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Old 05-13-2010, 09:26 AM   #1
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Water in Panel Box


I have a 200 AMP service that was installed in my home before I purchased it. Recently I have been doing some basement finishing and I opened up the panel to put in a breaker for some new lighting and I noticed a small amount of water inside the bottom of the panel. It was raining pretty hard and I noticed that the connections for the incoming service wires had a tiny amount of water at the bottom of them. This is an overhead service line that come down the side of my house to a meter and then drops down to a LB (I believe that is what it is called - 90 degree fitting that has a removable cap) and goes through the sill joist and bends down to my panel that is hanging on plywood. The exterior of the conduit is not wet so the moisture has to be entering at the LB, panel, or where the wires go into the service conduit sticking above the house. I called an electrician and he told me I should remove the cover of the LB and spray great stuff in there to prevent the water from entering and then drill a weep hole in the bottom of the LB so any water that does return will exit. Have any of you professionals seen this done? Is it ok to do it this way? Do I need to use the fire block foam or does it not matter? Thanks in advance.

Jim

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Old 05-13-2010, 09:32 AM   #2
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Water in Panel Box


Do you know how old the panel is ?
One panel had same problem & breakers were rusted up
Electrician stated that they might not have tripped
Insurance paid for new wire to the box, new panel & breakers

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Old 05-13-2010, 09:45 AM   #3
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Water in Panel Box


The electrical service was upgraded the year before I bought the house so approx. 5 years ago. Everything looks clean in the cabinet (no rust) too.
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Old 05-13-2010, 10:29 AM   #4
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Water in Panel Box


Drilling the LB and packing it full of duct seal to prevent any leakes into the panel is code here in Canada.

Duct Seal
http://www.lowes.com/pd_13591-12704-...ategoryDisplay

Last edited by darren; 05-13-2010 at 10:31 AM.
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Old 05-13-2010, 11:08 AM   #5
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Water in Panel Box


Is it ok to do this while they are live or do I need to have them turn the service off? I feel more comfortable spraying the foam in because I don't have to reach my hand in there
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Old 05-13-2010, 06:18 PM   #6
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Water in Panel Box


I would be wary of drilling into that myself, one wrong move your bit goes through the wire and grounds out on the LB.

I probably would stick duct seal in myself, the wires are insulated so no really worry of getting a shock, but if your not confortable doing it don't do it.
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Old 01-21-2011, 08:14 AM   #7
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Water in Panel Box


nlhulk,

Did you make any progress on this issue? I have the exact same issue!

I removed the cover from my "lb" and it's bone dry. The old wiring coming through the beam and into my box seem dry. The water is coming from inside a taped up connection between the feed leg and an aluminum "jumper wire" to the main cutoff. Water drips out and down onto the entire right side of my box. The neutral bar on that side is corroded. The left side is flawless.

At times the box is dry. Other times, it's filled. I noticed it completely by chance, after removing the cover for a project.

I'm attaching a photo showing the water working its way out of the taped up junction. Onbviously, I'm heisitant to touch anything in there!
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Old 01-21-2011, 08:35 AM   #8
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Water in Panel Box


I wouldn't use Great Stuff. That is a foam insulation and not a caulk or sealer. I've use a product from GB called duct seal that works well for this application. Have you determined if you have a leak allowing water to enter or do you have a cold spot that is causing some condensation that is forming a puddle in the box?
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Old 01-21-2011, 09:55 AM   #9
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I removed the outside box. Dry. I looked at the pip up the house. It "looks" to be "impossible" for water to get in. In fact, it was not raining yesterday, at all yet the drips were there.

The inbound cable seems to be dry. I wish I could "see inside" it, but I'm not about to start cutting into the insulation of the feeds. I also wish I could see inside the taped junction. That's where the water is coming from.

I have a hard time believing water could somehow come down that entire pipe from the overhead line, through the meter and INTO the wrapped feeds to the house, then out the end of one of the legs. That sounds like magic to me!

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