# Drawing Electric Arcs at 230 Volts

• Quentief
In summary, the topic discussed is about the possibility of drawing electric arcs at low voltage by putting two electrodes in contact and then drawing them apart. The original poster attempted this using a simple circuit consisting of an electric kettle and two iron nails connected in series. However, despite seeing videos of others successfully doing this at the main voltage (230 volts), the poster was unable to replicate it. Some suggested using DC current, but even with a diode bridge, it still did not work. The conversation ends with a warning against dangerous experiments and a request for help on how to design a coil or capacitor for this purpose. The original poster is urged to stop these experiments and seek safer alternatives.
Quentief
Hi everyone :)

I open this discussion because I would like to know how electric arcs are able to be drawn.

Indeed, I have been told that it is perfectly possible to draw electric arcs at very low voltage, by simply putting in contact two electrodes and then drawing them apart. I wanted to try it by my own but it doesn't work and I would like to know why.

Actually, I have made a simple circuit which is consisting of an electric kettle plugged in the main 230 volt. Two electrodes are connected in series of this kettle. Indeed, I use the kettle as power resistance to limit the current. The electrodes are simply two iron nails.

I know this circuit is very dangerous, I do not approve it and I would not recommend to anyone to build it. But well,... it's a very simple circuit and very cheaper to make, so despite the risks I think it's pretty good way to make some tests. Anyway, I am very awareness of the risks and I am very careful.

So, the reason of this topic is simple : it doesn't work, I get only some sparks but nothing which looks like to an electric arc. Futhermore, I saw several videos where people claimed that this is perfectly possible to draw electric arcs at the main voltage (230 volts) :

Some of them say that I need to use a DC current, so I bought and wired a diodes bridge to rectify the signal, but I have the same result as before.
I don't understand how they do, but apparently it's possible. So the question is, what's wrong with my circuit ? If somebody have the answer, I'm more than interested! :)

Postscript: sorry if my english is not perfect, actually I'm french
but I will try to do my best!

Last edited:
My goodness that looks dangerous.

It's easier to draw a good arc at ~220 volts with DC.

Thanks for your reply nsaspook yes this is exactly what I am looking for but like I said it didn't work with my circuit, even if I use the diodes bridge. I suppose that's because I don't have a perfect DC current, it needs to be filtered. Please, could you tell me how can I design a coil or a capacitor in that purpose ?

Quentief said:
Thanks for your reply nsaspook yes this is exactly what I am looking for but like I said it didn't work with my circuit, even if I use the diodes bridge. I suppose that's because I don't have a perfect DC current, it needs to be filtered. Please, could you tell me how can I design a coil or a capacitor in that purpose ?

Thread closed. PF does not allow dangerous topics.

@Quentief , Please stop these dangerous experiements before you or someone else gets hurt. You can find plenty of videos on Youtube that show similar experiments carried out in safer laboratory conditions. Those videos can satisfy your curiosity.

@nsaspook and all other members, please note that you do us a disservice when you respond to topics like this rather than report them.

berkeman and nsaspook

## 1. How do electric arcs form?

Electric arcs are formed when a high voltage is applied between two conductors, causing a flow of electricity through the air between them. This flow of electricity ionizes the air molecules, creating a plasma channel that emits light and heat.

## 2. What is the significance of 230 volts in drawing electric arcs?

230 volts is a standard voltage for household electricity in many countries. This voltage is high enough to create a strong electric arc, but not so high that it poses a significant safety risk.

## 3. Are there any safety precautions to take when drawing electric arcs at 230 volts?

Yes, it is important to wear proper protective gear, such as safety glasses and gloves, when working with electric arcs. It is also important to have a fire extinguisher nearby and to make sure the area is well-ventilated to prevent the buildup of toxic gases.

## 4. Can electric arcs at 230 volts be used for practical applications?

Yes, electric arcs at 230 volts can be used for various practical applications, such as welding, cutting, and lighting. They can also be used in scientific experiments and demonstrations.

## 5. How can I create an electric arc at 230 volts?

To create an electric arc at 230 volts, you will need a power source that can supply this voltage, such as a household outlet. You will also need two conductors, such as metal rods or wires, placed close together but not touching. When the power is turned on, an electric arc should form between the two conductors.

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