Can Jumper Cables Get Wet?

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I could say nothing could be worse than having a flat battery when you have somewhere to be or an urgent meeting to attend.

However, what is much worse is experiencing a dead battery under a heavy and relentless downpour which does not look like it’s going to stop any moment.

Under such conditions, one of the questions on your mind would be “can jumper cables handle being wet? or is it a totally bad idea to jump-start in the rain?

So, can jumper cables get wet? The primary reason why the question is frequently asked by car owners and drivers is due to the fear of getting electrocuted.

While this may be a justifiable fear when thinking of electrocution from wet home electronic appliances, it is not the same thing with jumper cables.

The standard jumper cable is usually coated with a rubber material which prevents the cable from getting wet and affords its use in the rain.

Aside from the rubber coating on the jumper cables,  you are unlikely to get electrocuted from jump-starting your car in the rain as the car electrical system unlike your home appliances lacks a significant amount of voltage capable of electrocution.

The car battery which powers every other aspect of the car’s electrical system is typically a 13-volt battery. Therefore, the car’s electrical system only commands an average of about 12 volts. This is insignificant when compared to the 110 of 120 volts of electricity supplied to homes.

So, next time you find yourself standing under the rain as a result of a dead battery, if a friend or passerby offered to help you jump start your car with his, do not hesitate or feel it’s unsafe to do so.

It’s almost as safe as jump-starting your car on a dry and sunny day, except for the possibility of developing a cold from long hours of standing under the rain.

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Measures to take when jump-starting a car in the rain

Yes, our previous discussions have shown that jumper cables can not be penetrated by rain and are therefore safe for use under it.

However, there is some degree of risk involved in jump-starting your car in the rain. This risk could involve you or the person performing the jump-starting of the two vehicles used for this procedure 

As a result of such impending risk, it is pertinent to take certain precautionary measures to ensure you do not end up hurting yourself or your car in an attempt to escape the rain.

Your safety and that of other road users should be one of your party situations in this type of situation. Whenever you experience a flat battery, ensure the car is properly parked. Keep the car out the way of other road users.

This is because, jump-start the car, will involve you getting out of the car and moving around it. If left parked in the middle of the road, this will keep you in harm’s way from other incoming vehicles.

Your safety is more in jeopardy when this happens at night.  So, it’s night time and you are stranded somewhere under the rain as a result of a flat battery. It’s bad enough to experience a car that won’t start as a result of a flat battery at night, without being coupled with rainfall.

The night makes you less visible to oncoming cars. Some will only see your car when they are too close, and applying the brakes may not be much help due to the slippery road as a result of the wetness from the rain.

So, keeping this in mind, ensure that your car and that which is used to jump-start it are parked preferably in a low-traffic area to keep you and any other person assisting in the jump-starting safe. Safety should always come first in this situation.

Aside from parking in a low-traffic area, at night, an additional precautionary measure that you could take to make drivers in oncoming vehicles your parking is to strategically place flashers or warning signals.

This will help anyone approaching to quickly take note of the car being parked ahead of them and drive more carefully around that area.

Ideally, your car emergency kit should include jumper cables and should ensure never to go out without your emergency kit to become stranded in the middle of nowhere.

It will be unfortunate when a friend or a good Samaritan offers their car to help you jump-start yours, but you however do not have jumper cables in your car nor do they in theirs.

Similarly, flashers or warning signals used to alert oncoming drivers of your parked car are essential tools that should be present in the car emergency kit as you never know when your car will decide to act up.

When any of these is absent from the car emergency kit, ensure to get them replaced immediately as you never know when or where you will need them.

Although the jumper cables are waterproof and cannot get wet, this does not imply that you allow a generous amount of water under the car’s hood.

This is because there are other engine parts and electronic components of the car under the hood that may be vulnerable to getting wet. This might cause the car to start acting up even when the jump-starting cables are properly connected.

One way to keep the water out as much as possible is not opening the hood fully but as much as will allow access to the innards of the car.

Additionally, an umbrella can also be used to keep the water away. So, during the rainy season, you may want to keep an umbrella in your car for events like this, as it not only keeps the water away from the innards of the car but also reduces how much you get wet when stranded in this situation.

Of the measures required to be taken while jump-starting, be it in the rain or on a dry day, the most important of all is to ensure the jumper cables are properly connected. What will happen if they were connected wrongly? Well, let’s just say you are about to experience worse damage than what had already occurred.

Can jump-starting a car be done in a thunderstorm?

No one can say when their car will start acting up. From personal experience, most of the time, a seemingly normal car will likely get you stranded in the unluckiest of situations such as while it is raining, at night, or in a thunderstorm.

Therefore, rain and your jumper cables getting wet is not the only thing you have to worry about, rather, you also have to be worried about your car battery going dead in a thunderstorm and having to jump-start it in this condition.

The thunderstorm comes with lightning which is a frightening event even while you are indoors. During this time, most people prefer to stay clear of electrical appliances as their use is considered unsafe under a thunderstorm.

So, it is understandable to be a little scared or skeptical about jump-starting your car while there is a thunderstorm.

So, is it a dangerous act or is it okay to go ahead and jump-start your car even when there is a thunderstorm? The simple answer is that it is safe to jump-start a car under a thunderstorm. This will not lead to electrocution or any other form of danger.

Yes, being outside during a lightning storm is not ideal, especially while in an open field or under a shade. However, non of these have any bearing with jump-starting your car or will hinder a safe jump starting. It is however better to be safe than sorry.

The thunderstorm storm is unlikely to last the past few minutes, you can therefore simply wait it out rather than taking an unnecessary risk.

Can jumper cables be used on a wet battery?

When the battery goes dead and gets you stranded in the rain, once the hood is open, water from the rain will most likely get in and soil the battery and other car engine components.

Ideally, the hood should be open in such a way that reduces the amount of water that gets under it. And an umbrella could also be used to protect the car battery and other components from getting excessively wet.

However, if you have to jump-start while the battery is wet, simply try and clean out some of the water before connecting the jumper cable. Jump starting with a wet battery is generally not a problem and does not pose any risk. There are however electronic parts under the hood that are more susceptible to damage from getting wet.

Can Jumper Cables Get Wet – Conclusion

so, yes jumper cables cannot get wet due to their rubber coat and can be used in the rain as long as some basic precautionary measures are followed. The cables should however be dried up before storage to avoid the metal clamps getting corroded.

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