Water and electricity are a dangerous match—and expensive. I recently learned that the hard way. The main breaker in this panel kept tripping for no apparent reason. So I removed the cover and found rust inside. But it was worse than that. Water had damaged the breakers and the bus bar. The whole panel had to be replaced, which my pal Al did for $650. If you don’t know Al, expect to spend about twice that much.
In this case, the water source was a leaky tub above. But I’m told that moisture from outdoors is sometimes the culprit. If the main conduit tubing that enters the house isn’t sealed properly, it can carry rainwater into the panel. Or, simply by allowing moist outdoor air into the panel, it can feed condensation—and water damage—in the panel.
If you see signs of moisture in your main electrical panel, find the source. And stop it.
— Gary Wentz, Editor In Chief