Can Water Leaking into Electrical Outlet Start a Fire in Santa Ana, CA? How to Dry Out Wet Receptacle

Electricity and moisture do not mix. Most know and understand that. It is a high-risk to any home and person if the outlet gets wet. Preventing moisture from making contact with your outlets is obviously the best option, however, in rare instances, it can be unavoidable under surrounding circumstances. With that in mind, we at Peterkin Electric would like to relate some safety tips and suggestions you should take in the event the outlets in your California home gets wet.

Disable GFCI Outlet

GFCI, or Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter, outlets are designed to shut off whenever there is an interruption in the flow of electricity. The shutoff is automatic and can occur when there is water damage from a leak or even excess humidity that seeps into the outlet. You can contribute to water damage prevention by turning on the exhaust fan or turning the outlet off. To shut off a wet GFCI outlet manually simply press the reset and test buttons simultaneously. If the water damage is more severe there are additional steps to follow.

Power Off at Circuit Breaker Box

In some cases, the water damage can cause the electric flow to be interrupted, making it seem that the outlet is no longer functional, however, the wires connected to the outlet may still carry a live electrical current. Electrocution and electric fires are a high risk in this scenario. Once you know the outlet has been exposed to water, minimize the risk by immediately powering down at the breaker box switch. It is highly recommended and encouraged that you shut the power off at the breaker box even if the outlet is GFCI-rated and cut the power. if your box’s switches are accurately labeled, flip the corresponding breaker to the off position to ensure the wet outlet id no longer having any kind of electric flow. Systematically switch them off one at a time until you find the right one if they are not labeled until you find the right one. Call an electrician if you are unsure or use a voltage meter to test the outlet to make sure the correct breaker is switched off. Do not attempt to repair, remove, or use the outlet, especially if you are not sure if the correct breaker switch was flipped, unless you have substantial experience in the electrical industry.

Turn Off the Main Breaker

If multiple outlets were affected by water, you should turn off the power at the main breaker. Typically, where you can find the main breaker is the box on your electric pole outside. Unless you are familiar with its location do not try to flip the main breaker switch to avoid potential serious injuries.
What to do with a Wet Outlet: Especially when significant volumes of water come into contact with your outlet, but if any moisture makes contact, you replace the outlet and avoid using it until it is replaced. Turn the power off at the main breaker and call for an electrical inspection service should your home be inflicted with flooding.

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Call Peterkin Electric today if your Greater Orange County, CA home’s outlets have been exposed to water damage and let our experienced electricians safely take care of the rest. Contact us today for all your electrical needs.

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