So that was pretty cool. We saw exactly what house
power does in soapy water, so I think its time to level
it up now to high voltage. Now you guys remember this thing, this is a big, old bulky
neon sign transformer. It pumps out 12,000 volts of electricity, but it’s current limited to 30 milli amps. These are the kind of things, that used to power those big neon signs, that you see around the city. Now in contrast, if you ever get out to a fast food restaurant, or any kind of business for that matter, you’ll probably see a neon sign like this. These are still powered by
a neon sign transformer, but because of newer technology, they can deliver the same power
at a fraction of the weight. Now I want to give a shout
out to my friend, Jerome, he’s the one that gave me this neon sign. Unfortunately, it’s
broken, so there’s probably not much use for it, except
for the power pack on the back. Now, to salvage a precious
power pack like this, all we have to do is
disconnect it from the sign, clip the wires as far up as we can go and then strip the cable back to expose the small wire inside. Now, the voltage we are using out of our house power was 120 volts. In contrast, these are 10 to 12,000 volts, exponentially higher and
that’s why high voltage signs have such a thick casing
of rubber around them. So for this last experiment today, I wanna demonstrate the power
of high voltage electricity. I’ve cleaned and dried
this glass completely, ’cause we’re gonna go back
to using distilled water, which theoretically is
non-conductive, right. So how will high voltage electricity work with distilled water? We’re about to find out. Now, there are a couple
of really important things to understand about high
voltage electricity. Number one, it’s so powerful, it can actually jump through the air. A normal electric
circuit, you have to touch the wires together, but
not with high voltage. High voltage can jump the gap and form its own electrical bridge, which means flimsy little gloves like this aren’t gonna save you, so
even if you’re wearing gloves, high voltage electricity can
still surge through your body. Now luckily 30 milli amps isn’t enough to stop your heart theoretically, but we never really
wanna take that chance, so whenever you’re dealing
with high voltage electricity, a good rule of thumb is to
put one hand behind your back and operate everything
else with the other hand. We wanna avoid the electricity
crossing through our heart as much as possible. High voltage electricity
versus distilled water. Let’s power it up and see what happens. I’m actually gonna put the tip of this one down into the water first and then we’ll try this second
one and see what happens. Woah, look at that! Not only does distilled
water conduct electricity, but the electricity
actually jumps to the water, before it even makes contact. Look at this. When I start bringing
this second one down, you’ll start hearing it buzzing (buzzing) and if I go a little bit further, it’s like little, purple lightning bolts jumping down to the water. That’s so cool! If we go right into the water,
it completely disappears, but I can still feel this thing buzzing. Bring it out slowly. Oh wow, did you see the
water get stuck to that? That is bizarre, that is really cool. I was not expecting that. So this isn’t something
I was expecting to see, but as I start pulling the
electrodes out of the water, it seems like the water
connects to the electricity, at least it gets about
three-quarters of an inch off the surface and then
drops back down into the dish. Look at this, I can do both at once. That is crazy. It feels like I’m pulling
the surface of the water up. Wow, what happens if I
bring them closer together? Wow! So apparently the water
is even more conductive than the air, because if
I hold the two together close to the surface of the water, it will choose to go through the water, rather than through the air. That’s very interesting and these little water bridges,
that we’re making are nuts. It doesn’t seem to matter where I place the electrode in the dish, the electrical pattern
doesn’t change much. OK, bring them far apart, close together, it’s exactly the same. (funky pop music and buzzing) I see like tinges of green in there. That’s kinda cool, huh? Let me do that again. OK, we’re probably having too much fun, we’d better stop (laughs). Very, very cool experiment, guys and very unexpected with
the water sucking up onto that high voltage electricity. Of course, the real question is what does distilled water taste like after it’s been electrified? Mm, it’s very, very warm. I think there’s bits of
wire floating in there. Mmm, it’s very interesting. It’s like warm on the
top, cold on the bottom, it tastes electric. So let’s summarize what we’ve
just learned here today. There’s nothing in distilled
water, except water itself, and by nature, it won’t
conduct electricity. So we tried using tap water next and found that it will conduct a
small amount of electricity. We tried adding bath soap and
stirring it into the water and found that it made a
substantial difference. And finally we went back
to using distilled water and high voltage
electricity, where we found that even though the
water’s non-conductive, if the voltage is high enough,
it’ll still jump through it. Thanks for joining me for
this set of experiments today and a big shout out to my friend, Jerome, for donating his neon
sign to our cause today. I’ll be looking for you
guys in the next video. Talk to you then. (buzzing) Electric. (funky pop music)

100 thoughts on “Don’t Mix Electricity And Water!

  1. We know that electricity is transported in salt water / in salt water mixed with electricity.But the sea water is also mixed with saline or salt,what will it do if you drive electricity?

  2. I hope that is glass and not any type of doped crystal. I wonder if the electricity can pull ions from the crystal into the water? If its glass it would just be silicon right?
    Honestly curious.

  3. What is the physical phenomenon behind the fact that the water "sticks" to the wire when using high voltage ? Lorentz forces ? If anyone knows…

  4. โ€œWhat exactly would happen if we accidentally dipped electrical cables in to waterโ€ cause we all know thatโ€™s an easy mistake to make

  5. ๐Ÿฎ๐Ÿ’๐Ÿฏ๐Ÿฑ๐Ÿฆ“๐Ÿฑ๐ŸฆŒ๐ŸฆŠ๐ŸŽ๐ŸฆŒ๐Ÿฑ๐Ÿ˜›๐Ÿ˜›๐Ÿ˜›๐Ÿ˜›๐Ÿคค๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜ฅ๐Ÿคค๐Ÿ˜Œ๐Ÿ˜–๐Ÿ˜ฌ๐Ÿ˜–๐Ÿ˜ฌ๐Ÿ˜จ๐Ÿ˜ป๐Ÿ˜ธ๐Ÿ˜ป๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€โค๏ธโ€๐Ÿ’‹โ€๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€โค๏ธโ€๐Ÿ’‹โ€๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€โค๏ธโ€๐Ÿ’‹โ€๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€โค๏ธโ€๐Ÿ’‹โ€๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€โค๏ธโ€๐Ÿ’‹โ€๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€โค๏ธโ€๐Ÿ’‹โ€๐Ÿ‘ฉ

  6. If you put high power wires in the ocean could you make the ocean electric? Like the 12,000 volt wires.

  7. ok so.
    if you put a hair drier in a bath tub full of normal tap water. and you get in then do you get electrocuted.

  8. Pretty sure the water "conducts" at high voltage due to less resistance than air, the electricity has a high enough strength that it will go through the band or wire gaps

  9. So if you're taking a bath in distilled water and somebody throw off radio in the water would you be electrocuted

  10. all this show, and just 10 seconds to hint "hey, don't be part of the circuit People!!!" water conducts eletricity yeah

  11. So I always wondered with GFCI outlets and breaker panels..the suicide by toaster etc. in the bath tub is pretty much B.S. right ?. A quick jolt of current but immediately cutting out.

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