What to Do if a GFCI Outlet Gets Wet

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

What to Do if a GFCI Outlet Gets Wet

Water and electricity are always a hazardous combination. The results can be especially fatal when it comes to the home electrical system. A wet outlet poses a severe threat to the safety of the residents. A GFCI outlet can get wet due to flooding, leaking, or accidental spills. Whether an outlet gets wet in the kitchen, bathroom, or basement, it is best to call an electrical contractor to handle the situation. 

Hazards of a wet electrical outlet

The consequences of attempting to use a wet GFCI outlet can be severe. Apart from ending up with a dysfunctional outlet, it also poses considerable risk of:

  • Short circuits

  • Electrical fires

  • Damage to the internal wiring

  • Burns

  • Electrical shocks

  • Loss of life

What to do if a GFCI outlet gets wet

When a GFCI outlet gets wet, homeowners should take immediate action and work on drying it out quickly. Read on to find out the steps one should follow to manage a wet electrical outlet until an electrician arrives:

Turn off the GFCI outlet

A GFCI outlet, or ground fault circuit interrupter, is designed to automatically shut off when the electrical flow is interrupted for any reason. It happens even when a small amount of water or humidity enters the outlet and protects the outlet from any water damage.

A GFCI outlet can also be turned off manually by simultaneously pressing the test and reset button located on the outlet. A voltage meter can help check if the GFCI outlet was shut down correctly or not. 

Shut off the breaker box

While dealing with a wet outlet, it is safe to completely shut off the breaker box, even if the GFCI outlet is non-functional. This action is essential if more than one outlet in the home is wet or fully submerged in water. By turning off the breaker box, residents can dry out the outlets without worrying about getting an electrical shock.

For labeled breakers in the box, turn off the one supplying power to the affected outlet. If the breakers are unlabeled, either call an emergency electrician or find the right breaker through a trial-and-error method.

Dry out the wet electrical outlet

Avoid touching a wet outlet directly. For minor water damage, either allow the outlets to dry overnight or use a blow dryer to expedite the process. It is recommended not to use the outlet until an electrician has assessed it. It is best to replace an outlet that has suffered significant water damage.

What to do after an outlet dries out

Even after a wet GFCI outlet dries out, there are chances that it might have suffered corrosion and affected the other wires in the wall. Before restoring electricity, it is essential to call an electrician for an inspection. They will either repair the outlet or replace it altogether to ward off any possible hazard.

ACT Electric performs quality, licensed and bonded work at affordable prices for both residential and commercial jobs. From troubleshooting to whole-house electrical renovations, their primary concern is the comfort and safety of their customers. Give them a call at (480)986-1722 today!