Does Wood Conduct Electricity?

Have you ever wondered if a tree was a conductor?

You may have heard about lighting striking trees, wooden phone lines, and other wooden structures even repeatedly.

This may have made you think if these wooden structures were even good conductors, right?

This is a guide that will explain if the wood is indeed a good electricity conductor or not.


Is wood a good conductor of electricity?


A live tree is able to conduct electricity because it contains sap and water. Everyone knows that water is an excellent conductor of electricity.

When water creates a path to the ground that you are touching then electricity can flow through your body. Electricity will be able to travel through the water and through you to the ground.

Always take all precautionary measures when it comes to electricity. Take note that it’s important to keep all electrical appliances away from water. Your hands should be dry when touching electrical appliances. Never stand in water when you touch any electrical appliance at work or at home

Important things to understand electricity

Nowadays, we need electricity for just about anything. We need this to light our homes, preserve our food, cook our meals and to power all our electrical appliances. A workplace without electricity is virtually nonexistent.

Whether you stay at home or you work in an office or in the field, it’s important for everyone to have a clear understanding of electrical safety. Any kind of misinformation could place you and your family at harm’s way. Here are very important things to understand when it comes to using electricity

Wood does not conduct electricity

Wood is nonconductive. However wet wood can still pose a great risk. If a wooden pole stands in the middle of a pouring rain, there is a possibility that lighting can strike it. Standing near and in the water, can be very fatal.

Rubber boots, gloves, and tires will protect you from electrical shock

This may work to prevent electrocution while working on the ground. But when it comes to working on high voltage power like electricity found in power lines, you could end up getting seriously hurt or even death if you don’t consider using the more advanced protective equipment.

Regular boots and gloves will not protect against the amount of power in an electrical power line. And when it comes to tires, these don’t actually protect against electrical shock but may even conduct electricity like tires made with carbon-based rubber, steel belts and reinforcements.

Low and high voltages can severely hurt or kill

Even low voltages, like power found in homes and typical offices, can also cause severe harm and even death gave the right circumstances. Because human bodies are 70 percent water, these conduct electricity very well. Therefore even low-voltage electricity as a sustained electric shock or at the wrong point in a heart rhythm can lead to severe disability, harm or death.

Electrical arching

You may think that as long as a metal ladder is not touching electrical wires then it is safe. There is such as thing as electrical arcing which occurs if a conductive object, like a metal ladder, is placed near a power line.

Arching can lead to electrocution even if the latter doesn’t actually touch the line. Therefore you must maintain a huge distance between a ladder and a power line to make sure that electrical arcing doesn’t occur.

You must never remove the third prong in a wire. The third prong of a plug should never be removed because this is called a grounding plug. This reduces the risk of suffering from a shock or electrocution.

A downed power line is not considered dead

This is extremely important especially after a storm. Downed electrical lines may look dead but no doubt that it can re-energize anytime. Workers who are working on downed power lines and residents or homeowners near one should maintain a safe distance. Wet soil can conduct electricity, creating a shock hazard to anyone near the line.

Conclusion

Electricity is everywhere so never take it for granted. There are conflicting opinions about whether the wood is a conductor. Some say yes because green wood contains moisture and sap which can be good conductors while some agree that wood is not a conductor.

But as most people say, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Keeping safe at home and in the workplace when it comes to electricity should always be a priority.

  • January 5, 2019
  • DIY