Measuring electricity in salt water?

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by jameseraymond, Nov 28, 2012.

  1. jameseraymond

    Thread Starter New Member

    Oct 25, 2012
    I am going to be testing some electronics submerged in SALT water. The electronics draw about 8 Amps from a 12 Volt DC power supply. I am testing the seals to make sure water does not leak. What will happen if a seal fails and the salt water reaches the electronic board? Will the salt water create a short and trip out the power supply? OR Will the water carry current and zapppp me if I put my hand in it?

    Can I measure and monitor the conductivity of the water? If a seal fails and the salt water reaches device board will the conductivity go up? Any ideas or suggestions to make this safe or should I even worry about it?
  2. MrChips


    Oct 2, 2009
    Yes you can and this is relatively straightforward to do.

    Not likely to zap you but it will zap your electronics.
  3. crutschow


    Mar 14, 2008
    Not only will the salt water conduct current but the salt water is very corrosive and will severely damage any electronic boards. You might consider double seals to minimize any leakage.
  4. wayneh


    Sep 9, 2010
    So the supply itself (and its AC side) will NOT be at risk of being under water?

    The risks of 12V DC are not huge, but have you ever put a 9V battery on your tongue? Depending on the circumstances, 12V in salt water could be a health hazard. Wouldn't want it in the tub with me.
  5. Externet

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 29, 2005
    Waterproofing submerged electronics has some of tricky art.

    A circuit board has better chances of surviving in a seawater leak if totally encapsulated, or at least dipped 2 or 3 times in hot paraffin (candle wax), to form an intimate protective coating.