What to do When Water is Leaking out of the Electrical Outlet?

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It is common knowledge that you shouldn’t let anything related to electricity near water because of how dangerous this could be. But there might be times when you notice that water is leaking out from an area where you don’t want it to leak out— the electrical outlet.

Why could this be happening? And what should you do when you notice that water is leaking out of the electrical socket?

Key Takeaway

When water is leaking from an electrical outlet go immediately to the circuit breaker to turn off the power for the entire house, or at least that outlet. From there, unplug the appliances that are connected to it and make sure that you dry them off. If the leak is fast, turn off the water mains. Deal with the leak by calling a professional.

A leak in your electrical outlet is nothing short of dangerous because of how water conducts electricity really well. This is why it is important that you immediately remedy the situation by taking safety precautions first.

Let’s look at the things that you need to do immediately when you detect that one of your electrical outlets is actually leaking water.

Why is Water Leaking From the Electrical Outlet?

One of the most important things that homeowners should know is that the electrical components should always be kept away from water. Water conducts electricity really well, and if touched with a current running through it, it’s deadly.

So, why could water be leaking out from an electrical outlet?

Check Windows Nearby

The first things you could look at is if there are windows nearby because these can be the causes of the water leaks. This will be more common in places where the weather can be a bit volatile such as when thunderstorms and rains are common. Water can seep through the windows and make their way to the electrical outlets found right under the windows.

Check for Roof Leaks

A leak in the roof can also cause water to pile up somewhere in your home, and the water may end up seeping into the walls until they reach the electrical outlets. This should be more common in places where the weather can be a bit more volatile than most regions. 

Kitchen or Bathroom Issues

Another common occurrence that can lead to this problem is when you are in the kitchen and you are cooking food or are cleaning the dishes. Water can splash into the electrical outlets, where it might seep into and eventually start to leak out later on. This can be quite common in kitchens and even in bathrooms whenever you are washing your hands or have just gotten out of the shower.

There are minimum distances that taps and sinks should be from electrical outlets. If your outlet is splashed regularly it could be that it has been constructed against building code.

Water Pipe Leaking in the Wall

A rare situation could be that a water pipe inside your wall has burst and the internal section of the wall is filling with water. The nearest outlets to the leak could show water coming out of them if the leak is big enough.

It is important to make sure that your windows are sealed off and that your roof doesn’t have any leaks. Always avoid having anything liquid near any electrical outlets especially if you are in the kitchen or in the bathroom.

What to do When Water is Leaking out of the Electrical Outlet?

Turn Off Appliances or the Outlet Itself

When you notice that water is leaking out of your electrical outlet, the first thing you need to do is turn off the mains power(circuit breaker). Then turn off any appliances that are connected to the outlet. Your appliances might end up getting damaged if they are still functioning while water is leaking out of the outlet.

You shouldn’t unplug anything until there is no current running through the outlet otherwise you are putting yourself in danger.

If your house has newer GFCI outlets, these should automatically turn off the moment water touches the outlet. However, there are some cases where these outlets don’t turn off. As such, you should manually turn them off by looking for the switch that would turn the GFCI outlet.

When the GFCI outlet has been turned off, this essentially interrupts any electrical connection on the outlet.

Steps for When a Water Leak is Found

Turn Off the Circuit Breaker

First go to your home’s circuit breaker and then turn off the current in the affected outlet. That is, of course, if you know the switch on the circuit breaker that would turn the outlet off.

If you don’t know which switch will turn the exact outlet off, then the best thing to do is to turn the entire circuit breaker off to cut the power from your home. This should be the safest thing to do if you are unsure of whether or not only one outlet is affected.

Unplug and Dry the Appliances

Next, you should unplug the appliances that are connected to the electrical outlet. This is now safe to do because there is no longer any current running through the outlet. If you notice moisture on the appliances, wipe it off and allow the remaining moisture to air-dry. You can also use a hairdryer to dry off the appliances.

Dry the Outlet

After drying off the appliances connected to the outlet, the next thing to do is to dry off the outlet as well. Because time isn’t a luxury for you because you may need the power back in your home, you can use a portable hair dryer that is battery-operated to dry the outlet off.

Allow the moisture to completely evaporate before attempting to turn the power back on and plug in your appliances.

If the source of the water is evident. See if you can deal with that also. For example if the leak is coming from a water pipe in the wall, turn off the water mains immediately.

Call a Professional

If you have a reason to believe that this is a serious issue such as when you notice that water still keeps on leaking out of the outlet after doing the above mentioned steps, it’s time to call a professional.

This is due to the possibility that water might be leaking from broken pipes in your walls or because the moisture has seeped into the walls from a leak in the roof.

This is something that only a professional should handle as dealing with anything electrical can be dangerous to you and the entire house.