A few years ago we had water leaking from a switch plate and it stopped. Now it is back. I have had about 5 roofers come out and my insurance company. Nobody can figure this out. The insurance company said it was water leaking in from Hurricane Isaac - through the holes for the shutters. A lot of the screws were loose so my husband sealed all the holes and water is still coming in. It is very little but where is it coming from? It is an outside wall and there has been no rain the last few days. I am so confused. Is there something we are missing? Or, is it taking that long for the water to find its way out from the Hurricane? Please help!
Is this a two story home?
What floor is the problem on?
What is above the switch, such as maybe the refrigerator and ice maker?
Is your plumbing in the attic?
Answers will help people to help you.This message has been edited. Last edited by: Re-mdlr,
This is more a building/construction question than an electrical question.
The water WILL NOT immediately short out the box or wiring, but it will do some damage in the long run.
Best bet would be to have someone come out and look at it. IMO this is NOT something someone can do without seeing the situation.
Post a picture of the outside of the home about where this water is getting in.
This needs to be addressed asap. Main reason is not the wiring, but the fact if there's water getting inside the wall there's going to be mold, wood rot and sheetrock damage.
Is it a sheetrock wall or plaster?
What type siding do you have?
Highly unlikly it had anything to do with the shutter screws. If the water came in that way it would have ran down the back side of the siding, or sheathing.
I think I would have been paying attention to the fachia area and first few rows of shingles. Making sure there was Storm and Ice shield used and a starter strip installed under the shingles.
It's possible for water to get in that area, run down the soffit, land on top of the top plate where there's a hole for the wiring to be run through the top plate. The water will follow the wire right down to the box.
This most often happens in the winter caused from ice dams.
Thank you everyone - I will try and answer everything I can.
We are a one story house. This is an outside wall and every person that has looked at the house has said there are no pipes running through this wall - it is an outside wall.
There are visible cracks on the outside of the wall.
The outside of the house is concrete with stucco.
We don't have siding because we live in South Florida. I don't know about ice shields because we live in South Florida.
I don't know if any of that helped. I am not considered so much about the wiring. I am more worried about finding the water and not having a bigger problem later on.
I should also add that the actual switch plate is wet - more like condensation with a few drops coming down from the switchplate. The actual inside, where the wiring is located, is dry - which is just crazy.
Simple enough to tell you what is going on, a little harder to track it down.
Somewhere you have an exterior water leak. Probably a roof leak but could be in siding or trim. Since so many people have looked for it, it's probably one of those obscure leaks where nothing is really 'wrong' - but under the right weather conditions water can get in. Likely culprits would be ridge vents, any other through-roof vends or flashing or any valleys. Once water gets into the attic space, it will follow a downhill path usually along the underside of a rafter. From there it will get into the house or walls at the edge of ceiling drywall or by following an electrical wire through a top plate and into the wall cavity.
To track it down, start from the switch and work backwards. Find where the wires to the switch exit the attic and enter the wall. Head uphill from there. It may take several rainstorms to track things down, especially it we are talking about a very small amount of water. One thing I've done is to spread some powder around in the attic space - something like 20 minute drywall mix or even baby powder. Any water will leave a trail through the powder and help in tracking the leak.
Thank you- we are going to try and find where the wires start in the attic and work backwards. We have a roof leak on the complete opposite side in the house- maybe it is related. We will see. Thanks!
That's the other thing......the roof leak may not be very close to your leaking switch at all.
I know, that's what makes it so hard. As of now we put foam (???) around the box. Hoping that it is just from condensation or that the foam will solve the problem. Hopefully we will have some rain again soon and I can see if that worked. Wish me luck!
Putting foam around the switch box will do nothing. It may keep the water out of the box but will help to disguise the fact that there is a water leak. Since you have already determined that the leak is caused by rain, your only fix for this will involve the roof, flashing, siding or trim - all exterior components.
I would put paper towels down in the attic over to spot where the cable goes down to the switch. Same idea as Jaybee, but paper towels are much easier to clean up once you find the source of the leak.
Paper towels have a pattern pressed into them when they're made. If the towel gets wet, that embossed pattern relaxes and the wet area will dry flat. So, with a paper towel, you can tell where it was wet long after it's dried.
Stick a thumb tack into the spot that looks like it was once wet, and look on the underside of the roof directly above that tack.
It's very possible that the water leaked in quite a distance from that spot and ran down a rafter to drip off a knot or nail that's directly above that spot.This message has been edited. Last edited by: Nestor,
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