Measuring electricity in salt water?

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jameseraymond

Joined Oct 25, 2012
18
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?
 

MrChips

Joined Oct 2, 2009
21,671
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?
Yes you can and this is relatively straightforward to do.

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?
Not likely to zap you but it will zap your electronics.
 

crutschow

Joined Mar 14, 2008
25,269
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.
 

wayneh

Joined Sep 9, 2010
16,399
The electronics draw about 8 Amps from a 12 Volt DC power supply.
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.
 

Externet

Joined Nov 29, 2005
1,529
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.
 
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