Your Guide to Dealing with Wet Outlets

Jun 17, 2021

It’s well known (and documented) that water and electricity don’t go well together.

So, what happens on the off chance that electricity and water do meet? It’s so important to keep yourself and others in the building safe if/when this, what is known as a ‘wet outlet,’ occurs.

Want to know what to do when you are faced with wet outlets?

Read more from the Perth commercial electricians at Wacomm to find out.

What happens when water gets into an electrical outlet?

One of the biggest lessons we all probably learnt in childhood is the probability of injury or death, from water and electricity mixing.

But why is this so?

  • Electrical currents always travel the shortest possible path that will lead it back to the ground and this path could be anything that can conduct electricity, like wires.
  • It’s ironic that water is one of the most excellent and efficient electricity conductors, meaning that an electric current can pass through.
  • If you, by any chance, are touching water that is also touching electricity, you will become the conductor and receive an electric shock.

Touching a wet outlet will give you a mild or serious electric shock that could cause mild to serious pain or injury. Did you know that some damage from electric shocks may not even be visible until 10-14 days after the incident?

What can cause wet outlets?

There’s plenty of situations and causes of wet outlets that are more than just accidentally and frustratingly knocking over a glass of water onto a power board:

  • Accidental water splashing in bathrooms and/or kitchen
  • Burst pipes
  • Flooding
  • Leaking roof
  • Open or broken windows.

The safest preventative measure is awareness and education. Reiterate to kids at home, and employees at work not to splash or have water (or other liquids) near plugged in electrical appliances, power boards and sockets – and lead by example!

What to do with a wet outlet?

Accidents happen around the home and in the office, which makes it all the more important to know what to do if/when you’re ever faced with one (or multiple).

Here’s what to do:

  • Shut down your Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter

The Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) is a specialised outlet that automatically shuts down when it detects a disruption to the electricity flow. On occasion, a wet GFCI can remain on. Press the rest and test buttons found on the outlet at the same time to turn off.

  • Switch off your Breaker Box

This is erring on the side of caution, but it will give you peace of mind that you are stopping electricity from flowing into the wet outlet. Go section by section if breakers are unlabelled.

  • Dry the wet electrical outlets

Once you have completed the above steps, it’s time to dry the outlet(s) out. STILL don’t touch it. It’s best for it to dry naturally, or a hairdryer (on cold air) could speed up the process.

Still not drying? It’s best to make the safe call and contact a Perth commercial electrician.

Wacomm are a team of Perth electrical contractors to rely on when it comes to electrical emergencies at work.

Need a commercial electrician?

Contact Wacomm for all your electrical installations, emergency repairs and maintenance needs for your business.

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Since 1997, WACOMM has been providing Commercial and Industrial Electrical services in Perth, Western Australia. Experienced and efficient, David and the team at WACOMM have the skilled knowledge to complete medium and large scale projects to the highest possible standard in Perth.

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