General Question

Jonathan_hodgkins's avatar

Electric current and humidity?

Asked by Jonathan_hodgkins (626points) April 5th, 2010

A friend of mine built a sauna out of mostly free components and then strung up large christmas lights on the inside. The lights aren’t different then what one would buy at a local store. is it possible that given the intended humidity of the room, that current could travel from a light bulb connection dangerously through the thick humid air and injure a grounded person. is this a valid concern?

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6 Answers

iam2smart99037's avatar

The christmas type lights do not use enough voltage to cause an arc through humid air to a person.

phillis's avatar

They would have to be a lot stronger than what they are to generate an electric arc. However, if he is that cavalier about placing lights in a potentially unsafe environment, I would be inclined to have an electrician look at his handiwork before climbing in the hot tub to celebrate his accomplishment. Yikes!

Pretty_Lilly's avatar

Who is your friend,,,,Kramer from Seinfeld !

jrpowell's avatar

sauna != hot tub

I wouldn’t be that worried about getting electrocuted from it. The voltage is so low that it wouldn’t matter.

I would be concerned about condensation forming on the wire for the lights and dripping into the outlet the lights are plugged into. But that is a simple fix. Just make sure there is a U shape bend in the cord that is lower then the outlet. That is assuming they actually plug in inside the sauna.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

These lights won’t last very long in an extremely humid environment (corrosion and short-cicuits). I would be extremely concerned about proper grounding and GFCI protection in any “home built” like this; that is what could get someone killed (accidentally touching something not properly grounded). If the builder is not a licensed electrician, have it thoroughly inspected by someone who is. This could be a life or death matter.

Welcome to Fluther!

grumpyfish's avatar

I second @stranger_in_a_strange_land ‘s recommendation for a GFCI—that’s one of the best options for very simple protection.

That, and test the GFCI after you install it with a GFCI tester.

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