Water in electrical panel

I inspected a garage under a home yesterday that contained the main electrical panel. When I opened it there was water standing in the bottom of the panel. Although the water was clear, a small amount of rust had accumulated on the surface, leaving the impression the water had been there for some time. The water was approximately a half-inch deep.

There are no water sources (pipes, etc) above the panel. The service line to the panel appears dry, and there are no stains present that would indicate where the water entered. Has anyone seen anything like this?

I doubt a dangereous prank was played because the home was vacant for some time and an old woman lived there when it was occupied.


Dean Conrad

Did you look to see if the cable jacket was intact? Water can wick inside the jacket and into the panel.

The cable jacket appears to be intact, also the top of the electric meter base and service entry with proper loop. Inside the panel, where the cable enters and the wires separate, there is no evidence of moisture or staining.

The buyers were present for the inspection and were equally amazed by this accumulation of water.

Dean Conrad

Just a thought…

Is this an area where condensation could have come in to play? Ext wall… condensation from above or in wall …

A stretch I realize.

Previous pressure-washing?

rodent pee pee?


I think there was too much water present for it to be condensation. The presure washing is a possibility. This garage was located under the home and built in the 1920s. it is also one of the cleanest garages I’ve ever seen, regardless of age.

But I would be especially careful not to wet the electrical panel with water.

Thanks for the comments.

Dean Conrad

I have often found the service entrance water tight SEU cable fitting on top of the meter will allow water to enter the meter and flow thru the meter and follow the cable into the panel. Its a wonder the meter don’t blow off the wall from the water.

I see this problem all the time.

Snow collects on the garage door. When the garage door is opened, the snow falls off the door and lands on the electrical panel.

The snow then melts and floods the panel with water.

I vote for followed the feeders.
See it all the time.

I seen one yesturday were the meter was rusted through on the bottom left corner. There was also a bees nest in the panel.