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If you spill liquid onto a live conductive thread circuit, will it short out? Answered

Will liquid exposure ruin a live conductive textile circuit? How about if it's powered-down? Can you wash (gently, by hand) a garment with a conductive textile circuit in it? What happens if you're wearing one and you get caught out in the rain?


Well, yo won't be electrocuted to death by it. Nobody builds these things with dangerous levels of power. Odds are good that, unless it has some microcircuitry... a short circuit for a brief time wont damage it, although it may behave oddly or stop working. So yes, you can wash it. You may even be able to throw it in the washing machine if made sturdy enough. Just remove the batteries. If you're caught out in the rain wearing it, pop the batteries out. Same goes for any electronics that you may get wet. Remove power immediatly, dry it out, and then see if it still works.

Depends on the liquid- water technically doesnt conduct, but if theres any ions (sweat, salt, etc) in the fabric, they'll make the water conductive and it will short. Generally electronics are 'waterproof' when they are off. Shorts tend to fry various components when switched on. Rule of thumb, you can get them wet, but not while theres power. Dont let those two mix.

Thanks for your reply. :) (Isn't there some sort of saying about how every answer leads to its own questions?...) - So powering-down isn't enough, the circuit needs to be fully disconnected from the power source? - Hunh... I had understood that in most water (tap water, rainwater, even distilled water), some percentage of the H20 molecules separated in H+ ions and OH- anions, making the water conductive; and that only water that has been super-purified and de-ionized is non-conductive. Have I got this wrong?

You are right about that... most water you find has enough disolved solids in it to conduct electricity, with varying degrees of resistance. Even rain collects solids from the air as it falls (which is why the best days of the season for people with allergies are right after a rainfall).