Electric Shock and Leakage of Current
Sometimes due to carelessness or ignorance, electric phase (Live) wire comes in touch with human body and the current flows through the body as the body is good conductor of electric current. Muscular functions of the body are paralyzed. The current gives shock although it depends on voltage. When the body is dry, its resistance is more; hence, there is less current and less shock. But when the body is wet, its resistance is less, so there is more current and more shock for the same voltage. Electric shocks also occur due to leakage and earth faults in electrical appliances.
Leakages of Current
- Phase to Earth Shorting:When phase wire in an appliance gets in touch with the body of the instrument, the current starts flowing through the earth as a parallel circuit. If there exists proper earth connection through earth pit (hole in the ground), a huge current will flow through it.
- Leakage of Current to Earth:If phase wire is connected to the body of instrument through a resistance, some amount of current will flow through earth. There will be no short (distance) between the phase and the earth and the fuse will not blow out. If the instrument is in touch with earth properly, leaking current will go to earth. If a person touches the body of appliance, he would not get any shock. If earthing of instrument is not proper, some current will flow through the body and we will feel shock.
- Wet Walls and Electrical Shocks:If the water comes in contact with live electric wire either in a switch plate or naked joint, the conduction of current will start via water through earth. The entire wet wall will start giving shock. If earth path through building walls and floors has considerable resistance, the amount of current will be less. If the supply is on, the water touching with naked wire will cause the same shock as with live wire.
Precautions during Electric Shock in Wet Walls
Whenever naked electric wire touches the wall either due to ignorance or carelessness or due to any fault, electric current flows into the wall.
The intensity of electric current or shock is less when the wall is dry as dry wall has more resistance to electric current. The intensity of electric current or shock is more in the same voltage in case of wet wall because wet wall has less resistance to electric current. To avoid electric shock in wet walls, take following steps.
- First of all switch off power in the portion where the water is likely to come in contact with electrical wire.
- Let the wall be dry.
- Correct the source of leakage of water at the wall.
- Seal the joints of switch boxes etc.
- Change naked wires with proper insulated wire or apply proper insulation over naked wire.
- Restart electrical supply.
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Electricity can be deadly if not used with utmost care. When the phase or live wire touches our body, electric current gives shock depending on the intensity of voltage and paralyze muscular functions of the body. To avoid electric shocks during electric works/contact, make sure you have followed all precautions of electric shock mentioned in the following article.
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