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Steps to Deal with Wet Outlets

Steps to Deal with Wet Electrical Outlets

In Central Florida, wet is a relative term. Our high humidity penetrates most things, including electrical outlets. The question is- how wet is too wet? The answer is it depends.

While humidity getting into an outlet can cause it to corrode and eventually need to be replaced, it is not an immediate threat. If an accident such as spilling a bucket of water lead to more than a few drops entering the outlet it needs to be turned off. If your home was built after 1980, there is a good chance a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) outlets are the type you have. Shutting these outlets off is a very easy process. Just press the reset and test buttons at the same time. If you live in an older home, you will either have to shut off power at the circuit breaker or fuse box.

If there is a heavy flow of water coming in, causing the outlets to be submerged, the power needs to be shut off at the circuit breaker or fuse box immediately. Having outlets submerged guarantees that there will be a current in the water. This point is self-explanatory and if someone in your home does fall victim to electrocution be sure to call 911 right away.

What Happens After the Outlets Dry Out?

Once the outlet or outlets in your home that became wet have dried out, they need to be inspected by a licensed electrician. As stated previously, once an outlet has been wet, it can corrode, and that corrosion can spread to wires in the wall. If a current flows through an outlet or wires damaged by water, it can become an instant fire hazard. With these facts in mind, it is best not to restore electricity to the outlets until an electrician has inspected it. In most cases, the outlet and possibly some of the wiring will have to be replaced to ensure that an electrical fire does not occur.

If you live in the greater Lakeland or Plant City areas, and your electrical outlet or outlets have been wet, or are in a high humidity area, let Dynamic R.I.C. Electric inspect them. Call 863-333-0762 or fill out our online contact form, a member of our experienced and knowledgeable staff members will gladly assist you.