Will A Toaster In The Bathtub Actually Kill You? (Find Out)

Although the answer to this depends on many factors and scenarios, getting badly electrocuted with a toaster in a bathtub is possible. The current will flow as it seeks a way to ground, killing you if you happen to be in the bathtub at the time.

How Does A Toaster In The Bathtub Electrocute You?

A person is a considerably more excellent conductor of electricity than the water surrounding them when the current tries to go from one side of the circuit to the other. So, if a toaster falls into a bathtub, your body will be the most effective path for the current to pass.

The spilled water forms a channel to the ground, letting most electricity travel via the toaster’s heating components and return to the opposite side of the junction. In this case, the person in the tub gets electrocuted and even dies. 

The risk arises when the toaster is electrically connected, and the bathtub is submerged in water. You can also be in trouble if your toaster falls into the water when contacting grounded pipes. 

Even if we were to consider a house that is older and was constructed before GFCI outlets were needed in bathrooms- when you throw your toaster into the water, some of the currents would travel through the wire and back into the toaster. At the same time, the remainder would pass through the water, your body, and down the water pipes to the ground.

The natural reaction would be to either leap out of the water, or take the toaster, and toss it out of the bathtub. The latter option would be highly terrible for you since it would cause some of the current to go through the toaster and some of it to pass through your arm, chest (which is the harmful portion), and the rest of the body before entering the water and flowing through the pipes, etc. 

Can You Survive Getting Electrocuted By A Toaster In The Bathtub?

Toasters have electrocuted people in the bathtub. But there are also cases where people have luckily survived the electrocution.

To be electrocuted, your body must conduct an electric current via organs such as the heart, lungs, and brain. However, your body has a relatively strong resistance. The water will prefer passing the current since it should have less resistance. A kind of insulator will also be created between your body and the power source by the water. So it’ll travel behind you to the ground, usually the drain. 

Electric current must go through your body and your heart, causing it to fibrillate for you to be electrocuted. If you are submerged in water in the bathtub, there will be less electric resistance because of damp skin. Although you could get some shock because of this, you won’t be seriously electrocuted since the toaster’s primary electric current will pass through the toaster’s resistance when the water becomes closer. 

Another possibility of not getting electrocuted is that the toaster cord is defective, allowing just the live wire to be attached. 

Your chances of escaping electrocution also depend on:

Quality Of Water

One explanation is that the tap water is usually quite soft, barely mineralized, and unreliable as a conductor. On the contrary, seawater and “hard” water would be more excellent conductors.


There is also a meager chance of getting electrocuted in the bathtub if your home is plastic-plumbed. There won’t be a route for the current to pass through your body. There will only be one return route for the current, and that return wire belongs to the toaster. 

Measures That Can Help Prevent Electrocution in Bathtub

GFCI Equipped Devices

It has also been demonstrated that GFCI (Ground-Fault Circuit Interrupter) equipped devices (and, by implication, plugs) are successful at avoiding electrocutions since a GFCI-equipped hair dryer, for instance, switches off when it comes into contact with water. When a GFCI senses this, it instantly shuts off the outlet (within 1/40th of a second). 

Most recently constructed bathrooms do include GFCI outlets, which have a breaker that shuts off the electricity during a short circuit. You’ll probably be okay if an appliance connected to a GFCI outlet falls into the bathtub. But you will die if the circuit breaker doesn’t trip in time. 

Because of the risk of electric shock, all contemporary houses must include GFCI in any “wet” areas, such as bathrooms, kitchens, and other wet areas. The GFCI recognizes that the current flowing through the wire doesn’t match the current coming back when you throw your handy toaster into the tub, causing the outlet to trip. 

Ground Channels

When your toaster presents a shock hazard, the return wire, often known as the neutral, is physically attached to the earth. Your water pipes, which are metal and conductive (assuming you don’t have PVC), are also buried.

So, all of your sewage and drainage lines are wired to your electricity service’s neutral line. When the toaster is in contact with the tub; the electricity has two ground channels. One goes through the toaster again, which is how it should operate, and the other goes through water, down through your water pipes, and into the earth.

Isolated Ground Systems

You can use ungrounding AC electrical systems. These are known as isolated ground systems or, more colloquially, isolated systems. 

Usually, appliances with red-colored outlets are the only ones able to touch the either wire or the ground without being shocked, making isolated systems safer.

The logical question is if it’s safer, why don’t we operate all electrical systems this way? The explanation is that if you try to run a complete domestic electrical service in this manner, the earth will randomly ground your system with tree branches and other similar objects.

An isolated system is exceedingly difficult to maintain. Hence we highly prefer a ground system. Rather than a chaotic ground system brought on by nature, we create it purposely. 

Type Of Bathtub And Drainage Pipe

If the bathtub is made of metal and is grounded via the piping connection, it would enable a current to move from the toaster to the water.

Cast iron bathtubs are worse than baths with metal pipes and fittings. On the other hand, if someone does not touch the taps and the bath is not filling or emptying, they might survive in a plastic bath with plastic pipes. 

Most of the current will flow from the point of connection to the gadget. Some current may flow from the hot lead through the water to the drainage pipe if it is made of metal or depending on the material of the bathtub as well as how the lines are run through the water to the bathtub and from the tub to the piping if it is linked to the tub.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Q. Can you die by using a hair dryer in the bathtub?

Dropping a hair dryer into the bathtub may be fatal. As a result, although grasping the wires of a 12-volt automobile battery with dry hands may not cause a significant shock, doing it with a 120-volt hair dryer thrown into the bathtub can be fatal.

Q. Can you die from sticking a fork in a toaster?

If you insert a fork or knife into the toaster while connected, you risk electrocution and perhaps death. The toaster must be disconnected for you to avoid electrocution, but a fire might still start.

Q. Is it possible to die if you drop your phone in the bath?

You risk electrocution while using a phone in the shower or bathtub, which can be fatal. A person’s body is shocked with high voltage or amps. That can be fatal since it can directly affect the heart and nervous system.

Q. Will inserting a knife into an electrical socket kill you?

Yes, most likely. You might either receive a little shock or perish. You might still be in danger of cardiac issues even if you escape with a little jolt.

Q. Do all electrical gadgets electrocute in water?

Most electrical gadgets use currents far higher than the body can handle. The electrocution impact increases when the device moves further away from the drain or as the water contains more salt (such as urine or Epsom salts).

Will Using A Toaster In The Bathtub Kill You?

Yes, getting severely electrocuted when bathing with a toaster is possible. The current will flow as it attempts to reach earth, killing you if you are in the bathtub at the moment.