# how can high voltage kill you if you are not completing a circuit

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I understand completing a circuit to ground or something is lethal. I also know it has something to do with your bodies capacity but why does that kill you

In: Physics

It can’t and you do. For example, birds sit on high voltage power lines all the time without being zapped because they’re not completing a circuit. What you probably are unclear about is that the literal earth itself and anything conductive connected to it can complete the circuit and allow current to flow through your body and into it. That’s why we call it “ground”.

Just the presence of high voltage isn’t something that will kill you. Linemen use helicopters to climb onto operating high voltage overhead lines to inspect, repair and maintain them. 132 000 V is a common one here, but much higher voltages are used for long distance lines.

Are you talking about when a helicopter doing high voltage maintenance has to equalize itself to the line before the lineman can touch it? I would imagine a capacitive affect but I’d kinda like to know for sure myself.

There is both “volts” & “amp’s”

(There is also Watt’s)

So “voltage” is basically the force moving the electrons, while amperage is the actual electron flow. What actually kills you is the amp’s, (or a mix of the 2)

Think about it like a pipe with liquid in it

voltage (EMF) = pressure

Amp’s (Current) = litres per second

Its the combination of the 2 that kills you

just pressure is fine, and just water wont leave the pipe, but tones of moving water can crush or drown you, and super pressurized water can throw, break, or even cut/impale you.

**Both the volt’s and amps can kill you, lowest recorded deaths are around 42 volts, and 0.2 amps.**

^^^
Well below your average house outlet, don’t be one of those “its only 120v” people, your heart can still stop.