When I was young, my granny always reminds me not to take a shower during thunderstorms. Is it safe to shower during thunderstorms? Is it a fact or just part of the urban legend?
Thunderstorms are storms that exhibit lightning and thunder. They are usually accompanied by heavy rain or sometimes hail. Thunderstorms are brief which may just take about a few hours but could be very damaging. This is the reason why a lot of people are advised to stay at home whenever thunderstorm strikes. In cases where thunderstorms are found extremely damaging, emergency services are automatically turned on and evacuation may be advised.
Basic science reveals that electricity is the main component of lightning. It is not just simple electricity but a high voltage one which can put down a big tree or even cut it into half. Electricity found in lightning travels through conduction. Conduction is made possible with things that are good conductors such as metals or minerals found in water. This conduction system makes a good foundation to support the notion of “No showering during thunderstorms”.
In application, during a thunderstorm, the lightning can travel through the plumbing of the house and then to the metal pipes (which are good conductors). This travel could shock the person who is taking a shower. How does the electricity travel from the metal shower to the person taking a bath a bath? It can be done through the help of the water. The minerals found in the water are good conductors of electricity thus make the travel of electricity continuous from the thunderstorm to the person taking a bath.
There are two conditions that are present on the rationale above. First is that the plumbing should be exposed to the lightning and second, electricity from the lightning should travel continuously from the thunderstorm to the person taking a bath. These two conditions could make showering during a thunderstorm very fatal.
Is the process of electric transfer applicable to present condition of houses that are seen and built nowadays? I guess not. The plumbing of houses today is buried deep down the ground which could not be struck by lightning. When lightning hits the ground (not a good conductor of electricity), it dies. Another thing is the water from the shower. Shower water does not run in streams but as droplets. They are just so small that it looks like stream. Droplets are not conductor of electricity even if there are minerals on them because they are not attached from each other (they fall off separately).
To wrap it all up, taking a shower during a thunderstorm might be dangerous as long as the two conditions stated above are present. If not, then it might be a great way to enjoy the cold night and have a good night sleep.