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Tap water conducts electricity whereas distilled water does not. Why?

Last updated date: 14th Jul 2024
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Hint: This is a conceptual question which requires the knowledge of the basic difference between tap water and distilled water. There is a difference of ions between tap water and distilled water. Tap water contains ions and salts while distilled water is a pure form of water used in chemical reactions.

Complete answer:
Water from the tap conducts electricity due to the small quantities of calcium and magnesium salts that dissolve in it. This is due to the fact that water is not a conductor in and of itself. When an ionic compound, such as salts, is dissolved, the ions become loosely bound to one another, making tap water a strong conductor of electricity.

On the other hand, distilled water is a very pure form of water which does not contain any kinds of impurities such as ions, dissolved salts and any other components that can cause conduction of electricity. Distilled water is thus used in chemical laboratories for various chemical reactions to reach accurate results.

Note: Since their ions are free to pass from place to place, ionic compounds conduct electricity when molten (liquid) or in aqueous solution (dissolved in water). In solid ionic compounds, since their ions are kept in fixed positions and cannot move, they cannot conduct electricity.