Does Pure Water Conduct Electricity: 7 Facts You Should Know

In the case of liquids, electricity is produced when ions possess drift velocity in a liquid matter. Let us discuss how does pure water conduct electricity.

Pure water does not contain any salt to dissociate into acid and base and be conductive due to the chemical energy released from the reactions. The pure water molecule does not split into ions when an electric current passes through it. Hence, it does not conduct electricity and is a bad conductor.

Does pure water conduct electricity?

The water in its pure form is called distilled water, and distilled water does not conduct electricity.

The water in its pure form is not capable of conducting electricity because there is no presence of any salt that will dissociate the ions in the water and conduct electricity.

When an electric current is supplied to the water, the water molecules won’t show the force of attraction towards it because the charge of the water molecules is neutral, and pure water does not dissociate into its ions on the application of current. 

Hence, an electric current is repelled away from distilled water, and no electric flux is allowed to pass through the volume of pure water.

Why Pure water is a non conductor of electricity?

We know that rainwater, seawater, or water found from other sources, are conductive, but pure water is not.

The sea and rainwater are rich in ions and minerals, making this water a good conductor of electricity. At the same time, a pure form of water is free from ions and does not distinguish when a current is passed through it. Hence, pure water is a nonconductor of electricity.

The water conducts electricity only when it is in an impure form. The hydrogen with oxidation state +1 and oxygen molecules with oxidation state -2 will react with the ions of salt present in the water.

The anions will react with hydrogen ions, and cation will react with the oxygen ions. The mobility of the ions will conduct electric current in the water.

Explain in terms of Bonding Why Pure Water Doesn’t Conduct Electricity

Pure water does not dissociate into ions even during electrolysis because pure water does not constitute an ion and the ions are essential to conducting the electricity.

If the water composes of a mixture of salt, the dissociated water molecules in the form of ions will react with the ions of the salts present in the water. Pure water cannot produce electricity because the transport of the ions inside the volume of the pure water is absent.

What can make water to conduct electricity?

The water in its pure form is not conductive; hence a small amount of impurities essentially makes the water conductive.

The impurity particles soluble in water will dissociate into ions carrying either a positive or negative charge depending upon the number of electrons lost from the outer valence shell or extra electrons gained by the atom.

The mobility of these charges produces the electric current. This electric current is obtained by connecting the two conducting rods inserted in a liquid where this chemical reaction occurs.

How does water conduct electricity?

Adding salt, acid, or base can make pure water conductive. Even for the electrolysis process, a small volume of hydrochloric acid is used to increase the conductivity of the water.

In addition to acid or salt, the ions form on the dissociation of the molecules. These ions release the ionization energy during the formation of ions. Thus a huge amount of chemical energy is given away. 

The chemical energy is converted into electrical energy when the setup is connected to the anode and cathode through a battery source. The ions produced will migrate towards the oppositely charged rods.

This mobility of ions in the liquid solution will guide them through the conducting wire, thus converting the chemical energy into electrical energy.

Does pure distilled water conducts electricity?

Pure distilled water does not conduct electricity because it is in equilibrium with the Carbon Dioxide present in the air and has very less conductivity.

The conductivity of any liquid depends upon the number of ions and the drift velocity of the ions. The drift and mobility of the ions produce the flow of electric current. Pure distilled water dissociates a very scarce number of ions. Hence, distilled water is unable to conduct electricity.

Does mineral water conduct electricity?

The mineral water is rich in salts and minerals; hence, it conducts electricity.

The salt and minerals are soluble in water; hence, when an electric current is passed through the mineral water, the salt dissociates into the anion and cation. These ions then make a passage towards the oppositely charged rods/plates. The motion of a charge conducts electricity.


Pure water does not conduct electricity. The number density of ions in the volume of water makes it electrically conductive. The presence of salts, minerals, or acids, is essential to make the water conductive. Hence, the water-soluble substances are added to the pure water to generate electricity from water.


Hi, I’m Akshita Mapari. I have done M.Sc. in Physics. I have worked on projects like Numerical modeling of winds and waves during cyclone, Physics of toys and mechanized thrill machines in amusement park based on Classical Mechanics. I have pursued a course on Arduino and have accomplished some mini projects on Arduino UNO. I always like to explore new zones in the field of science. I personally believe that learning is more enthusiastic when learnt with creativity. Apart from this, I like to read, travel, strumming on guitar, identifying rocks and strata, photography and playing chess. Connect me on LinkedIn -

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