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Watch Out for Water-Damaged Electrical Wires and Cables

Posted on: May 24, 2016

water and electricity danger, high-voltage signWith the kind of Maryland weather we’ve been having this month, you’d think we live in a subtropical climate! And while steady rain can be relaxing and good for those of us who raise a garden, it can pose some risks as well. What risks? Well, there’s always the usual dangers of a storm, but what we specifically want to cover is water damaged wiring.

The certified electricians at Kolb Electric take your safety and the safety of your home seriously, so if you’re at risk for damaged wiring, we want you to know what to do! Suspect you may have water damaged wiring in your home or business? Contact Kolb today!

The Dangers of Water-Damaged Electrical Wiring

You hear us going on and on about the dangers of electrical equipment, but we do this for a reason. It only takes a split-second mistake and zap; you’re in some serious trouble! Left alone, water-damaged electrical wiring can:

  • Pose a risk of fire. Any type of damaged wiring allows for a risk of devastating property fire. Wires may be exposed, or making contacts they aren’t designed for or were not intended to make, and this can very rapidly become dangerous.  
  • Risk electrical shock. Electrical shock (“electrocution” specifically refers to fatality) can come in a number of ways. Handling damaged wiring, or failing to notice electrified tools, equipment, or standing water are all good ways to get a bad zap, and you could wind up with serious injuries.
  • Cause permanent damage to home appliances and other wiring. Electricity and wiring aren’t necessarily complicated, but they are extremely specific. Anything that alters how your circuitry is made up (like water damage) can cause power surges, arcing, and other malfunctions that can fry your appliances in the blink of an eye.

How to Identify Water-Damaged Electrical Wiring

  • Submerged wires and equipment. Generally speaking, any wires that have come into contact with standing water should be immediately replaced by a professional. There are some outdoor-specific exceptions (like heavy-duty outdoor lighting equipment), but if you’re unsure, just be safe and contact a certified electrician.
  • “Buzzing” wires or pools of water. In the aftermath of a heavy rain, you may note a hum or light buzzing sound coming from various wires or appliances. If it’s buzzing, don’t attempt to handle it in any way! This means it’s holding a rogue charge, and that charge will shoot into you in a hurry if you get too close. If a buzzing wire is in a pool of water, avoid that too. Water carries a charge readily, and it’s as dangerous as the wire itself.

If and only if you have had submerged wires that have since dried out, and these wires have been totally shut off (at the breaker in the electrical panel) you may be able to utilize heavy-duty work gloves to move the wires. WE DO NOT RECOMMEND THISOnly do this if leaving the wire poses an immediate risk that must be resolved. Otherwise, just let the experts do it. Never take chances that may harm you or someone else.

Water-Damaged Electrical Wiring Replacement in DC, Maryland, and Virginia

Having trouble with your wiring after the downpours we’ve been dealing with here in Maryland? Contact the specialists at Kolb to get the repair and replacement you need!

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