Tossing a charged Capacitor in the Bathtub

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Most people know that dropping a cord or appliance that is plugged into an outlet into a bathtub filled with water will electrocute the person in the tub. Yet, you can drop a low voltage item such as a flashlight with batteries in the tub and no one will be hurt. Even a set up jumper cables connected to a car battery would not likely do anything, or might just tingle a little (never tried this, but I've handled plenty battery cables while standing on wet soil in wet shoes and never felt a thing).
Not that I'm planning to test this, but what would happen if a large capacitor, charged with 200 volts or more was tossed into a filled bathtub while someone was in the tub? (By large capacitor, I dont mean the size, but rather, I mean a large capacity, such as 500 MF or one Farad or more....).
I see no reason this would ever occur, but I'm just curious.
[NOTE: This could be DC or AC]. DC capacitors are used in electronics, while the AC type are motor start capacitors.
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AC caps don't contain any energy, when you take them out of the circuit. They only function while the device is running.
DC cap would not contain enough energy to do much. And the power would short terminal to terminal, not terminal to ground.
Short answer (ha ha), is not much.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .
Most people know that dropping a cord or appliance that is plugged into an outlet into a bathtub filled with water will electrocute the person in the tub. Yet, you can drop a low voltage item such as a flashlight with batteries in the tub and no one will be hurt. Even a set up jumper cables connected to a car battery would not likely do anything, or might just tingle a little (never tried this, but I've handled plenty battery cables while standing on wet soil in wet shoes and never felt a thing).
Not that I'm planning to test this, but what would happen if a large capacitor, charged with 200 volts or more was tossed into a filled bathtub while someone was in the tub? (By large capacitor, I dont mean the size, but rather, I mean a large capacity, such as 500 MF or one Farad or more....).
I see no reason this would ever occur, but I'm just curious.
[NOTE: This could be DC or AC]. DC capacitors are used in electronics, while the AC type are motor start capacitors.
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You never have seen a capacitor big enough. While I do not know what effect dropping one in a bathtub would do, I do know what a big one will do to a person when touched to the skin.
Ever seen anyone shocked with the deliberator ? I have seen that several times. The people usually come off the bed a few inches due to the muscle contraction. That is a big capacitor charged up and then put to the skin of a person. Charge a few thousand microfarads to around 2000 volts and touch it. Chances are you will not live or will have body parts missing.
While many times an AC capacitor will not contain much energy, if it is taken out of a circuit when the voltage is at its peak, it will be charged to that voltage and will shock the fool out of you depending on the capacity of it.
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wrote:

I've never seen a deliberator cause much damage. :)
But a defibrillator works largely because the paddles/electrodes are placed on opposite sides of the heart. Tough to do with the average cap without attaching some cables, in which case it would probably work better out of the tub...
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wrote:

When used as designed, they don't normally cause any damage, because the heart is either stopped or not pumping correctly. They are designed so they will not discharge on a normally working heart. At least without an override code that only the doctors are suppose to use.
Fire one off on someone that has a normal working heart and it may stop. Large currents of DC will often just clamp the heart muscle and stop it. When I mention large, it is relative. Much less than one amp will do it. If inside the body, very small amounts of current will affect the heart.
While I doubt that a large capacitor just dropped in a tub will cause any problems with the person in it, the whole point is that a large capacitor charged to a high voltage is just as dangerous as the electricity in the wall socket.
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milliamps can do it. even 100's of microamps. BUT,you have to have enough voltage to break down skin resistance,or use substances to lower the skin resistance. dry skin has a high resistance. Those defib paddles are usually coated with a silver comppound. ever notice the user rubbing the paddles together before applying them to the patient? they are distributing the silver compound over the paddle's surface.it also prevents skin burns.

the current path for a charged cap dropped in a tub will not go through the person. the charges that kill people travel through their extremities into and through their torso,affecting the heart muscles. Plus their current and duration are much higher than the caps you can generally find can store.
--
Jim Yanik
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On Fri, 27 Jan 2012 15:56:12 -0800 (PST), Larry Fishel

What about George W. Bush? Didn't he say he was the deliberator.

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When I was in high school electricity shop,we used to charge fractional microFarad caps to 100's of volts and toss them to other students,and "zap" them when they caught the cap and touched it's leads. It was enough to cause muscle spasms.
To do real harm,it has to be many uF,to hold a considerable charge.
BTW,the HV cap in a microwave oven is only .76uF,but can hold a dangerous charge,at 4000 volts.
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Jim Yanik
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On 1/27/2012 12:00 PM, Stormin Mormon wrote:

That's just plain silly. The charge it has depends on where the sine wave was at when it's taken out of the circuit.

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On 1/27/2012 1:15 PM, Tony Miklos wrote:

I think Stupid Moron should test that theory in his bathtub.

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I myself only have a DC bathtub.
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You could write a good murder mystery about this. Like most of the MacGuyver episodes, the science would be worthless, but the story could be fun.
Miss Marple finds the murder weapon: a charged high voltage capacitor taken carefully from the high voltage section of an old television and...... and the murder was shocking.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .
Most people know that dropping a cord or appliance that is plugged into an outlet into a bathtub filled with water will electrocute the person in the tub. Yet, you can drop a low voltage item such as a flashlight with batteries in the tub and no one will be hurt. Even a set up jumper cables connected to a car battery would not likely do anything, or might just tingle a little (never tried this, but I've handled plenty battery cables while standing on wet soil in wet shoes and never felt a thing).
Not that I'm planning to test this, but what would happen if a large capacitor, charged with 200 volts or more was tossed into a filled bathtub while someone was in the tub? (By large capacitor, I dont mean the size, but rather, I mean a large capacity, such as 500 MF or one Farad or more....).
I see no reason this would ever occur, but I'm just curious.
[NOTE: This could be DC or AC]. DC capacitors are used in electronics, while the AC type are motor start capacitors.
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On Fri, 27 Jan 2012 12:02:19 -0500, "Stormin Mormon"

IIRC and I do, the big and dangerous high voltage capacitor in a tv set is the picture tube. It doesn't seem liike a practical weapon if removed from the tv set.
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On Fri, 27 Jan 2012 17:51:48 -0500, micky wrote:

Hurts quite a bit if it discharges through your hand, though.
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On Fri, 27 Jan 2012 23:57:04 +0000 (UTC), Jules Richardson

Wow! Color tv or black and white?.
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wrote:

Color had higher picture tube anode voltages but B&W was bad enough. When you got zapped it really woke you up, but worse was losing some skin off your arm when it involuntarily jerked backward and scraped against those jagged metal chassis and cabinet parts. When changing tubes or doing other work inside the TV you tried to stay away from that picture tube wire but invariably it got you. Even with the TV set turned off it could zap you if you forgot to discharge the picture tube with a screwdriver to the chassis. These fond memories from work as a TV tech in the late 50s, the golden years... ;)
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On Sat, 28 Jan 2012 01:23:30 -0500, micky wrote:

It was a color - I thought I'd discharged it, but either the discharge wire wasn't making contact properly, or it was the dielectric absorption effect I mentioned in another post, but it still gave me a pretty nice zap when I later touched it.
I grew up in England and had a few 240V shocks in my youth when messing around with stuff, and they just tingle. This was a lot more painful, and my whole arm hurt for a couple of hours after.
cheers
Jules
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On Sat, 28 Jan 2012 15:31:15 +0000 (UTC), Jules Richardson

Wow.
I've had 110, but never 240. 240 has scared me more but if they didn't kill you, maybe I'll relax.
But I did touch something in a tv once, not the high votage, not the picture tube, but higher than I'd had before. I'm thinking it was the boost, 1000 or 2000.
I was crouched or on my knees and without thinking, I jumped all the way back to the other side of the room, and my shoulder was dislocated. something that haden't happend for over 10 years.
After that, it dislocated a lot, 4 times in one week, and I had to have the surgery I had postponed for 15 years. 30 years later, hasn't come out again.

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On 1/28/2012 9:02 PM, micky wrote:

It depends on the amps. But I'm not going to test that.

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I've had a few 750VDC shocks. Ouch!

In the US, 240V is just two 120V circuits. It's pretty hard to get yourself across both at once.

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