You’d probably be alarmed if you were to see water dripping from your electrical panel, but don’t panic–you have plenty of time to have it looked at by an electrician. In this blog, local electrical and HVAC contractor Anthony’s-Cooling-Heating shares an overview of what causes water damage and corrosion in electrical panels and what you can do about it.

Moisture In Electrical Panels: Causes & Fixes

How does water get into the electrical panel box?

Moisture may gain access to an electrical panel box via the following:

Poor or damaged seals around the electric meter. Rainwater can seep through gaps and cracks in the seal. Capillary action can allow moisture into the enclosure even if the access point is located underneath.

Reinforcing fabrics. Service entry cables typically have a reinforcing layer of fabric which helps reduce strain on cables. If the outer insulating layer is damaged, the fabric can absorb moisture, which can then spread into the electrical panel box.

Relative indoor humidity. High relative indoor humidity levels can lead to condensation in or around the electrical panel. If you notice moisture in the electrical panel box, don’t attempt repairs or even to wipe it off. Instead, schedule an appointment for electrical repairs.

What happens during the repair process? 

A typical service call begins with a thorough inspection to determine the source of moisture, after which the electrician will determine the extent of any moisture damage. During this time, power to the entire house may be cut off for safety reasons. In case of corrosion or mineral deposits, the surfaces will have to be scraped clean for later repainting. If the corrosion is severe, the electrician may recommend replacing the enclosure. Seals and damaged wiring will also be replaced.

Your electrician may recommend upgrades to your electrical system such as replacing certain outlets in the house with arc-fault circuit interrupters. Functionally, they’re similar to ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI)—power outlets with “test” and “reset” buttons on them—which shut off electrical circuits when dangerous electrical currents, such as ground faults, are detected.

Anthony’s-Cooling-Heating-Electrical is your leading provider of HVAC, indoor air quality and electrical services. Give us a call at (941) 749-5307 or fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment.