The Shocking Truth About Electrical Wiring

Posted on: October 31, 2014

It’s time for your local St. Petersburg electrical services company to address some shockingly common misconceptions about wiring. Unlike other less harmful household misconceptions, when someone misunderstands electricity it can be incredibly dangerous for both them and their family.

As a precautionary statement, you should never attempt to perform wiring repairs on your own, but should instead call an electrical service professional for assistance.

Neutral wires can hold a charge

Most any St. Petersburg resident with a rudimentary understanding of electricity knows there are two leads that come off a power source: positive and negative (or neutral). The hot wire is the positive one, because this is the lead where the electricity flows away from the source. This is the dangerous wire. That means the neutral lead is the safe wire because it’s only used to complete the circuit.

This casual analysis gets a lot of people shocked.

When can a neutral wire hold a charge?

  • When it’s powering something. Just because it’s a negative wire, if it’s completing the circuit, there’s power there.
  • You accidentally complete a circuit to the ground with your body.
  • Your volt meter is completing the circuit inadvertently.

Extension cords are no substitute for permanent wiring

Extension cords are meant only as a temporary substitute for your St. Petersburg home.  These pose a fire hazard and can never substitute hiring professional electrical services to install new permanent outlets.  When using these you should also make sure they are never run underneath a carpet, or pinched at any point along its length.

It only takes 25mA to kill you

That’s right. Your nerves are the most conductive material in your body which receives commands from your brain via electrical impulses.  More than just receptors for physical sensation, they have complete muscle control.

  • 1mA (milliampere) is the smallest current your body can detect (i.e. you can feel it)
  • 5mA is the maximum we can handle without damage
  • At 10-20mA the current starts to disrupt the signals sent through the nerves from the brain
  • 25mA is enough current to freeze your diaphragm

In the end, even with a complete knowledge on the subject, attempting to repair or install wiring in your house is simply unsafe to do alone.  If you need electrical services for your St. Petersburg residence, stay safe, and call Midway today!


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