If you’re an electrician or someone whose job revolves around electrical equipment, then this post is just for you.
We all know, rubber is an insulator and does not conduct electricity. So, does that mean rubber boots ensure 100% electrical safety?
Don’t Worry! By the end of this article, you’ll have all your answers. I’ve explained everything in greater details.
So, let’s get to the point first: Will rubber boots protect you from electric shock?
Still confused, I assume? Don’t worry; it’s cool. Scroll down to clear them once and for all.
How Do You Get Electrocuted In The First Place?
First of all, I’d like to aplogise for starting off with a physics lesson. But trust me, this will make it easier for you to digest the rest of the content.
So, how do you get an electric shock?
Electric current requires a complete path or circuit to flow through. For example take a battery, a bulb,a switch, and connecting wires. The aim is to test the flow of current.
Now, connect all the components together (to form a complete circuit). Once done, turn on the switch. If the bulb glows then it’s only because current has passed from the battery, through the wires into the bulb.
The bulb will continue to glow unless or until there’s an interruption; in this case, the light will glow until you turn off the switch.
Similarly, think of your body as a big connecting wire. If you touch a power line, and your feet are in contact with the ground; electricity will pass from the power line through your body to the ground. Resulting in a nasty electric zap.
When you’re feet are in contact with the earth, you become grounded. And, this is what you’ll have to avoid.
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Will Rubber Boots Protect You From Electric Shock?-Answered
Yes, rubber boots will protect you from electric shocks. But, the boots must consist of 100% pure rubber. Any sort of mixture with cheaper materials will result in something unwanted.
We have this impression that rubber boots or any sort of rubber footwear will ensure total protection from being electrocuted. But wait! There are a few variables you need to take into consideration.
First of all, the boots must not contain any sort of different element ie; the boots must be made of pure rubber. Manufacturers tend to mix elements for a variety of reasons; most notably to save money.
Secondly, there shouldn’t be any sort of holes or cracks in the boots. Even the slightest of cracks can easily create a pathway for electricity to reach the ground,which will ultimately result in electrcution.
Also, you need to take into consideration the thickness of the soles. Most of the boots aren’t designed to be electrically safe, ie; the soles are thin and the materials aren’t right.
You’ll need rubber boots that can do the job properly, only then you’ll be safe.
So yeah, just wearing rubber boots won’t protect from an electric zap. There are some conditions that must be met, only then you’ll 100% be safe.
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The Types Of Rubber Boots You Need
By now, you must have realized not all rubber boots are up for the job of protecting you from an electric shock. They must have specific features that will enable them to do this devine job.
So, what exactly do they need to have?
You’ll need boots that have an EH (Electrical Hazard) rating. That’s right, wearing such boots is like standing on an insulated matting.
Electrical Hazard Boots are insulating upto eighteen thousand volts, and they’ll offer complete protection in case you come in contact with live electricity.
EH boots stop any kind of current flowing through your body.
PS: Don’t confuse EH boots with ESD boots, they’re made for a completely different job.
If you’re looking for quality EH rated boots, then you can take a look at these beasts.
Also read, Leather Vs. Rubber Sole
Here are my top picks for the best EH rated rubber boots:
CLC Custom Leathercraft Rain Wear Over The Sock PVC Men's Rain Boot
Constructed of the highest quality rubber, these boots are a complete unit. Rated ASTM F2413-11 EH, they’ll protect you from electrical hazards and on slippery surfaces. Plus, they’re very comfortable.
Muck Boots Chore Cool Warm Weather Tall Steel Toe Men's Rubber Boots
Muck needs no introduction! They’re a symbol of safety and reliability. Chore Cool boots are stylish and are very comfy too. With them at feet, you’ll get style, cushioning, and safety.
TINGLEY 27251.119999999999 27251 SZ12 Footwear
These bad boys from TINGLEY offers everything you need. You get protection from electrocution, compression, and impacts. In short, they’re the complete package.
Why Don’t Birds Get Electrocuted?
This really makes me roll back the years. As a young student, it always made me wonder; why don’t birds get shocked?
Thanks to physics, I finally had my answer. The simple logic really got me, I tell you.
Earlier, I told you that current needs a complete circuit to flow through, remember?
That’s right, there’ll be no electrocution if there aren’t two contact points on the body; one for entering, the other for exiting.
When birds stand on high voltage electrical wires, there’s no path for the electricity to touch the ground through the bird’s body. In other words, the birds don’t form a complete circuit.
Incomplete circuit means no flow of current; resulting in no electrocution.
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Why Can’t Electricity Pass Through Rubber?
Rubber is a bad conductor of electricity. In other words, it’s a very good insulator. But why?
We all know metals are good conductors of electricity (well most of them). Electricity can pass through metals because they possess free or conducting electrons.
Materials that possess free electrons can only transfer electricity through them. Objects that don’t have conducting electrons can’t conduct electricity, simply!
Rubber is a type of material that does not possess any conducting electrons. Hence, electricity can’t pass through. The electrons of rubber are tightly bounded compared to that of metals.
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Protect Yourself From Electric Shocks
While electricians are safe wearing rubber boots in their workplace (with the help of rubber boots). How do you stay protected while you’re at home?
There are mainly three lines of defence, when it comes to protection from electrocution. Two of them apply to house environments, while the other applies to workplaces.
Here are the ways to protect you form an electric shocks:
1. Use electrical equipments properly
You should use electrical equipment exactly the way they’re meant to be. When you buy an electrical appliance/device, you’ll notice a user’s manual.
The manual will tell you the exact way of using the device, and ways to prevent electric shocks.
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2. Use GFCIs
GFCIs ( ground fault circuit interrupter) are electrical wiring devices that are designed to automatically (and quickly) isolate circuits when they detect the electric current is unbalanced between the supplies and return conductors of circuits. Resulting in zero electrocutions. They’re also known as safety switches.
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3. Use Personal Protection equipments (PPEs)
If you’re an electrician or someone who works in the electronic industry, you should definitely use them.
PPEs include everything from proper shoes, gloves, clothes, and safety helmets. While some industries have made it mandatory, others are less concerned (surprisingly).
These are some of the most effective ways of protection against electricity. Remember, rubber boots are not the only way to protect yourself.
Can You Get Electrocuted Wearing Rubber Boots?
Yes, you certainly can. Why? It’s mainly because of the thickness of the soles and their ability to withstand a certain amount of electricity (their rating). Also, when other parts of your body touch the ground other than the boots.
Didn’t see this one coming, did you? Well neither did I! In the first place that is.
Even I was taken aback when I got to know each pair of rubber boots have their (own) limitations.
Let’s say, your boots have a rating of 100 hundred volts. What does it imply? It means that your boots can protect you against a zap of a hundred volts or less. Anything that’s more will result in electrocution.
This is why EH rated rubber boots are always recommended, since they usually have a rating of 18000 volts.
You may still get shocked even after having EH rated boots on. How?
For the boots to work, no part of your body should touch the ground other than your footwear.
If other parts of your body touch the ground (while having the boots on), it creates an alternate path for the current to flow through your body to the ground.
Another factor you should take into consideration is water. Construction sites are a breeding ground for electric shocks, as they’re full of puddles and leaked pipes.
If you ever step in that water, there’s a high possibility for electricity to pass through it and around your rubber boots. Resulting in a nasty electric shock.
Will Rubber Boots Protect You From Lightning?
No, rubber boots can’t protect you from lightning, unfortunately. It’s mainly due to the thickness of the material. It’s too thin to protect you.
While rubber is an excellent insulator, your boots’ or car’s tyres are quite thin to deflect such a powerful strike.
While the rubber from your tyres are helpless, the metal frame of your vehicle can indeed protect you.
You may also like to read: 6 simple Ways To Waterproof Ugg Boots
Rubber boots protect you from electric shocks, but certain variables must be taken into account. You’ll get shocked if you form a complete circuit if you’re grounded (feet in contact with the ground while touching a power source).
Also, rubber boots are not the only line of protection against electricity. There are other effective ways to ensure total protection.
We’re at the very end, and I sincerely hope you’ve your answers. Do let me know if I’ve missed anything important.
Also, don’t forget to share this post among friends who could do with such awareness.