Heavy rain and accidental splashes with the garden hose might make water seep into the electrical service panel. So you should prepare yourself about what to do if breaker box gets wet.
You can remove light condensation in the circuit breaker box by wiping it with a clean, water-absorbent towel. However, you might need to replace the entire service panel if significant water enters it.
Take note that you can also use preventive measures to ensure you won’t have to deal with water in the breaker box. Continue reading to gain additional insight on what you can do if your circuit breaker box becomes wet.
Table of Contents
What Do You Do if Water Spills Into the Circuit Breaker Box?
It is recommended to replace the circuit breaker box if a significant amount of water seeps into it. But you may save yourself from a costly replacement job by assessing the incident. For instance, you may only need to replace some circuit breakers or wires instead of the entire panel.
Make sure to act quickly if you see water dripping from the fuse box. Moisture damage done to the breaker box may become more serious over time the longer you don’t apply appropriate measures.
What Happens When Water Gets Into the Circuit Breaker?
Take note that water in the electrical panel may come from different sources, such as:
- Water from appliances like air conditioners due the low position of the panel
- Condensation due to humidity
- Moisture gets through surface materials like cement and masonry.
- Water escaping from nearby leaks in nearby plumbing fixtures.
If water leaks into the electric meter box occurs, it can lead to rust and corrosion buildup for the metal components in the panel. It can also cause the circuit breakers to malfunction or break down.
Leaving the issue unchecked may also lead to connected electronic devices getting harmed. Overloads and short-circuits might have a higher risk of occurring to those pieces of equipment if there’s water in the electrical junction box.
How to Waterproof Electrical Panel?
You could make a DIY service panel box if water in the circuit breaker box occurred in the previous encasement.
But it’s important to mention that this particular process might be ideal for those following strict budgets. It’s because you’re going to use a plastic container to house the circuit breakers.
It’s often better to invest in a waterproof service panel than use a plastic container to waterproof the electrical system. But you can still pursue this procedure by following this guide:
What You’ll Need
- Power drill
- GFCI circuit breaker
- Large plastic box (preferably with a good seal on its lid)
Quick Step-by-Step Guide
- Drill holes at the side of the container. Make sure the holes are near the top edge.
- Use the drill again to create drain holes at the bottom of the container.
- Route the wires from your electrical devices through the holes at the top of the container.
- Connect the wires to the GFCI breaker. Then, connect that circuit breaker to the mains.
Keep in mind that waterproofing the panel doesn’t protect if an electrical appliance got wet. You can also provide additional security to your electrical system by securing your appliances from moisture damage.
You may also check with other members of the electronics community, such as those on Reddit, to find alternate solutions to prevent water from entering your circuit breaker box.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do I Protect My Breaker Box?
Aside from waterproofing your circuit breaker box, you can also secure this panel by installing a cabinet and a locking mechanism on it. Here’s a quick guide on how to complete this task:
What You’ll Need
- Service panel cabinet
- Hand drill
Quick Step-by-Step Guide
- Turn off the main circuit breaker to prevent accidental short circuits.
- Remove the existing service panel cover by unscrewing its screws.
- Install the new service panel cabinet and locking mechanism.
- Turn on the main circuit breaker.
It can also be ideal to avoid using permanent extension cords, particularly if your service panel is outside. Instead, install permanent wiring to connect your devices to the circuit breaker box to ensure the setup won’t be at risk of harm.
Related: Read this post to learn more about the reasons why is a breaker box on the outside of the house.
By now, you should have a good idea of what to do if breaker box gets wet. Remember, you can apply DIY solutions to repair or replace a wet service panel. Otherwise, don’t hesitate to request the help of a professional and trustworthy electrician.
You can also apply preventive measures to ensure you won’t have to deal with water getting into the breaker box. Certain solutions, such as replacing the service panel’s encasement, may also help prevent other problems with the circuit breakers inside.
Read more: Breaker Box – How Does It Work?
I am Andrew Wright. I established this blog after eight years of experience designing, installing, and maintaining electrical power systems. I love my job, and I have always wanted to offer others the necessary help so they can take care of their houses.