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Question DetailsAsked on 8/18/2014

Wall outlet shortcut ciucuit.

My house is a two-family unit. The 2nd floor kitchen sink leak water last week, the leaking water caused one of the wall outlets power off in 1st floor kitchen. A few light bulbs and oven now have no power. The green indicator light on that wall outlet is off. I tried to reset the power switch in basement but didn't fix the problem.

What's the issue with that outlet, is it short circult due to the water leak upstairs?

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4 Answers

Voted Best Answer

Almost certainly yes - and assuming your oven is a normal range and not just a toaster oven, in multiple circuits too - because the range (assuming electric) has its own dedicated circuit, so it sounds like there may still be water in the wiring and/or outlets or fixtures, which is why the breaker would not turn back on.

You need to call an Electrician - Search the List for local ones and their reviews.

Answered 6 years ago by LCD


Thanks LCD,

I'll have to call electrican to come in. Just want to know is it a big problem? Can i assume the problem would be something wrong there at wall outlet? I hope the fix would be just open that wall outlet and fix. Don't want to end up have to break the wall to find out where the problem is. And is it costly?

Answered 6 years ago by Wallace


Could be just water shorted out an outlet or two - so in addition to trip labor charge of typically $75-150 for the first 1/2 to 1 hour work, would be about $5 parts per regular outlet, or $50-75 for oven outlet if fried. The latter is unlikely - with a 220V appliance outlet if it fried you would probably have heard a boom and had smoke coming out of it.

Could also be water in the outlet tripped the breaker and the breaker is old and went bad, so will not reset - which typically runs about $25-50 part, though can be $100 plus for obsolete brands that are hard to find.

Generally, should not take more than removing cover plates and outlets from the boxes and drying them out and maybe replacing an outlet or two - though it is remotely possible that water actually accumulated enough in the box to flood the wires and short them out somewhere in the wall, which would require running new wire, which commonly does require several to as many as 5-10 holes in ceilings and walls to run the wires - but since boxes tend to have several open holes in them, that would be real rare.

My expectation would be around $100-200 total for the electrical work, to maybe $300 if a single breaker happened to go bad of old age when it tripped out. Be there if you can, and be sure the electrician knows you want to be notified IN ADVANCE of any tearing into walls, if needed.

One caveat - no to scare you, but because oven (assuming full size electric range) and wall outlet went out, those should not be on same circuit, so it is remotely possible there is a general wiring issue in the house that will ahve to be fixed also. If you have a gas range so it just uses a regular wall outlet, then could well be on same circuit as the lights that went out so could be only one circuit and water only took out one outlet.

One other possibility, but I will not get into this in terms of instructions because there is a case that could cause a real problem if water is still in the outlet. Since you said green light in the outlet is out, sounds like that is a GFCI outlet, so could be the GFCI breaker tripped in the outlet (or fried) and that is why the main breaker will not turn back on until it is resetor fixed. I would NOT advise messing with that or trying to reset it, because I once saw a major kitchen fire from a similar situation where splashed boiling liquirds tripped a GFCI, and when reset it failed to trip out again, overheated and caused a wall fire that spread. Let electrician check it out - because if still wet or burned inside trying to reset it could cause additional damage or even potentially a fire in the outlet. If that is the problem, the $5 outlet cost will go to $15-25 range but otherwise above cost range should be in the right range.

Answered 6 years ago by LCD



Exactly as you said, the GFCI outlet went bad and got replaced. Everything returned to normal.

Answered 6 years ago by Wallace


Excellent - sorry I was not able to pin it down more specifically for you, but I laid down my 3000 mile glasses somewhere and buried them and have been crippled since then in doing exact long-distance assessments.

Glad you got it fixed OK - you now have power AND peace of mind, so good to go. Have a nice Fall.

Answered 6 years ago by LCD

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