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PSA: Don't charge your phone while using it in the bathtub

  • Last Updated:
  • Mar 22nd, 2017 11:30 pm
[OP]
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PSA: Don't charge your phone while using it in the bathtub

Man dies charging iPhone while in the bath

WTF? He ran an extension cord from the hallway and then to his bathroom and put the charger on his chest while he was in the bathtub. So:

1) The charger was actually in the bathtub.
2) It's 230 V.
3) It's a hallway plug, presumably with no GFCI protection.
12 replies
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EugW wrote:
Mar 20th, 2017 11:27 am
Man dies charging iPhone while in the bath

WTF? He ran an extension cord from the hallway and then to his bathroom and put the charger on his chest while he was in the bathtub. So:

1) The charger was actually in the bathtub.
2) It's 230 V.
3) It's a hallway plug, presumably with no GFCI protection.
Just nature's way of thinning the herd.
[OP]
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I'm curious. With a 120 V plug and a GFCI outlet, how much of a shock would a person get? How noticeable would it be on the skin? What about 230 V?

EDIT:

Also, thinking about it, if he were in an acrylic bathtub with fixtures that are not in contact with the water, and a drain that is not metal, then wouldn't it still be possible to get electrocuted with a GFCI outlet? In that scenario, the current could still travel from hot to neutral, through the water or the body, no? The water would have to be grounded (like through bathroom fixtures) for the GFCI to trip, right?
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EugW wrote:
Mar 20th, 2017 1:26 pm
I'm curious. With a 120 V plug and a GFCI outlet, how much of a shock would a person get? How noticeable would it be on the skin? What about 230 V?

EDIT:

Also, thinking about it, if he were in an acrylic bathtub with fixtures that are not in contact with the water, and a drain that is not metal, then wouldn't it still be possible to get electrocuted with a GFCI outlet? In that scenario, the current could still travel from hot to neutral, through the water or the body, no? The water would have to be grounded (like through bathroom fixtures) for the GFCI to trip, right?
120v + GFCI and something grounded (like the end of an extension cord) into the tub; assuming the water hits all 3 of the terminals at the same time (so hot, neutral, and ground), you'd get a very minimal shock, or perceivably none at all. If the ground somehow didn't make contact, it'd probably zap you a bit, but I'd presume there's still some kind of protection in a GFCI, given most of my bathroom plug-in stuff (blowdryer, toaster, curling iron, etc etc) don't actually have ground wires.
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In the UK it's illegal to have electrical outlets in a bathroom. The only exception is in older houses to have a low power electric shaver built into a protected light fitting. It's not physically possible to charge a phone in a UK bathroom. Only a complete moron would think it's a good idea to have mains electricity running to a device in the bath.
[OP]
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The Canterbury Tail wrote:
Mar 21st, 2017 2:52 pm
In the UK it's illegal to have electrical outlets in a bathroom. The only exception is in older houses to have a low power electric shaver built into a protected light fitting. It's not physically possible to charge a phone in a UK bathroom. Only a complete moron would think it's a good idea to have mains electricity running to a device in the bath.
I just looked this up. Actually, it is legal to have outlets in UK bathrooms, but only under specific conditions.

You can put a "shaving outlet" (with an isolated transformer, whatever that means) in a UK bathroom, but it is limited amperage and sometimes 115 V. This would have provided enough power to charge that dude's iPhone. iPhone chargers are 100-240 V at 50/60 Hz, and are spec'd up to 0.15 A. However, in reality those iPhone chargers only output 5 Watts (5 V 1 A). This shaving outlet sounds similar spec-wise to what you say above, except the shaving outlet is an actual outlet, and not a built-in shaver.

Image

You can put a regular 230 V plug in a UK bathroom, but only if it's a really big bathroom, so that the plug is located very far away from water, with "very far away" meaning 3 metres away or more from a shower or bath. The plug also needs to be RCD/GFCI protected.
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EugW wrote:
Mar 21st, 2017 3:27 pm
You can put a regular 230 V plug in a UK bathroom, but only if it's a really big bathroom, so that the plug is located very far away from water, with "very far away" meaning 3 metres away or more from a shower or bath. The plug also needs to be RCD/GFCI protected.
3 metres away, ha, you've obviously never seen a UK bathroom. I've never seen one with a 3m space never mind being able to have a 3m gap between any water items and the plug. UK bathrooms are tiny as anything more is a waste of very precious space. My last one was 5 1/2 foot by 6 foot with a full size bath, toilet and sink.
Last edited by The Canterbury Tail on Mar 21st, 2017 5:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PSA: Making toast is also a bad idea in the bathtub.
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Water and electricity don't mix? Darn it, i was going to use a space heater to keep my bath water warm Smiling Face With Open Mouth
Lies, damned lies, statistics and alternative facts
[OP]
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The Canterbury Tail wrote:
Mar 21st, 2017 5:04 pm
3 metres away, ha, you've obviously never seen a UK bathroom. I've never seen one with a 3m space never mind being able to have a 3m gap between any water items and the plug. UK bathrooms are tiny as anything more is a waste of very precious space. My last one was 5 1/2 foot by 6 foot with a full size bath, toilet and sink.
Yeah, that's why I said "very far away" and "really big bathroom". However, I do see at least on some UK shows that in non-urban areas the bathrooms in larger homes sometimes are considerably larger. I was just checking out a UK bathtub site which sells bathtubs that are 1.8 m long for example. (Standard size is 1.7 m.) That's almost 6 feet long just for the bathtub alone, and some high end ones get even bigger than that.
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Isn't it code to have a gfci protected outlet within 3' of a sink in Ontario?
Gbill2004: Thanks but I'll just smell the couch before/if I buy it.

jonnyb: I go in there like PICASSO and toss the glue everywhere, I don't care what house I'm on.
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