GFCI outlets are often installed in places that have a lot of humidity. Many times, it might so happen that they get drenched in water.
In that case, most homeowners think about drying the gfci outlet. There is a way to do so. However, before you think about drying a gfci outlet, make sure that you go through the entire post below.
I will highlight below the procedure to dry out a gfci outlet and what you should do once you dry it down. For safety, do make sure that you read the entire article before acting on the tips below.
How to dry out a gfci outlet?
There are a few steps which you need to undertake to dry out the gfci outlet.
You have to turn off the gfci outlet 1st. In case there is leakage current, the outlet will shut down on its own. You do not have to reset the gfci outlet.
For safety reasons, you have to disconnect the load of the gfci outlet. If at all, the gfci outlet malfunctions and leads to leakage current, the load might get damaged.
This simple tip will ensure that the load is well protected irrespective of the gfci outlet’s condition.
The 3rd step which you have to undertake is to shut down the breaker box. This is a crucial step in case multiple gfci outlets in the premises are drenched in water.
Moreover, when all the gfci outlets are off, you can dry the gfci outlet concerned without any worry. You will not have to worry about electrocution.
The next step is drying the outlet. However, before you do so, it is good to wear rubber gloves and a rubber boot if possible.
Still, you have to ensure that you are not touching the wet outlet directly.
If the gfci outlet is slightly wet, you can let it dry overnight. You do not have to undertake any specific steps to dry it.
In case the outlet is entirely drenched; you have to use a blow dryer.
If you have no prior experience in drying the outlet or handling the gfci outlet, you can call an electrician to inspect the gfci outlet. Only when the electrician gives you the go-ahead can you dry out the outlet.
At most, you have to blow dry the outlet for 15 to 20 minutes on a medium setting. Only then can you remove the humidity altogether.
With the help of these few steps, you can certainly dry out a gfci outlet.
I will now help you understand what you should do after you dry out the gfci outlet.
What should you do after the gfci outlet dries?
You cannot directly use the gfci outlet once it dries down. You need to understand that due to drenching, the outlet might have suffered from corrosion or shorted wires. In that case, even if you turn on the outlet, there will be problems, and the load might get damaged.
That is why, once you dry down the outlet, it is a good idea to hire an electrician for an inspection. Only when the electrician gives you the go-ahead to use the outlet should you go ahead with it.
Now that you are aware of the entire procedure, it is time to find the answer to a critical question.
The question is, should you attempt to dry out a gfci outlet?
I will answer this below.
Should you dry out a gfci outlet?
Ideally, you shouldn’t dry a gfci outlet. The reason for the same is because buying a new one is pretty inexpensive. On the other hand, if you dry out the gfci outlet and it does not work properly, it will damage the wires, circuitry, and load. In that case, it can be an expensive proposition to fix the outlet.
On the other hand, the cost of replacing the gfci outlet is much more affordable. Thus, until it is essential, it is not a good idea to dry out and use the gfci outlet. Replacing the gfci outlet should be the most apparent course of action which you need to take.
Still, if you need to dry out a gfci outlet, it is a good idea to follow a few tips. I will highlight these tips below.
Tips to follow while drying a gfci outlet:
The tips which you should always follow include:
1. Ensure that everything is disconnected:
Before you take the blow dryer in hand, you have to ensure that the breaker is turned off, the load is removed, and there is no power in the concerned gfci outlet. Only when you can be certain about the same should you consider drying it.
2. Try to dry naturally:
If the current weather in your area is not humid or it’s not raining, you have to try and dry it out naturally. It will ensure that all the moisture is uniformly removed. It will take place naturally. That is why eliminating the entire moisture is going to be easy in that case.
3. Decide if it’s worth it:
When it comes to trying the gfci outlet, if you have no experience, you will have to call the electrician. Most electricians will also recommend you to replace the gfci outlet. Moreover, the fees of the electrician can also be on the higher side. Thus, if you remain stubborn and try to dry out the gfci outlet, you might end up spending more as compared to buying a new gfci outlet.
Due to the same, you have to first decide if it is worth it to buy a gfci outlet or not.
Only when you’re certain about the same can you go ahead and decide the course of action you need to take.
These handfuls of tips will help you decide how you should tackle a wet gfci outlet.
Thus, drying the gfci outlet is undoubtedly possible. However, you need to figure out if it is safe or not to do so. Additionally, you also have to follow the tips I have highlighted above to dry a gfci outlet.
The next time around, instead of buying a gfci outlet separately, it is good to get an outdoor light fixture with a gfci outlet. Once you do so, you will not have to worry about tripping and other problems. My post here covers such outdoor light fixtures with gfci outlets.