Common Myths About Electricity Explained
Electricity is a crucial part of our day-to-day lives. Our reliance on it is so routine that we often end up taking it for granted, while common misconceptions about the usage, safety, and power of electricity are spread as fact. Can you separate fact from fiction? Here are some of the common myths about electricity, cleared up and deconstructed.
The Insulating Power of Rubber and Wood
A material that effectively allows the flow of electricity is known as a conductor, while a material that does not allow this flow is referred to as an insulator. Insulating material is important in the world of electrical safety, since blocking the flow of electricity into the body is the easiest way of avoiding harmful shocks. Two materials that people tend to denote as insulators are rubber and wood, but a closer look should be taken.
Pure rubber is a great insulator, but household rubber items like gloves and shoes almost always have synthetic additives thrown in, which can diminish rubber’s insulating potential. Wood is technically a conductor, but not a very effective one. However, when wood becomes wet, its conductive power greatly increases.
Is Electricity Weightless?
It may be hard to believe, but there is a small amount of mass to electricity. An electrical current is essentially the flow of electrons, and electrons have mass, just like all other forms of matter. However, it’s not an easily discernible amount of mass, seeing as electrons only have 0.054% of the mass of neutrons (the most massive subatomic particles).
Power Lines Must Be Insulated
Just because birds can safely land on power lines doesn’t mean that the lines are insulated. Unlike power cords for household devices and appliances, roughly 90% of overhead power lines carry no insulation. Insulating lines can be very expensive, and the only protection these lines have in most cases is some simple weather coating.
The “Speed” of Electricity
Another of the common myths about electricity concerns the speed at which electrical energy travels. Many people assume that it travels at the speed of light, possibly due to associating electrical energy with ultra-fast lightning strikes. But when running through household wiring, an electrical current only moves at about one percent of the speed of light. Granted, this is still equivalent to over 1,000 miles per hour, which is why turning on a light switch in your home feels like an instantaneous process.
With a fair amount of misconceptions and myths about electricity still being taken at face value, it’s good to rely on experts with years of hands-on training. At Bryant Electric Service, we specialize in electrical repair, lighting installation, surge protection, and much more. Get in touch with us today to schedule service or request a free estimate!