What Happens When You Have Lots Of Static Electricity And Ungrounded Light Switches

It is bad enough if you have a light switch that is not grounded. Grounded means that the wiring behind the switch will not jump, skip, or transcend its wiring and that the little jolts of power that do get through the wiring head into the ground and are safely dispersed. An ungrounded switch is dangerous because electrical sparks will head through you instead. 

When you have a lot of static electricity in the house, and you have an ungrounded switch, you are in a very dangerous situation indeed. If your hair is standing straight out from your head, and you go turn on this ungrounded switch, you could be severely electrocuted. Here is what happens in this electrical reaction, and how an electrical repair service can prevent these events.

You Have Built up Your Own Ungrounded Electrical Impulse 

After scuffling about on carpet that has made your hair stand straight up, you can transfer this charge to the next thing you touch. Usually, you just jolt your cat, dog, or the next family member with which you come into contact. The "zap!" is minor, even if momentarily uncomfortable, and almost always harmless.

Now You Are Going to Touch Another Ungrounded Pulse

Scientists have experimented with what has happened when two statically charged people touch each other. The result is a more powerful charge that is delivered with more force. Of course, in humans, this is still not lethal.

  Now you are going to take that same static electrical charge and touch an ungrounded light switch, which is fed electrical current of a much higher voltage than static electricity. The lesser charge meeting, the greater charge mixed with the ungrounded nature of these charges results in a force that could knock you over.

The Potential Severity of the Reaction Between the Static Charge and the Electrical Current

At the very least, the reaction will blow the switch and short circuit everything connected to that wiring. At the very most, you will suffer an electrical burn or time in a hospital emergency room. If you have a pacemaker or any metal parts in your body, you could be very severely injured when the blow-back from the reaction uses your metal or electrical body parts to reverberate over and move through your body to the ground. If you do have a pacemaker, this kind of electrical disturbance could kill you in seconds.

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