Here’s Why Doing Dishes During a Thunderstorm Is Dangerous

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If you’re like me, the sight of a sink full of dirty dishes fills you with annoyance and dread. With everyone home so much more, our dishes and laundry have like, tripled, which means that boring little chore is rearing its head more frequently than ever.

The only good thing about it, if you ask me, is that I can shoo everyone else out of the kitchen (unless they want to help, of course) and listen to my audiobook.

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If, however, you’re looking for the perfect excuse to let them sit for another day (or two), just wait for the next thunderstorm to blow into town.

Sure, it might sound like an urban legend, but science says it’s actually true that you should avoid using your home’s plumbing – sink, shower, etc – during a bad thunderstorm. The reason? If any of it isn’t properly grounded, the electricity from the lightening can move through pipes and water to deliver quite a shock.

“Stay away from things that conduct electricity within the home,” warned John Jensenius, lightning safety specialist for the National Weather Service. “That would include both the wires and the plumbing.”

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That advice applies even if your pipes are plastic, because water is also an excellent conductor (which you should know from those horrifying pictures on your hair dryer’s cord).

He says you should also avoid any corded appliance, like your mixer, blender, toaster, television, desktop computers, etc. Anything plugged into the wall or connected to your home’s plumbing is potentially dangerous.

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A good rule of thumb is to avoid these things if you can hear thunder. That means the storm is close enough for you to be concerned about lightning striking nearby.

So, there you go – one more reason to curl up with a book and a cup of tea the next time it’s storming outside, because your chores can wait!