You may wonder how to mend a water-damaged plug after reading about the dangers of combining water and electricity. The potential of water coming into contact with electricity while dealing with flooding is a severe issue.
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Toxic flooding can occur when water seeps into an electrical outlet or when a drink is placed too close to an outlet and spills. When water meets electricity, it can cause damage, therefore you need to know what happens when it does.
How does moisture enter an electrical outlet?
Flooding might occur in the home during a rainstorm. Electrical outlets will become wet if the water level rises to a dangerous level. If the windows are left open, rain can get inside the house as well, causing water damage. Electrical outlets near windows should be checked after storms as a precautionary measure.
Electrical outlets in bathrooms and kitchens can become moist as a result of daily activity. When cooking with liquids, for example, splatters can reach the outlet and cause damage to the appliance. A adjacent electrical socket can be damaged by water splashes from a bathroom sink.
What Happens If Water Gets In Electrical Outlet?
Until the water is completely removed from the electrical outlet, there is some risk of electrocution. The conductivity of electricity can be improved by adding water to the mix.
If you touch one of these outlets while it is filled with water, you could get a serious electric shock. The most common cause of burns is getting shocked by an electrical current.
In addition, electrical exposure is frequently accompanied by some degree of pain. It’s not fun to get shocked by a wall outlet, but it’s more worse when you plug in anything damp and get a shock.
Short circuits are dangerous because they can melt wires and overload or even ignite electrical outlets. A fire can start fast if water spills into an electrical outlet. It is imperative that you quickly turn off your power to avoid any more harm to your property.
What are the common uses of water damaged plugs?
In order to avoid any problems, you should be aware if water enters an electrical socket. Even though it’s rare, water can leak into low-level fixtures like toilets and sinks.
With numerous ways to get into a home, water can easily sneak into the outlet of an electrical appliance. After a storm that causes flooding, you should be cautious to examine all exposed electrical outlets in the basement and ground-floor windows.
Roofing leaks, for example, are becoming more widespread. With dripping ceilings, water might reach your electrical outlets and damage them. Even a small leak of this magnitude can cause damage to your roof, and if the leak is significant enough, water may seep inside your home.
Wall sockets can be damaged if water leaks form at the perimeter of a room and seep down your wall. In addition, burst pipes might cause leaks, as well. Pipes that burst in your crawl space can seep into nearby outlets.
How To Repair A Water Damaged Plug
If the wiring in your home gets damp, act quickly to dry it out. However, avoid electrocuting oneself while using a multimeter, as doing so could result in the loss of a significant amount of electricity.
Step #1. Check your outlets and turn them off
A flooded outlet must be disconnected from the power source. It’s an option, but it’s not a requirement.
If you’re concerned, you can shut down the GFCI by pressing the reset and test buttons at the same time. On the outlet, you’ll locate these buttons.
Step #2. Shut all powers in the fuse box
When drying your GFCI outlets, even if you’ve already turned them off, consider closing off the breaker box to avoid electric shock. The only way to find the appropriate breaker is to turn them all off at the same time or one at a time until you find it.
Step #3. Dry the plug
Once you’ve completed this process, you’ll realize how important it is to avoid touching a damp outlet. It could catch you off guard, which would be unpleasant.
Damage caused by water may be dried out within a few hours if it isn’t too bad. If you have a blow dryer, you can speed up the drying process. Electricians can fix or replace outlets that are taking an eternity to dry out after they’ve been submerged in water for an extended period of time.
Step #4. Replace if needed
Even if you think it’s dry, don’t try to fix or use your electrical outlet until it’s completely dry. To avoid severe shocks, it’s best to test your outlet with a voltage meter if you’re capable of doing so.
When your outlet has suffered considerable water damage, it’s usually best to get a new one. When it comes to electrical installations, a licensed specialist must be involved. A wet electrical outlet should never be repaired or reused.
How do you protect outdoor plugs from rain?
Using a plastic box with a hole on the bottom is the simplest way to keep outside plugs dry.
Spring covers or flippies are often included with outdoor outlets for residential use. These covers are entirely waterproof when they are closed. Plugging in an outlet exposes everything to rain and other weather conditions.
Use a “in-use” cover to keep the outlet and plug dry.
Plug your cord into an outlet, then close the cover, which is also known as a bubble cover. In this method, you can keep your plug and outlet dry.
This is without a doubt the finest technique to keep your connections safe and dry.
Why keep plugs dry outside?
As long as the cord is not plugged into an outlet, you can expect no harm or evil to occur from water getting into the cord. There is no risk of injury to the cord itself. You may either wait for it to dry naturally or use a towel to hasten the process. You can use the plug and cord again once they have dried.
A wet plug or chord, on the other hand, is a completely different matter. A short circuit could result from this.
- Protect Yourself and Others from Injuries and Fires
A short circuit is often the cause of a fire. When a wet plug is accidentally inserted into an outlet, this is the most common cause. It’s also possible that the outlet is dripping. As a result, you should be aware of the best practices for protecting outdoor extension cords.
Unplug the cord and sprinkle flour or water on it to put out the flames. Baking soda or a fire extinguisher can be used to put out a blaze if you can’t get to the plug (Class C).
You can also dial 911 if the fire is particularly large. The sooner you take action, the better.
However, even if there is no fire, there is still a significant risk of injury or death due to electric shock. Make sure no one is near the plug when you unhook it and let it to dry out.
- Protect Your Appliances and Lighting.
Outdoor lighting can make a drab and uninspiring area of your property if they aren’t operating. There are times when you just want your lights to stay lit or at the very least come on when you want them to.
Keeping your outside plugs and outlets dry will help prevent short-circuiting, which can lead to a power outage.
Keep in mind that short circuits can also damage your appliances, which is why you should be aware of the proper method for keeping outside extension cord dry to avoid them. More reason to keep dampness away from your electrical connectors.
How to keep plugs dry outside
In other words, how do you prevent outdoor plugs from getting wet? Here are a few tried-and-true strategies you can experiment with.
Using an Electrical Tape
Wrapping the area with electrical tape is an easy way to safeguard your exterior connections from damage or shock.
This works great for Christmas light plugs.
Plugs for Christmas lights are a breeze with this.
Repeat the process for each receptacle and plug in the outlet with multiple receptacles. Avoid leaving any holes or gaps in the wall.
Using a Plastic Bag
If you don’t have or don’t want to use Teflon tape, a plastic bag or wrap will work just as well as it does.
A plastic bag (e.g., the kind used for sandwiches) or other plastic wrap will necessitate some kind of sealant. Duct tape or zip ties will do the trick nicely in this situation.
Make sure the coating is well attached to the surface in order to ensure a watertight seal.
Again, you should cover all of the receptacles and plugs that you can find.
Install Covers under a Roof
If you need to connect plugs to wall outlets, just put the outlets beneath a roof and leave them there.
A screened-in patio or porch is a good choice if you don’t want to expose yourself to the elements.
The receptacle can be be further protected by installing a cover over it.
A cover with a trap door that protects the outlet when it’s empty and when something is plugged in is highly recommended for moist locations. Trap doors are common on these covers. However, you should only leave the link connected for a few days at a time.
Use a Weatherproof Cover
Outdoor extension cord covers come in two varieties: those that are “weatherproof” and those that are “weatherproof while in use,” both of which can assist keep outdoor extension cords dry.
The rubber gasket is operated by a self-closing hinge in the standard waterproof covers. When the lid isn’t being used, the hinge snaps shut.
The cover is only waterproof while the cord is not plugged in. Once a device is plugged in, the connection is no longer protected because it’s open.
However, a “in-use” weather-resistant cover shields the plug and outlet. The plug is normally routed through a hole on the bottom of the cover, which has a semi-dome form.
Using a cover like this keeps the door closed when in use, making it difficult for water or other moisture to enter. Caulk any gaps between the wall and the cover for an even better seal.
A GFCI outlet is really essential.
Use Dielectric Greases
Applying dielectric grease to the connectors is an additional option. When it rains, this helps keep the water from getting inside.
Before connecting the male connector to the female connector, lubricate the male connector with some of the greases. This should be done a few times until the link has created a coat.
There’s no need to be concerned; dielectric grease is completely safe to use with electricity.
Use Waterproof Sockets and Plugs
It is always preferable to utilize outdoor-specific outlets and plugs when connecting a device to an outdoor location. Even if you are using an extension cable protector, do not use interior sockets or plugs outside.
Both the plug and the socket can be made waterproof, but it’s preferable to have both of them.
This is the first step before considering extra protection, such as a cover, for your device.
Make Your Own Cover
You’ll need a plastic outside cord cover to keep the plugs dry if you’re using a plug to plug extension near a sprinkler or wet area. You have the option of purchasing or making your own extension cord covers, either from a retailer near you or online.
For this project, you’ll need rigid plastic containers; you may already have some at home or you can buy some. As a “dry box” for each cord, a container will be provided for each connection. The container in which you keep your lunch meat is a good illustration of this.
Simply make two holes in the container, one on each side. Make sure the hole is big enough to accept the extension chord, but not so huge that water can get in.
Use a utility knife to make the openings. It’s time to put the plug in. After that, all you have to do is replace the container’s lid.
At the very least, this is an improvement over having nothing.
Precautions When Handling Plugs Outside
To be safe, it’s a good idea to avoid using extension cords outside unless absolutely necessary. In the following section, you’ll learn about several safety precautions for outdoor plugs.
- Use cables or wires that are not frayed or damaged when plugging in devices. Recycle and replace all deteriorated cables. Electrical tape is not suitable for outside use as a repair material. Don’t use bare wires to connect plugs. Using your fingers, run the wire or cable through your fingers to check for any cuts or fraying.
- There should be a dedicated socket or outlet for each outdoor cord. Do not use outlets that have other appliances or devices plugged in. The wattage of each extension chord should also be checked to make sure it is not exceeded.
- An outdoor plug should never, ever be tampered with. Avoid snipping off any prongs or filing them down to fit into a new outlet, for example.
- Use extension cords sparingly, and don’t leave them plugged in for too long. Never overextend or overstretch any cord. The cord might be damaged or frayed if it is stretched too far. When exposed to water, it might represent a safety issue, including the possibility of shock or fire.
- As previously stated, neither the outdoor plug nor the outlet should be wet when they are connected. It’s important that neither of the cords you’re connecting is wet when you do so. There is a possibility of being electrocuted or shocked if you don’t take precautions.
- Regardless of the approach used, additional care should be given with the plugs whenever it rains. I believe it is best to wait until everything is dry before attempting to touch it again.
Can you leave an outdoor extension cord in the rain?
A solid rule of thumb is to keep an outdoor extension cord indoors unless it’s in good condition and rated for outdoor use.
Can you bury the outdoor extension cord?
No. Generally speaking, burying an outdoor extension cord is not recommended. If you’re looking for a long-term solution to your outdoor power demands, you can purchase a cable that’s designed for that purpose.
How long will an extension cord last outside?
You should not leave outdoor extension cords outside for more than two days, even if they are particularly built for outdoor use. Leaving them out in the open for a long period of time causes their materials to deteriorate, increasing the risk of shock or fire.
Can you leave extension cords outside in winter?
When it comes to winter, it is best not to leave extension cords outside for more than two days. There is a risk of electric shock, sparkles and fire if you do this.
Can an extension cord be submerged in water?
No. When using extension cords, do not immerse them in water. At best, submerging an electrical device in water can lead to an electrocution, and at worst, it can result in an electrical short.
How do I know if my extension cord is for outdoor usage?
You can tell if an extension cord is designed for outdoor use if the packaging material has the letter W on it. Vinyl, rubber, or plastic-based outdoor extension cords come in a variety of vivid orange hues to withstand the elements.
A water-damaged plug must be fixed or replaced as soon as possible in order to avoid the potential consequences of such a situation. Consider hiring a pro if you can’t accomplish the project on your own. Use this information to avoid future issues.