Why is electronics fine when places under oil but not on water?


So I’ve seen some videos before where they literally put entire pc builds in oil and some machines work under oil (although I forgot what machines are those)

In: 8

Electronic components can work totally fine when submerged in specifically mineral oil. It’s often an option for cooling components that produce a ton of heat, since mineral oil does not conduct electricity like water does. Water also causes corrosion on electrical connections where mineral oil does not. Mineral oil is also used all throughout the electric grid to cool components. Those tin-can transformers you see on all the electric poles are all filled with mineral oil!

Mineral oil is not conductive, it doesn’t have free electrons to conduct electricity.

That being said, pure water also isn’t conductive.

It’s the stuff/detritus *in* water that attracts electricity

Oil is a terrible conductor, due to a lack of charged particles or free electron, unlike water.

Water can conduct electricity. The whole point of electronics is very finely controlling where electricity can go, so introducing water ruins this.


Another problem is that when water evaporates it has minerals in it that is left behind, this can ruin circuits too. And even if the water is free of minerals, putting it on electronics can make it disolve some minerals and later deposit it on the circuit, except now in the different place and it ruins the circuit.

Even pure water can be contaminated by electronics placed in it due to the various materials and metals. Some oils are excellent insulators. Most high voltage power transformers and various components used by utility companies are submerged in oil. It prevents arcing and acts as a coolant.