ECN Electrical Forum - Discussion Forums for Electricians, Inspectors and Related Professionals
ECN Shout Chat
ShoutChat Box
Recent Posts
Questioning the electrical norms
by HotLine1 - 03/04/21 12:35 PM
Lock-down Thread
by gfretwell - 03/03/21 12:38 PM
Northern Tool Recalls Powerhorse Generators
by Admin - 02/25/21 09:49 PM
You will never guess
by gfretwell - 02/25/21 07:48 PM
New in the Gallery:
Facebook follies, bad wiring
FPE in Germany pt.2
Who's Online Now
0 registered members (), 12 guests, and 19 spiders.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Rate Thread
Water leaking causes fire? #191274 12/23/09 02:03 PM
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 745
EV607797 Offline OP
OK, we've seen our fair share of news articles where fires are deemed "electrical" in nature by the media, but this one is really pushing my limits. True, water leaking could have led to corrosion or rust that may have contributed to connection faults, but even that is a stretch in my book. Your thoughts?



"But the guy at Home Depot said it would work."
Work Gear for Electricians and the Trades
Re: Water leaking causes fire? [Re: EV607797] #191276 12/23/09 02:22 PM
Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 613
mikesh Offline
I think it is entirely plausible the fire could have started by deteriorating conditions in an electrical panel. If the connections were getting hot because of corrosion and increasing terminal temperatures.
Most of the fires I attribute to electrical have connection problems as the underlying cause.

Re: Water leaking causes fire? [Re: mikesh] #191326 12/24/09 10:01 AM
Joined: Oct 2002
Posts: 482
Zapped Offline
I actually have seen this, although the fire was contained to the inside of a metal enclosure so minimal damage was done.

This was in a 6-plex condo block. The garages and utility closet were on the bottom level, then the kitchens and living rooms above that, then the bedrooms on the upper level.

What happened is that the fridge ice maker in the unit directly above the utility closet was leaking for quite some time, which was dripping into the 6-pack meter array. When I was called in, the fire department had just been there responding to a fire alarm. One of the main breakers was melted onto the main bus (literally) and had been smoking enough to set off the closet alarm. Apparently, there was enough water to arc across the legs at the top of the 2-pole breaker.

There was severed damage to all three of the main breakers in that section of the 6-pack and the insulation on most of the wire was damaged, some to the point of exposing copper.

Funny thing was, all three of the units had service! None of the breakers, even with the arcing, had ever popped.

Had this occurred in a different type of enclosure, we may have seen an actual home fire caused by water.

BTW, Merry Christmas everybody!


2020 National Electrical Code
2020 National Electrical
Code (NEC)

* * * * * * *

2020 Master Electrician Exam Preparation Combos
2020 NEC Electrician
Exam Prep Combos:
Master / Journeyman


Member Spotlight
Posts: 421
Joined: September 2005
Show All Member Profiles 
Top Posters(30 Days)
Popular Topics(Views)
275,678 Are you busy
209,597 Re: Forum
196,949 Need opinion
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.3