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Wet electrical switch

Discussion in 'Electrics UK' started by Kathrynk5, 5 Jul 2018.

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  1. Kathrynk5

    Kathrynk5

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    Hi, hoping someone can help! Water has got onto an electrical switch, now getting a shock when you turn it on. I've switched off the lights at the fuse box (luckily it's on a different fuse box as in extension) but left sockets on as freezer is in there. But now worried about it being a fire risk. I'll take the plate off tomorrow and have a look but I'm now sat imaging it bursting into flames! Should I be worried?? Is there anything else I can do? Thanks for your
    help
     
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  3. EFLImpudence

    EFLImpudence

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    Water doesn't burn.

    Take off the switch, dry the box and accessible parts of switch with kitchen roll and play a hair dryer on the switch - or take it off and put it in a warm oven.
     
  4. Kathrynk5

    Kathrynk5

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    Thank you for replying. I understand water doesn't burn but had visions of damaged electricals bursting into flames! You've put my mind at rest, I feel can stop running through scenarios of how to get my two girls & dog out should the house catch fire & go to bed. Much appreciated
     
  5. bernardgreen

    bernardgreen

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    It may catch fire for some other reason, having a proven and practised escape plan is a very sensible thing to have, keep updating it.
     
  6. noseall

    noseall

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    Correct.
    All my upstairs bedroom windows are escape sashes. None are locked. EVER. We practiced getting out when the kids were sprogs. I came home form work one day to find my youngest (toddler age) happily sitting on the ridge tiles on the single storey garage roof. I pulled over and mobiled the missus to coax him back in before pulling up to the drive.

    The windows remain unlocked. You only have minutes to escape.
     
  7. I am not sure its great advice telling someone to dry it off and it will be fine. How do you know water has not caused damage to the cable or contacts.If either are damaged it could cause heat which is then a vicous circle of damage.If the OP has zero knowledge of such matters it is better advice to have someone in the know,check it out.Water might not cause fire directly but it can sure as hell put your lights out permanently,mixed with 240v.
     
  8. JohnD

    JohnD

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    water won't damage cable. The switches and sockets I have dismantled have non-rusting internal components and clean water won't hurt them. If it was me I would take it off, wash it, shake out remaining water and leave to dry before refitting

    Grime, as when water from a burst pipe ran down and old chimney and into a socket box, filling it with wet soot, is a different matter, and in such cases the switch or socket should be replaced with new.

    It's troubling that the OP is getting a shock. Perhaps it is a metal socket and not correctly earthed. In which case it needs rectification regardless of the water. No doubt there is no RCD.

    Qualified electricians can be found on the websites of Competent Person Schemes such as http://www.niceic.com/

    Look for someone with a few years experience who is an Approved Contractor and not just a Domestic Installer (which is the lowest grade)

    Changing a socket should take no longer than the minimum charge, unless other faults are found during the visit, as may happen especially if it is an older house.
     
  9. yes it will if it gets between the conductor and insulation....no problem.
     
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  11. JohnW2

    JohnW2

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    That won't happen and, in any event, what harm do you think clean water would do to copper?

    Kind Regards, John
     
  12. yorkspark

    yorkspark

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    please explain how water can damage electrical cables, if thats the case then why don't copper pipes collapse when filled with water??

    best solution:-
    find source of water and repair
    check earthing to switch is continuous and can read 230v between earth and live
    for peace of mind simply replace switch or dry and refit
     
  13. Adam_151

    Adam_151

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    Replace the switch, buy the time you've messed about drying it off, or sticking it in the oven you might as well have changed it!

    Its a low risk, but I've also seen it where the switch has collected dust over the years when when it got a bit damp this formed a mildly conductive paste and presented minor shocks. Seen it a couple of times in schools and it seemed to be down to the cleaning stuff giving a generous squirt of cleaning solution to a cloth and then giving the switch a good wipe (presumably trying to remove stuborn sticky finger prints)

    And on a completely different note in response to this....

    It can cause other things to burn though, aside from the old alkali metals demos... sheds storing bonemeal for instance can go up if there is a roof leak, and its pretty much impossible to put it out, all the fire service can do is prevent it spreading to other buildings
     
  14. EFLImpudence

    EFLImpudence

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    There's probably no bonemeal (nor Lithium) in Kathryn's switch.

    I should have checked.
     
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  15. yorkspark

    yorkspark

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    damm
    i was looking into buying a bonemeal 1g 1way switch as well, think ill stick to the traditional self extinguishing plastic now for safety.
     
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  16. Adam_151

    Adam_151

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    I wouldn't bother if were you, its horrible smelling stuff:whistle:
     
  17. ban-all-sheds

    ban-all-sheds

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    Not really.


    Not really.
     
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