Water and Electricity: A Dangerous Mix
Water leaks in your home should be concerning not only because of the structural damage but also because of the dangers with water coming in contact with an electrical supply. Is your home’s electrical system at risk?
Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters
Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs) were introduced into the National Electrical Code in the 1970s and have since helped save thousands of lives. What is a GFCI? It is an electrical safety device that will trip electrical circuits the moment it detects ground faults or leakage currents. Homes built after 1973 are required to have GFCI outlets anywhere water and electricity are within close proximity. This includes bathrooms, kitchens, garages, and even outdoors. If you own a home built before 1973 there is a possibility your outlets could be putting you at a risk for accidental electrocution. Bradley Mechanical’s certified electricians can inspect your home’s outlets and upgrade them with GFCIs if needed.
When a faulty pipe begins to leak, it doesn’t always make itself known right away. For example, if water is leaking in your attic it may take several days before you see the effects of it in your ceiling or around light fixtures. By then electrical wires can become corroded leaving them at risk for an electrical short or fire. Most indoor light fixtures are not suited for water exposure so replacing the fixture after a leak is your safest choice.
Wet Panel Boxes
One of the last places you would expect to see water leaking from would be your electrical panel box. This is actually a common problem homeowners face but isn’t one you should try to fix yourself. If the electric meter on the outside of your home is poorly sealed or any cables are damaged or frayed, water can trickle down inside your electrical panel box when it rains. Moisture inside your panel box can do horrible things like cause circuit breakers to malfunction or corrode connections and terminals. Over time corrosion can build up causing increased resistance that can eventually ignite a fire. If you suspect or notice signs of moisture in your electrical panel box do not attempt to open it. Call Bradley Mechanical immediately and one of our certified electricians can safely assess and repair the damage.
The gutters on your roof probably aren’t the first thing to come to mind when thinking about electrical safety in your home. However, there is a connection. Blocked or congested gutters and downspouts can cause water to build up on the roof or even make its way into your home from behind the gutters. Water can then make its way through the ceiling or down walls and eventually come into contact with electrical wiring. This can become a fire hazard if sparks are caused from an electrical short-circuit.
Does the electrical system in your home need a safety check? Do your sockets and switches need upgrading? Bradley Mechanical can do it all. We’ve built our reputation in Richmond as the electrical experts and have been servicing homes for over 50 years. Let our team of trained electricians handle your home’s electrical repairs. Give us a call today at (804) 748-6728.