Is a shock from 240 volts worse than 120 volts?

Maybe you were working on some heavy duty power and got shocked. You probably thought something like “I got a big shock since it was 240 volts.” Actually it would be very likely you got a 120 volt shock, even if you were working with 240 volts. You might be wondering how that can be. Let me explain, 240 volts is measured between two “hot” conductors or wires, but even with a 240 volt system a shock from a single wire that goes through your body to ground by way of the floor, or some other metal or conductive material is actually only 120 volts since 1 hot wire has only 120 volts to ground even if you have a 240 volt system. The only way to actually get shocked with 240 volts of power is to touch both hot wires with different parts of your body at the same time. But if you only touch one hot wire at a time it’s the same 120 volts that gives you a shock as touching an hot wire from an outlet. The amount of shock is all dependent on how easy of a path you give the power to connect through your body to ground.

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