How to Make Sure the Electrical Components of Your Home Are Safe After Water Damage

Posted on: 27 July 2017


It can be horrifying when a flood strikes a community. Although this is also the time when the community comes together, demonstrating a spirit of togetherness in order to help everyone get their lives back on track. And then there are instances when a flood can be rather localised, as in you're the only one affected. It might be from a burst pipe, a leaking roof, or someone simply leaving a window open during a particularly heavy bout of rain, but there are times when the average home will be subjected to some degree of water damage. Everyone knows that water and electricity don't mix, and this can be one of the major concerns when it comes to assessing water damage. So how do you know whether or not water has affected your home's wiring and electrical components?

Safety First

When you notice the damage, you need to take quick action in order to secure the area. Go to your home's circuit breaker and deactivate the power supply to the room or rooms in question. You want to completely avoid the possibility of any electrical shocks.

The Path of the Water

If the water is coming from above, whether it's from a leak in the ceiling or rain that has run down the wall, check the path of the water. If there are no electrical outlets in the path of the water, then the electrical damage is unlikely, and the walls can simply be left to dry (renting an industrial dehumidifier can speed up the process if needed). Any electrical outlets that were in the path of the water should not be used until they've been inspected by an electrician.

Water from Above

If the leak has originated in the ceiling, then again an electrician will need to inspect the wiring. Any electrical devices in the area in question (lighting and ceiling fans) should not be used until the all clear has been given. It's highly unlikely that wiring rated for water exposure would have been used in the construction of your home, so it might be the case that the wiring has been rendered dangerous, and therefore unusable.

Electrical Devices

Were there any electrical devices in the path of the water? These should also be inspected to ensure that there has been no water damage that could cause a short circuit. It depends on the severity of the damage, but some devices might still be safe, whereas others might be written off, and you will need documentation from the electrician to this effect. This will assist with your insurance claim.

This kind of localised water damage doesn't have to be a disaster, although it has the potential to be if you don't ensure that the electrical components of your home are still safe.