Can Electrical Wiring Be Water Damaged?

by | Aug 31, 2022 | Restoration

If your home was recently flooded or you spotted a leak, you may be wondering: can electrical wiring be water damaged?

In short: yes, electrical wiring can become water damaged. You need to follow the right advice to stay safe and away from danger.

If water is exposed to electrical wiring such as flooding or a water leak, shut off the electrical supply. You may also need to shut off the water supply if it’s a leak to stop the water from flowing onto the electrics.

Once you’ve switched off the electricity and water supply, call an electrician or water damage specialist to take a look at the situation. Don’t risk getting electrocuted. It’s not worth it.

So, with the essentials out of the way, the remainder of this blog post will discuss more on water and electricity and how they really don’t mix, and what to do if you encounter similar situations.

Can water get into walls?

Yes, water can get into walls if you have a leak or a bad flood.

Sometimes, this water can lead to a build-up of water onto electrics – although this is rare, as typically, these electrics have some form of protection.

But if you’re unsure, it’s always best to contact a professional.

Water can definitely travel through sockets into walls and into the electrical wiring if the flooding is particularly bad. In these instances, you should seek professional help – do not go near open wires – and switch off the electricity (only if it’s safe to do so).

What happens if electrical cords get wet?

Whether you spilled water onto the electrics, you have a leak, or your property was flooded, electrical cords contaminated by water are often unsafe to use.

Aside from the obvious, water contains minerals and metals; these can cause corrosion and may short-circuit the electrics.

While you should get all electrics looked at following water damage and exposure, a good rule of thumb is to replace basic electronics. It’s safer, easier, and provides much-needed peace of mind.

How to do an electrical test after water damage

Don’t use any mains electrics until they have been tested after suffering water damage from either a leak, a flood, or another type of water damage.

Ideally, an electrician will dry out all wires, inspect for further damages, and test sockets and other electrical items.

Stay away from exposed wiring and do not use any electrics until it’s safe to do so. While this may seem overkill, it’s required to prevent electrocution and further damages to the property. It’s better to be safe than sorry, so get your electrics checked the right way.

Checking electrics after water leaks should be done by a professional.

To conclude

Water damage to electrical outlets, exposed wiring, and other electronics can have severe consequences.

Electrical wiring can easily become water damaged. If you suspect this is the case, switch off the electric at the fuse board, and in some cases, you’ll also need to turn off your water supply (if it’s a leak, not a flood).

Contact an electrician or a water damage specialist for further steps. Water and electricity don’t mix – work with a professional to remain safe. It’s not worth the risk.


What happens if water gets in wires?

If water gets into wires, the wires will most likely short circuit. But you should turn off the electrics and contact a professional to assess the situation (and dry/replace the wires).

Can water travel up wires?

Electricity will travel up moving wires. If water gets into your wires, turn off the electricity at the mains to prevent further damages and potential electrocution.

How long do electrics take to dry?

Electrics take upwards of 48 hours to dry properly. However, this can be longer in severe floods, or in some cases, some electrics will never be safe for use after water damage.

How do I know if my house wiring is bad?

There’s a few telltale signs to look out for, including frequently tripped breakers, flickering lights, buzzing sounds, and burning smells or scorch marks surrounding electrical fixtures.