# Electric flows question [closed]

Like the Example of the “Water Supply”, Electricity flows to the house, being supplied through conduits to the service panel and then onto smaller conduit wiring for individual outlets and appliances. This “Feed” of elec. current is under pressure (or a FORCE). Is it true or false?

• I’m voting to close this question because this is not "Home Improvement", also not a homework site. – NoSparksPlease Oct 31 '20 at 16:11
• False. Water is moved by pushing it with Mechanical means. Electricity is a waveform. A better analogy than water would be light. Light is also a Wave form. I think you should post your question on the physics stack exchange where a proper explanation of the laws of the universe/Physics can be explained to you. Once you understand electricity and you have a DIY home improvement question then you could post it here. – Alaska Man Oct 31 '20 at 16:12
• @AlaskaMan gravity makes a lot of water move.... – Solar Mike Oct 31 '20 at 16:29
• Electricity moves through wires. Conduits are often provided to house multiple wires, and the wires therein will have both the outbound current and the returning current; in fact the installation codes require the wires in a conduit or cable sum up to all the current (equal and opposite) in the circuit. – Harper - Reinstate Monica Oct 31 '20 at 16:39
• @SolarMike In most, not all, cases it is not gravity that is being use by municipal water supply lines supplying water to housing. Wind can also make water "move". Technically gravity pulls things, causing them to move, towards the center of the mass that is responsible for the gravity. ( As far as we understand gravity, We know what it does but not much more about why). – Alaska Man Oct 31 '20 at 16:54

The water analogy is sometimes used to help people when they are first learning electricity.

Water flow (volume of water per time period) is analogous to current.

Water pressure is analogous to voltage.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydraulic_analogy

• So now explain the magnetic field around a conductor carrying a current using this water analogy. – Solar Mike Oct 31 '20 at 16:32
• @SolarMike - the analogy isn't perfect. The inertia of the flowing water is somewhat analogous to the inductance (related to magnetic field) of the wire. – Mattman944 Oct 31 '20 at 16:38
• One weakness in the analogy is that you can run water into the sink and ignore what happens to it. Electricity has to have a return path. – Pete Becker Oct 31 '20 at 16:52
• @Pete Becker The water analogy is still good in that case The sink drain is returning the water to the ground it was pumped out of so that is still good. If you hold it in an open tank it will evaporate and end up as due or rain and again return to the ground. – Ed Beal Oct 31 '20 at 16:59
• @EdBeal -- no, you can't teach beginners that they can just let electricity fall onto the ground. A proper circuit needs a return wire. – Pete Becker Oct 31 '20 at 17:05

You have the idea but with water there is pressure and flow. The same is true with electricity but there is voltage and amperage. If you limit the flow of water by using tiny pipes this is like limiting the amperage by using small wire. The pressure side is similar to voltage, 100 psi could be similar to 100v increase the pressure 100x and the pressure could kill or cut depending on the flow.

With electricity the same is true voltage wise real life example static electricity 25000v and it stings but no physical damage because the current is tiny micro amps or possibly nano amps. increase to just 1/2 amp and and for the most part you would be dead, in the service I got hit with 80kv on a laser boost circuit it cut my forearm luckily my hand was grounded but the 3-5 ma current was enough to cauterize the skin& muscle so I have a wide scar if there would have been more current I probably would not be here.

With voltage being higher our skin resistance is broken down with high pressure it will cut or penetrate the skin with both as the amperage or flow increases more damage is done. With both low voltage 12v or 12psi you could have massive flow 1000 amps or 1000 gallons per minute and no harm is done to the body. touch both terminals of a car battery it has no affect to you. Or a large water pipe flooding a field no harm to you.

These would be equivalents of voltage and amperage to water pressure and flow.