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Water in an Electrical Outlet – What will Happen?


Water and electricity can create a deadly combination when combined. This is why it is essential to keep a safe distance between the source of water and an electrical outlet during the wiring stage for any building.

But what is that safe distance? We will discuss it in this article, helping you to provide an answer to this query.

How close can an electrical outlet be to a water source?

The guidelines of the National Electric Code (NEC) require an electrical outlet to be at least 6-feet away from the water source. With this distance, it is expected that the droplets will not splash into the electrical circuit even by mistake. Thus, keeping you and your building safe. 

Is there a possibility of water getting to the electric outlet?

Yes, even when you have maintained a safe distance, it is possible that water can get into the electric circuit. The risk of such incidences is higher when you have kids at your place; however, you can’t ignore this risk in any case. 

Flooding or spilling a drink near an electric outlet are common reasons for creating a dangerous scenario where everything could be at risk.

Also Check: Best Chicago Electrician

What can go wrong when water enters an electrical outlet?

Water is an electric conductor. So, when it enters an electric circuit. It can be charged, and it is more likely to result in an electric shock to the person touching it – People suffering from electric shock experience a burning sensation.

If you mistakenly plug in a switch in an electric circuit charged with water, there is a high chance of getting short-circuit. In this condition, the wires melt and power from the mainline trips (if you are lucky). Otherwise, the overload of electric outlets can also cause electric fire, damaging your entire house or building. 

What to do when water enters an electric outlet?

If you find that water has entered into the electric circuit, you should turn off your breaker box and switch off the mainline. Once you are done with it, now try to dry the water. You can use a cloth to take out the water and let it dry overnight. 

If the water is very excessive or you aren’t sure if it has caused any damage to the circuit or not, then it is better to get help from a professional electrician. 

Also Check: How to Tin a Wire