River crossings at night

Submitted: Thursday, Apr 15, 2004 at 23:35
ThreadID: 12089 Views:1201 Replies:7 FollowUps:4
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I would like to know whether there is any risk to the electrical system by performing river crossings with lights on if the water comes up to the headlamps.

It is really a theoretical question so, for the purpose of the question, can we talk about a daytime crossing and therefore avoid discussions about the hazards of driving across a river in darkness! Sorry! But I know what a huge can of worms this might be otherwise!

Thanks again.

Cheers,
Kevin
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Reply By: cwebb - Friday, Apr 16, 2004 at 01:20

Friday, Apr 16, 2004 at 01:20
Hi Kevin,
I gotta say that I don't think there would (theoretically!) be a problem with energised lights in water, so long the actual bulb is watertight, as they would have to be anyway so as not to burn out the filament.
The electical resistance of the wires is much less than that of the water at that voltage and current, therefore would follow the path of least resistance via the wires and not by water.
It would certainly be a different story if your rig happened to generate household voltages! Just keep the inverter above water level !
The only problems that would arise with water and lights on is if the water had so low resistance that it was essentially a short-circuit condition, in which case fuses may blow. i would doubt that low voltage wiring, such as vehicles, would be damaged in the theoretical scenario above.

AnswerID: 54463

Follow Up By: GO_OFFROAD - Friday, Apr 16, 2004 at 08:41

Friday, Apr 16, 2004 at 08:41
2 things,
firstly, be prepared for the light to dissapear as the headlights go under water, putting you in pitch black, when your eyes cant adjust quickly enough,

And 2nd, if the lights are hot, and the water cold, it will crack the headlight glass.
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FollowupID: 316148

Reply By: rolande- Friday, Apr 16, 2004 at 07:44

Friday, Apr 16, 2004 at 07:44
Kevin,
Back in my sillyer days, a couple of us decided to drive along a flooded sealed road. The water would have been about 90cm deep, occasionally dipping a bit more. The lights on the MQ Patrol I had at the time suddenly went out in one of the deeper patches. Bad news I thought, anyway, after about 5 mins of drying out, switched them back on and all was fine. Don't really know the complexities of why, just happy they did.
Rolande
AnswerID: 54468

Reply By: Wayne (NSW) - Friday, Apr 16, 2004 at 08:48

Friday, Apr 16, 2004 at 08:48
Kevin,
Driving through rivers with the lights on should not cause a big problem. Putting a blind on might cover the lights.
I crossed a river at night with a pair of PIAA fog light on, good lights, 100w globes a lot of heat, a bit of cold water, and the lense cracked.
The lesson, dont drive through a river until things have cooled a bit, diffs and lights in this case.

Wayne
AnswerID: 54479

Reply By: hoyks - Friday, Apr 16, 2004 at 09:02

Friday, Apr 16, 2004 at 09:02
And be prepared for the lenes to fill up. It used to happen on my Suzuki, the lens would half fill with water and it was a bugger to pull them out of the grill and drain the water out. Same with driving lights, only easier to get too.
AnswerID: 54482

Reply By: Davoe - Friday, Apr 16, 2004 at 10:02

Friday, Apr 16, 2004 at 10:02
I realise it was only a theoretical question but I dont think I would be trying a water crossing of that magnatude at night anyway as a recovery operation at night in water is not good
AnswerID: 54493

Reply By: Kiwi Ray - Friday, Apr 16, 2004 at 14:48

Friday, Apr 16, 2004 at 14:48
Hi Kevin
Another thing that needs some thought is the tail lights, most of these have vents that need to be sealed or the globes will blow when the water gets in.
Fit a set of lights to the roof, I have 2 spots and 2 floods on the front of the roof rack.
Ray
AnswerID: 54538

Follow Up By: Member -Bob & Lex (Sydney) - Friday, Apr 16, 2004 at 16:57

Friday, Apr 16, 2004 at 16:57
Spotties on roof rack are illegal in NSW but what isn't.
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Follow Up By: Savvas - Friday, Apr 16, 2004 at 20:40

Friday, Apr 16, 2004 at 20:40
Off topic but how are Jeep getting away with roof mounted spotties on some of the new Cherokees?

Also saw an X-Trail the other day with lights integrated into the roof rack.

Seems to be some inconsistency to the application of that rule.
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FollowupID: 316260

Follow Up By: Member -Bob & Lex (Sydney) - Saturday, Apr 17, 2004 at 07:07

Saturday, Apr 17, 2004 at 07:07
Jeep had some trouble with it but because it's in the design of the vehicle they allowed it. You could probably make a case if you got booked for them on your roof rack but I dought it.
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FollowupID: 316311

Reply By: Kevin - Saturday, Apr 17, 2004 at 07:34

Saturday, Apr 17, 2004 at 07:34
Thank you again to all of you for your prompt and thought-provoking responses.

Cheers,
Kevin
AnswerID: 54660

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