When you're sitting in water
up to your neck...
even a small shock can kill you.
The U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety
& Health Administration (OSHA) describes how electrical current
affects the human body:
Effects can range from a barely perceptible tingle
to severe burns and immediate cardiac arrest. Although it is not
known the exact injuries that result from any given amperage, the
following table demonstrates this general relationship for a 60-cycle
(household power) hand-to-foot shock of one second duration (Tip:
Don't volunteer for OSHA studies...):
(This table also shows why your hot tub must be
connected to a
Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) breaker)
Current Level (Amps)
Probable Effect on Human Body
||Slight tingling sensation. Still
dangerous under wet conditions.
||Slight shock felt; not painful or disturbing.
Average individual can let go. However, strong involuntary reactions
to shocks in this range may lead to injuries.
wired Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) trips at ~0.005
|0.006 to 0.016 Amps
||Painful shock. Begin to lose muscular control.
Commonly referred to as the "freeze current" or "let-go"
|0.017 to 0.99 Amps
||Extreme pain. Respiratory arrest. Severe muscular
contractions. Individual cannot let go. Death
|0.1 to 2.0 Amps
||Ventricular fibrillation (uneven, uncoordinated
pumping of the heart) Muscular contraction and nerve damage
begins to occur. Death
|>: 2.0 Amps
||Cardiac arrest. Internal organ damage. Severe
burns. Death is
A typical household outlet can deliver 15
to 20 Amps before the breaker trips.
A typical 220 Volt hot tub can deliver 50 to 60 Amps before
the breaker trips.
A GFCI protected hot tub trips at ~0.005 Amps.
You can't climb out of your
hot tub if the water is shocking you.
Entire swimming pool electrified by short circuit.
Temecula boy suffers severe
shock from aluminum patio electrified by string lighting