Zapper Question of the Day – Salt Water
Zapping with Salt Water isn’t a good idea.
The short answer: salt water will corrode your copper alligator clips and other pieces many times faster than fresh water while providing a negligible increase in conductivity.
Some background: When you wet the hand-holds with water, the purpose is to provide a good electrical path for the current to flow between the hand-holds and through the conductor, in this case, the conductor is your body. The reason you wrap your hand-holds with paper towels is to prevent copper ions from being driven into the skin; Dr. Clark is very specific on this point, as she does not want copper ions migrating into your body. If you use salt water on the paper towels you will get a good electrical connection, however, your copper handholds and the connectors themselves will corrode much faster than if you use fresh water.
Salt water provides a negligible improvement in conductivity compared with fresh water because the current path through the water is very short and your skin already has enough salts to provide the ions needed for excellent current flow. Therefore, we recommend that you use fresh water to maximize use for many years with your AutoZap.
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