General Question

btko's avatar

How many amps does it take to kill a person?

Asked by btko (2811points) June 16th, 2009
Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

16 Answers

asmonet's avatar


Tink's avatar

By amps do you mean the ones you plug your guitar to?

jrpowell's avatar

Some info here.

And I was always told it is the amps that kill you, not the voltage.

Ivan's avatar

4 seconds of Googling found that it takes about 0.03 – 0.05 amps.

chyna's avatar

@btko You know that this is now in writing?
Just saying.

FBI's avatar

I think the better question is why you would be interested in something like this. I am sure we will be in touch Mr. Btko.

mangeons's avatar

Less than one can kill you, but it is possible to withstand more than one if you aren’t subjected (I don’t know if this is the right word, my brain is fried) to it too long.

btko's avatar

Haha thanks for the answers. My reasoning is because I’m interested in the Energy Conducting Weapons (TASER) issue.

On the it’s mentioned that a Taser has an amperage of 2.1 milliamps.
I find it interesting because I was hit with 20 amps very briefly and had no problems (as far as I can tell).

Zaku's avatar

Well a human as an electric appliance is a bit unpredictable. I got into a wall socket when I was a kid and flew across the room, stunned, but wasn’t really hurt. Some people survive lightning strikes. Others are not so lucky. So it depends on where the “juice” goes and what it does.

DarkScribe's avatar

It require sufficient voltage to overcome skin resistance, and then enough current (amperage) to damage the heart. It varies but it really isn’t very much. With high voltage there is a lot of burning, but with household type currents there is usually death without much burning. Poorly grounded washing machines on wet concrete floors are a common cause of household electrocution.

I have a high skin resistance and have quite genuinely lost count of the number of electric shocks that I have had. Usually as a result of working on live equipment – it is often easier and faster to get results that way.

srtlhill's avatar

The path electricity takes. If it goes across your heart, in one hand out the other to ground.
The duration of the shock.
The amount of amperage.
It doesn’t take much to stop your heart just the right conditions. Yes it is the current or amperage that kills.

jumpo7's avatar

You can take a million volts if the frequency is right…

Million Volt Man

AstroChuck's avatar

I’d rather ask How many amps does it take to change a lightbulb?

Zaku's avatar

@AstroChuck – Depends on how tall you are, how high the bulb is, and how big the amps are. Stacking amps to stand on may void your warranty.

28lorelei's avatar

≥10 mA muscular contractions, paralysis occurs, victim cannot let go of wire
≈20 mA breathing becomes labored
by 75 mA, breathing may cease completely
100–200 mA DEATH, current causes irregular twitching of heart walls (ventricular fibrillation)
≥200mA muscle contractions so strong that heart forcibly clamped by shock, doesn’t go into fibrillation, but victim needs IMMEDIATE attention

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