Water Leaking into Subpanel from Upstairs Laundry


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Old 11-25-14, 10:12 AM
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Water Leaking into Subpanel from Upstairs Laundry

We have a subpanel in our basement that happens to be underneath our upstairs laundry room, as we found out today.

Something funky happened with our washer, and we had water leak out. It ran down the wall, down the romex cables, and into the subpanel.

How would you recommend sealing the top where the romex enters the panel? Note: this box is between studs behind sheetrock.
 
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Old 11-25-14, 10:54 AM
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Most home panels are not designed to be water resistant so sealing it would be difficult to almost impossible. Not only do you have a lot of openings in the top of the box you've also got the unused knock outs, side and back holes and the entire front face where water can enter.

I would approach the problem at it's source. There are pans you can put underneath to catch spills or leaks. Best would be if you can plumb a drain to the catch pan so it can't fill up and overflow. They also make water valves that automatically turn off the supply of water when a leak is detected. Those valves installed where the washer connects and put the sensor in the catch pan should give you some measure of protection.
 
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Old 11-25-14, 11:30 AM
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The subpanel and breakers should probably be replaced if the bus bars have gotten wet. The corrosion will cause overheated connections over time.

I suppose you could install an outdoor rated panel, but the better solution would be to move the panel to a location that isn't directly under water. Also the suggestion of a plumbed drain pan under the washer is a great idea (required by code in many areas now).
 
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Old 11-25-14, 12:18 PM
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ok thanks.

The amount of water that entered the panel was very minimal and does not appear to have gotten near the breakers. It looks like when it made contact with the box, it ran down the metal case on the inside (left side spcifically). The wires that hook up to the breakers go down and make a small dip before going into the breaker, so this little p-trap shape sort of thing seems to have protected them.

Good point about the upstairs.

From looking more into this, I think I can do some framing work to prevent any water from getting into this portion of the wall cavity in the first place.
 
 

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