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Thread: Water question

  1. #1

    Default Water question

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    In my town we've recently had some flooding and many secondary pedestals and transformers were completely covered. If water is a conductor, why doesn't a fuse blow? Shouldn't it be going phase to phase or phase to ground when it's engulfed with water?

  2. #2


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    Clean water has a very high resistance that reduces according to the amount of contaminants (dirt) in it. But even if it does work its way into exposed connections its resistance compared to the power available often just results in heating of the water, and because it's fluid it often flows with convection currents and takes the heat away.

    The two biggest issues other than the waste of power are voltage gradient in the water which poses a huge shock hazard in the right circumstances and the very annoying way that the receding water when the flood clears can cause a slight carbon path to follow it down insulators (tracking) resulting in random arcing and flashovers. Sometimes long after the flooding incident.
    Portable defibrillators were first invented to save the lives of linemen. Where's yours?

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