And now, ABC's Movie of the Week is: Zapped! Starring Scott Baio!

Have you ever taken your toaster into the bathtub with you?

Of course you haven't. We all know, from watching old black and white shorts, like the Three Stooges, Laurel and Hardy and The Little Rascals, that if you take a toaster into a bath, all your hair will stand up straight, and smoke will come out your ears.

Ok. We know that's not true. Please, do not take any electrical items into a bath with you if they are plugged in! I'm serious! You will die.

Or will you?

Water does not conduct electricity.

"But Otter", You scream, "all my electrical items have a 'DO NOT USE IN WATER!" warning on them!"


True. They do. But not because water will case an issue. It's what's in the water that causes the problem.

If you were to fill a sterilized glass with distilled water, you could place a live wire in it, and then your hand, and as long as you don't touch the wire, you'll be safe.

Add a little impurity into the water though, and all bets are off. Neither Hydrogen or Oxygen are conductive to electricity. It's all the extra stuff that is in our water that zaps us. These particles are typically called 'salts'. It's not always your everyday NaCl salt. I can be, but impurities in waters are called salts. (I didn't come up with it, so don't blame me) When these salts are in the water, electricity can form a 'salt bridge' and move around the water as long as there are new salts to jump to. And if it encounters you, well......


I don't recommend you try this at home with the jug of distilled water you put in your iron. The tiniest amount of salts in the water will cause great bodily harm. If you have access to sterile lab equipment and can distill your own pure water in a sterile environment, feel free. Otherwise, leave it to the professionals.

Ok. This post is over. Now I can describe this little tidbit in one word without fear of retribution: Shocking!

No one reads these things to the end, right?