why don’t power lines and towers short-circuit during rain

So how come these high tension towers and power lines are able to offer resistance to the thousands of volts of electricity flowing through them? Even during rain?. The answer lies in basically two main factors. First is the type of water coming in contact with these lines and second is the material used to provide protection in these lines so that they don’t short when water touches it.

Water is known to be an extremely good conductor of electricity but only when some amount of impurities are present in it. As the impurities provide ions to the free flow of electricity, rainwater is not that good conductor of electricity as it lacks any kind of impurity. Secondly, the joints of wires carrying electric currents in the power line are made up of ceramic which is a really good insulator and doesn’t allow electricity to flow through it.

power line

To ensure even more protection the joints in the power line where these ceramic protectors are placed are of twisted coil-like shape, which further ensures that the water coming in contact with these joints does not pass through it and drops on the ground instead of sticking to the surface. Ceramic is known to offer one of the best protection against water as the water molecules don’t stick to its surface and the fact that it is a good insulator ensures even more protection from getting short circuits on the power line.

The water is not able to pass through the ceramic protector and come in contact with the wire joint. Even if slightest amount of water is able to pass through the ceramic protector joint, the positive and negative charges would cross each other resulting in what is known as a ‘Short Circuit’ in technical language. In order to ensure that such instances don’t happen, power distribution companies often clean these ceramic connection joints on a regular basis leaving very little chance for any kind of electric fault due to short circuit.

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Such work is often handled by professional agencies who are well trained to carry out the maintenance work at regular intervals as per the situation and requirement.

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