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Electricity & Water

Community Veteran
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Registered: 02-08-2007

Electricity & Water

Was always told that electricity and water are not a good mix but watching tonights news regarding flooding a car was almost submerged in water with just about a foot showing above the water but the windscreen wipers still appeared to be working, any idea how this could be as I assumed the water would have shorted everything out.
Obviously the engine would not be going and the power would come direct from the battery but how could the wiper motor still be running ?Huh
13 REPLIES
Community Veteran
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Registered: 16-02-2009

Re: Electricity & Water

as you said BATTERY, unless it was salt water then no real problem.
But good luck starting it again.
Community Veteran
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Re: Electricity & Water

It could have been a diesel car.... they can run underwater....
(another good reason for me having a Skoda Fabia 1.9 Diesel !!! )
Community Veteran
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Re: Electricity & Water

As long as the air intake isn't under water. Smiley
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Re: Electricity & Water

How about one of these...

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Community Veteran
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Re: Electricity & Water

If it was the one from my area it was a Porsche
kmilburn
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Re: Electricity & Water

As long as the electricity stays in the cable it should be fine.  It's only if it escapes that there'll be trouble  (a bit like the magic smoke that makes electrical components work).
Infinity
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Re: Electricity & Water

Adjacent to where I used to work, Thames TV in Teddington, which overlooked the River Thames, there was a short, steep road down to the waters edge.
Ferry Road !!  By Tide End cottage...
It was a favourite lunchtime walk to cross the bridge to the other side, to the Lock & Lock-keepers Cottage.
Despite an obvious sign.... This Area is Liable to Flooding.......
People would still park there.
And yes, very often there would be a submerged car.
Sometimes with headlights on.
Community Veteran
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Re: Electricity & Water

Fortunately, I've never suffered a flooded car (or flooded anything for that matter) is the owner of the Porsche going to face a hefty bill or will it just dry our and be driven away? (or vice-versa) Honesty suggests the owner will point out its wet history if and when its sold on of course Roll eyes
Slightly reminds me of all those BMW motor bikes that were appropriated rescued from the ship wreck a short while back off the Devon coast. But that was sea water. Would they have suffered any long term effects.
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nadger
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Re: Electricity & Water

Quote from: shutter
It could have been a diesel car.... they can run underwater....
As MisterW says about air intake  Wink
A minor  correction to " as long as no water goes into air intake" which can happen if one drives too fast into flood water.
A taxi driver I knew drove too fast into a ford crossing and engine tried to compress water at 22 to 1.
Bang  Cry
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Re: Electricity & Water

Like this Land Rover driver? 
(2:40 mins)
All you need is a good snorkel.
Now Zen, but a +Net residue.
Community Veteran
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Re: Electricity & Water

Quote from: kmilburn
As long as the electricity stays in the cable it should be fine.  It's only if it escapes that there'll be trouble  (a bit like the magic smoke that makes electrical components work).
But I am still not clear on the actual motor, are the copper windings insulated ? also for the wipers to be working the ignition must still be on (at least on most cars)so there must be some unprotected wires would the electricity not short across them.
I Understand Hairy Bikers point about salt water but is unsalted water a poor or non conductor of electricity. ?
kmilburn
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Re: Electricity & Water

As you probably know, pure water is non cunductive,  but getting water that pure is  extremely difficult.
Dissolved ions in the water make it conductive,  the type and concentration effect how conductive it is.
Electricity also has a preference to follow the path of least resistance,  which in this instance will be the copper wire.
It's possible that the ignition was left on,  or that something has shorted which is why the wipers were active.
The primary issue with mixing electricity and water is the power (volatage, current, impedence, etc)  involved,  12v DC won't do much (if anything),  240v AC however...
Infinity
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Re: Electricity & Water

I took my old Jeep Cherokee to an event, and went round the course, under supervision.
As I entered the deep water, I was told to keep going, the Jeep created a bow wave, that came over the bonnet, and I could just feel the Jeep beginning to lose grip as it floated.
Successfully negotiated the deep water, and went round several times more !!