You’re in the shower, singing your favorite song, and enjoying the hot water. Suddenly, a lightning bolt flashes outside, and you think for a moment about whether it’s safe to keep showering.
Is it dangerous to take a shower while it’s raining? What happens if you shower while it’s raining?
In this article, we’ll look at whether it’s dangerous to take a shower while it’s raining and what the real risks are. Let’s dive in.
Is it dangerous to take a shower while it’s raining?
In general, it is quite safe to take a shower while it is raining. There are some dangers though.
Rain can make your drain backup and water from the sewer might get in your shower in some rare situations. This can be dirty but shouldn’t be too dangerous. A water leak can cause a short circuit in your house though and this could be dangerous. These are rare exceptions and don’t occur that often. The risk is still there though so you might want to shower when it isn’t raining if you prefer that.
I have in my long career never heard anyone that had a problem with this so these problems are not that common.
If you use water from a well, it might get dirty if there is a lot of rain in a short period of time. The filters might not be able to clean everything. Most people use city water to shower and there shouldn’t be any problem with it. Water companies have advanced infrastructure to deal with this.
If there is a lot of rain, you might have to look out for floods. This is rapidly rising water that can enter your house. This can cause a lot of damage. You can use sandbags to stop water from coming in but this is quite difficult to do. Floods can often be predicted so you should get this information in advance. This is why it is important to follow weather forecasts. This will allows you to prepare yourself for upcoming events.
While rain in itself shouldn’t be too much of a problem, the main danger is lightning.
Is it safe to shower during a thunderstorm?
Lightening can transport electricity in your home. Water is a great conductor. If you are showering, it means that you are covered in water and this can send the electricity all over you. For this reason, it can be dangerous to shower during a thunderstorm. This is the reason why it is not recommended to shower during a thunderstorm.
It is also possible that the hot water heater stops working when lightning strikes. The electricity might stop working as the electricity gets shut off. Hot water heaters need electricity to function properly. It is not a lot of fun to have to shower with cold water. If you have a water heater with a tank, you might be able to shower with hot water for a while but this is not recommended. You should stop showering as soon as possible when this happens.
Is lighting really dangerous when you shower?
While there’s not a lot of data, estimates indicate that 10-20 people per year in the USA get struck by lightning while they are showering. This number is quite low but there are cases in which it happens. About 240000 people get struck by lightning per year if we look at a global scale.
Luckily we have some safety measures to reduce the severity of the situation.
In most instances, the plumbing system is grounded. This means that a pin is added that transfers the electricity that is produced by lightning to the ground. Electricity wants to take the path of least resistance. A grounding pin is this path and the electricity gets dispersed over the earth. This makes sure that it doesn’t reach you. Plumbers spend quite some time installing this system and it is often required.
Bigger buildings also generally have a lightning rod that serves the same function as grounding everything. This is a piece of metal that sticks out of the roof. Lightning is attracted to this as it sticks out. The electricity is then guided towards the ground.
Modern electrical circuits have breakers that stop the electrical system when something goes wrong. It can take some time before they start though.
Most accidents happen at the beginning of a storm as people are still unaware of it. If you hear thunder coming closer, you should stop showering. Once you see lightning, it might be too late to react. These types of storms are more common in some states (such as Florida) than in others. In these states, it is important to follow the weather report closely.
While the chance is quite low that something happens, it is best to avoid the situation altogether. Just wait a few hours and you can take your shower then. The same is true about taking a bath. In both cases you are covered in water that can electrocute you.
Conclusion: can I shower when it’s raining?
To conclude, we can state that showing while it is raining is often quite safe. In some rare situations, it can cause problems. During a thunderstorm, it can be quite dangerous to shower though. The electricity that is generated by the thunder can cause problems and electrocute you. For this reason, it is better to wait until the thunderstorm is over.
If it rains a lot, the drain might not be able to remove the water. This can lead to water pools in your shower tray.
We have some safety measures in place (such as grounding) but it is still better to avoid problems. Lightning is very powerful and can cause a lot of damage. This includes breaking walls or moving appliances. It is harder to move fast while you are showering.
Thunderstorms occur quite often in some states so it is important that you monitor the weather report to see when it will happen again. There are also apps that send a notification when you should expect the next storm. Some storms can be quite strong and cause a lot of damage to your home.
We have discussed what an ensuite bath is here.