shower during a thunderstorm - Tim Kyle

Is it Safe to Shower During a Thunderstorm?

Did you know it’s not safe to shower during a thunderstorm? While the safest shelter during a thunderstorm is to be inside, showering is actually a risky activity.

Potential Risk of Taking a Shower During a Thunderstorm

It may seem improbable, but Dr. Mary Ann Cooper of the University of Illinois Chicago’s Lightning Injury Research Program reported in the New York Times that people have been shocked and even killed when bathing during thunderstorms. The risk is that lightning can strike any one of the copper or metal plumbing fittings. The conductivity of the metal as well as the water can cause electrocution, burns, or even cardiac arrest. Plastic plumbing pipes aren’t safe either because of the water conductivity.

Meteorologists recommend a 30-minute wait after the last flash of lighting or bang of thunder before using the water in your home. This is the basis for a “30-30 rule.” The first 30 is for the 30-second flash-to-bang time. The other 30 is for the 30 minutes’ wait after the last lightning or thunder is witnessed. Again, after the last thunder rumble, wait at least 30 minutes before taking a shower or washing the dishes.

Other Water Safety Tips During a Storm

  • Do not run washers or dryers. They contain both plumbing and electrical systems. They also have a direct electrical path to the outside through the dryer vent—a potential direct pathway for lighting to strike.
  • Avoid using a dishwasher because of the electricity and water used.
  • Avoid swimming indoors and outdoors. When a storm is in the area, get out of the pool immediately.

Residential Electrician for Frederick County, MD

Whether it’s a lightning strike or just a typical household electrical problem, we’re your expert residential electrician for Frederick County, MD. Contact Tim Kyle Inc., Electrical Service today for more information, and let us know how we can help you keep your home powered safely and efficiently.

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