Common Myths About Electricity

It’s challenging to separate fact from fiction when you hear something that sounds like truth. Many of us tend to believe stuff we’ve heard over the years that mimics common sense. So-called facts about electricity are no exception. Here are some deadly myths about electricity that need to be cleared up.

Power Line Lies

Many believe that power lines can’t hurt you because they are insulated. The truth is 90% of them are not insulated. It is never safe for humans to touch a power line. Birds are a different story. They can safely sit on lines since they don’t form a path to the ground that electricity can pass through.

Low Voltage is Safer

Some believe it’s the current, not the voltage, that’s deadly. This is not true. Both high and low voltage can cause serious harm or death. Same goes for high and low current levels.

What Conducts Electricity

The claim that wood is not a conductor of electricity is false. While it’s true wood is a poor conductor, wet wood is not and is especially dangerous. Rubber won’t insulate you from electricity, either. Most cleaning gloves and shoes are a mix of rubber and cheaper materials that do conduct electricity.

Off Means Off

It’s not true if you turn something off, it won’t be using any energy. It is still plugged in. The Department of Energy reports around 75% of the electricity used to power home electronics and appliances is consumed while the products are turned off.

Keep the Lights On

There is a popular belief that you can save energy if you keep your lights on. Some people have been sold on a so-called “startup penalty” that kicks in when you turn lights back on. This is simply not true. You always save energy by turning off the lights when they are not being used.

Household Currents Can’t Kill

Many have heard that household currents aren’t strong enough to kill you. The fact is household electricity is deadly and is especially dangerous with water. Don’t fall for this myth.

Cable Size Matters

It’s a myth that thinner cables have less resistance, allowing more electricity to pass through them.  The same goes for the belief that larger cables can transport more current because there’s more room. Simply put, cables don’t work that way.

The Plug Pin

The bottom pin in a plug is not there to help secure the plug into the wall. The truth is, it’s a crucial safety feature. A ground pin connects your device to a “ground circuit”. This is a pathway where electrical devices can safely dump the extra current and voltage in the event of a short or power surge.

The Bottom Line

Electricity is all around us and we use it daily. Get familiar with the facts and always follow safety precautions. When working with electricity, avoid water at all times. Never use equipment with frayed cords, damaged insulation, or broken plugs. Turn off the main power when working on any receptacle at your home. If you have any doubts, call a professional electrician.

Let Us Handle Your Electrical Needs

The folks at CKElectric can handle all of your electrical projects, big or small! We can help you with electrical upgrades, repairs, and wiring. We serve Sykesville, Eldersburg, Frederick, and all of Central Maryland. Call us at 443-920-3078 or email us at We are happy to serve you!