Is There a Difference Between Freshwater and Salt Water Resistance?

Electric cables with sparks

It’s easy to overlook the different types of water, but when it comes to cable resistance levels and working within water brings up the question, “Is there a difference between freshwater and salt water resistance?” Read on with Gateway Cable Company to dive deeper into how fresh water resistance and salt water resistance affect electrical currents. If you have questions about cable resistance levels, reach out to our team today!

Freshwater Resistance

When testing if there is a difference between freshwater and salt water resistance, we’re actually looking at whether the solution has ions. With the help of a volt-ohms reader, we can test the electrical resistance in freshwater solutions. As the meter goes into the water, the circuit stays open with a reading of over 900,000 ohms of resistance. This means that the freshwater resistance level is very high, and it’s not a good conductor of electricity.

Salt Water Resistance

The addition of common salt is where we start noticing a difference in resistance levels. Salt, or sodium chloride, is formed when each atom of sodium is bonded to an atom of chlorine. To form an ionic bond, the sodium atom gives an electron to the chlorine atom, leading the sodium atom to have a slight positive charge and the chlorine atom to have a slight negative charge.

So, as salt dissolves in water, the water molecule influences the sodium and chlorine atoms to separate, where they’re free to move throughout the water as positively and negatively charged ions. 

It is this separation to allow the salt water solution to better conduct electricity than freshwater. If we follow the same test with the volt-ohms meter, you’ll find that there is a lower resistance level in salt water as the meter reads less than 80,000 ohms of resistance. A salt water solution might be the better option for jobs that require less resistance. 

Learn More About Resistance and Waterproofing with Gateway Cable Company!

If you have questions about water resistance and cable resistance levels, the team at Gateway Cable Company is here to help you approach all your jobs that require electrical resistance know-know with knowledge and safety. Be sure to take a closer look at the designs behind what make cables waterproof, and the various types of cables you can encounter.