Knowing how to replace a water damaged power cord could help you prepare for unnecessary situations in the future. Power cords have many uses—meaning they can be found in different parts of the house. It also means that accidents like water spills are almost unavoidable.
What Happens When Water Gets Into Power Cord?
If you have accidentally knocked over a cup of water over a cord, there is still a good chance that it is fine to use as long as the cord insulation is the only area affected. This is especially true if the water spilled is pure.
Pure water is an insulator, which means it does not conduct electricity. Unpowered electrical items would be safe with it. Thoroughly drying the cord before use would be enough.
Water entering the internal circuitry is an entirely different story. It could cause the electric item to short circuit when powered on. Water on cords with cracked insulation and exposed wiring is especially dangerous.
Replacing Water Damaged Power Cord
Electricity and water are amongst the most dangerous and deadly elements to mix. Usually, it leads to electric shocks, a nasty experience wherein the shock effect can range from just a tingle on your skin to severe burns up to the worst-case scenario—cardiac arrest and death.
With that, it would be best to work on replacing water-damaged power cords immediately upon noticing them. Here is a step-by-step guide and process on how to safely do it!
Step #1. Disconnect the power source
If the cord is plugged when it gets wet, disconnect from the power source immediately. Before that, you must ensure that your hands are dry. Put on rubber gloves if you must.
Carefully unplug the cord from the outlet and move it to a safer and dry location. You can also shut off the breaker panel to be extra safe. It also lowers your chances of getting shocked.
Step #2. Inspect the damage
Inspect the wiring associated with the equipment. Ensure that you do not touch it with bare hands as you do.
Look for any damage, such as cracked insulation and exposed wires. Do not touch these damaged areas!
Dry the power cord as much as you can. Use a dry cloth on the outer casing and cable.
Pay extra attention to the outlet and plug. Drying them ensures that you remove all residue that would likely conduct voltage.
Step #3. Do not attempt to repair
It would be best to replace the cord entirely. Repairing it by simply drying it and using electrical tape to cover tears and cracks in insulation is not acceptable. That is a safety hazard.
Also, extension cords are not advisable. They are often for temporary use only.
Step #4. Buy a replacement cord
Purchase a replacement power cord. You can check at your local electronics store and see if they have any in stock.
You may also look online if you are willing to wait for a few days for it to arrive. This way would save you the time and money you need to visit the store.
Step #5. Ask for assistance if needed
If you are qualified and knowledgeable with wires and electricity, you may proceed with the replacement process. If you are uncertain or have no experience doing this kind of repair, it would be best to hire a technician.
Mistakes and errors while replacing it can result in injury, fire, electric shock, and even loss of life. You may contact your insurance company or lawyer to see if this particular replacement is under your insurance coverage.
Step #6. Disconnect the cord
If you are doing the process, make sure to proceed with caution. You must inspect the orientation of the power cord wires before removing them. You can draw a simple diagram of the wire arrangement to ensure that the new cord will be installed accurately.
Disconnect and remove the old cord using wire cutters. Installing the new power cord would be easy if you inspected the wire orientation properly. Remember to reproduce the same wire orientation from before you removed the old cord.
How To Avoid Power Cords From Getting Water Damaged
The principal hazard associated with water-damaged cords is fire and electric shock. Avoiding and preventing your power cords from getting wet is probably one of the best ways to protect your family from all hazards caused by electricity.
Here are some ways how:
- Regularly inspect your power cords and check for damage, cracks, or exposed wiring
- Replace any damaged power cords
- Check the power cord before each use
- Minimize the chances of water spills and damage by not placing them on the floor, dining table, or areas that are easy to reach by water
- Know the location of your circuit breakers and learn how to operate them
- Learn safe work practices and basic electrical safety
Accidents can happen at home, no matter how careful you try to be. One of the scariest accidents you can encounter is spilling water or liquid on power cords.
The idea of water and electricity making contact like that is just terrifying. At those times, it would be vital to know how to replace a water damaged power cord to avoid risks of electrocution and any other injury.