I'm freaking out because the extension cord that has a lot of things plugged into it is on the floor this whole place is concrete floors and it's flooding or sleeping in and it's right there right where it's plugged in at and I'm scared I'm going to get what should I doelectrocuted so I can't even get close to it to even drive the water because I'm a scaredy-cat of every single thing possible and it's actually in three rooms one room is the laundry room where the washer and dryer is and the other room is where the washer is plugged into where it's plugged into extension cords on the wall but that plug-in could also possibly be getting wet right now and I just don't know what to do in. I'm so scared

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and I don't know if you could tell from the picture. There's three rooms on the left and each one of them has had water seep up through I guess the cracks in the concrete floor and so all three rooms have flooding and all three rooms have important things plugged in to the outlet

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okay I tried to add a picture of the room before I threw the blanket on the water I don't know if you could see it that good but you could see the water in front of that cabinet and the plug-in is just to the left of that obviously it's not submerged under water I'm just really worried about electricity and the concrete floor and me stepping close to it with the extension cord

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I'm sorry my phone kind of sucks but there's one picture where the water is coming up and I've got a big flat-screen TV that was on the floor thank God it was sitting on top of a blanket or something but I'm sure that's probably destroyed now because there is water seeped in all behind there which is where the washing machine is plugged into through a big extension cord that is in the other room which is the laundry room so every room in this house I think has one plug in and so each one is probably using an extension cord I just don't know how safe everything is especially the washer and dryer in the laundry room

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  • 8
    If you don't know how to turn off the power without putting yourself in danger, call an electrician. If this is an emergency and you believe your or someone else's life is in danger and you can't find or can't wait for an electrician, call 911 and explain the situation. Stack exchange is not a good place to seek emergency help.
    – Johnny
    Commented Jan 3, 2020 at 7:31
  • 2
    You are correct to worry about water near electricity. The floor looks dry in the picture but this is not for us to judge. If you can safely go to the circuit breaker panel, then go turn every breaker off that is powering a room that water is getting into. Be aware food may spoil if the fridge is off, your computer+internet is not going to work if you turn it off, but for safety sake turn off anything impacted. The water issue should be resolved before you restore power. An electrican can assist you in ensuring you are not incorrectly overloading your circuits (it sounds like you may be).
    – noybman
    Commented Jan 3, 2020 at 7:52
  • 2
    You should not be running extension cords all over. Using extension cords is something that should be avoided & when used, should generally be temporary. If you rent, call the landlord immediately & prepare to call the fire department if you are unsure if you can safely turn off the circuit breakers; they can help. Both the water & the use of overloaded extension cords needs to be addressed. This is a both a fire hazard & shock hazard that may lead to death. I'm not saying this to scare you, Im saying this to beg you to follow through and fix both conditions. You should calmly do these things.
    – noybman
    Commented Jan 3, 2020 at 8:08
  • 4
    @Johnny Don't send people to an electrician for a thing like this (unless you're paying :) They might see if they can send someone out tomorrow to collect your $200. Have them call the power company; that's free and fast, "water emergency, unable to disconnect power" will bring them in <30 minutes in my town. Power company does not like dead customers. Commented Jan 3, 2020 at 18:53
  • 1
    @Johnny Maybe in Oregon (where you're not allowed to pump your own gas). In my state, you're allowed to turn your own circuit breakers back on. My biggest issue with "call an electrician" is they're slow and not for emergencies. QoS "emergency", sure, e.g. "we'd like to get this fixed the same day before our freezer melts", but OP has a real emergency, "electricity is about to kill someone". That's power company. Guy walks in wearing pot-tested-this-month gloves and boots, flips off breakers; if unable, yanks meter and logs that seal is broken. 5 minute job. Commented Jan 3, 2020 at 19:32

2 Answers 2


1. Grab a flashlight

2. Find the service panel

3. Cut the power on the main breaker (or the top 6, or all of them)

Now you'll need the flashlight.

OK, now look at the panel labeling, and see if there are obvious "lighting" circuits. If there are, turn them back on, one at a time. After each one, walk around and check to make sure this didn't also turn on any outlets you are concerned with. If it does, switch it back off - better to be in the dark than shocked.

Cables across walkways

See in that photo, where you've got cables going across walkways, and they're taped down all neat? If those are Ethernet or phone cables, I don't care. I also don't care if they're coming off the low-voltage side of a wall-wart or power brick. If it's any of those, skip this section, but do consult with Martha Stewart.

However, if those are mains AC power cables, then they have to frickin' go. You can't do that! That is incredibly dangerous, and would multiply rather badly with your flood problem.

See, mains cables are not insulated well enough to endure foot traffic. The foot traffic is surely fraying those wires. Meaning hot wires are becoming exposed. When those get wet, now the entire puddle of water is hot.

If they are mains cables, you MUST replace them with some sort of surface conduit that goes up and over the doorway. If they are data/low voltage cables, it'll greatly improve the aesthetics.

And then... we need to talk about these extension cords

The fact that you have taped the strip to the wall shows that you're using it "as a substitute for the permanent wiring in a structure". (prohibited in NEC 400.8).

There is nothing wrong with needing a lot of electrical sockets. However, what you need to do is add more permanent sockets.

You should build additional sockets using either Legrand Wiremold tier surface conduit... and/or by building the power strip or receptacles into the furniture.

For wall power, use, like I say, Legrand Wiremold surface conduit, which is mains rated. Start off an existing receptacle with a "surface conduit starter box", then run it to wherever you need receptacles. If you do have power cables traversing that doorway, then run Wiremold up the wall and over the doorways; for style points, start with proper door trim, then snug the Wiremold right up against the door trim and paint it so it looks like more trim. It's also easy to surface-mount the cheaper EMT metal conduit, but Wiremold is more presentable. If you're super handy, mill the door trim so it hides the EMT conduit :) Run individual THWN-2 wires inside either type of conduit.

On furniture (for instance a PC desk), just use cheap/common EMT conduit and metal junction boxes ($1) underneath/within the furniture, and attach a heavy duty power cord with a proper cable clamp/strain relief. If you want surge suppression too, get any "whole house surge suppressor" ($30) that goes in a junction box knockout; that is vastly superior surge suppression than you'll ever get from a power strip. (cheap power strip surge suppressors are dead after a year anyway).

If those cross-hallway cables are data or low-voltage cables, do not put them in the same conduit with mains wiring!! However that stuff can use a cheaper, plastic cable organizer/raceway and go up and over the doorway.

You wouldn't have had this problem if your wiring was up off the floor.

  • 1
    if I may please suggest, your answer is awesome, but knowing how circuits often get wired wrong (e.g., random homeowner), and seeing as tho this OP uses extension cords regularly, might I recommend on the step AFTER securing power at the panel, that they unplug those items, THEN dry the floor, THEN plug a portable light into outlets near the water problem? My main thought here is we dont want them "walking around in wet floors to see if outlets are on"
    – noybman
    Commented Jan 4, 2020 at 2:56

As has been noted, if you can safely access the circuit breaker (usually a large panel on a wall looking something like this:

Circuit Breaker Box

I would flip the breakers to the appropriate rooms. They should hopefully be labelled to identify which breaker goes to which rooms. Note that sometimes a room can have multiple breakers to it. If you are really concerned you can flip the breaker to turn off power to the entire house (usually a bigger switch at the top of the panel), just make sure you have a flash light with you as all the lights and power will go off.

After you have turned the breakers off to these rooms (or the entire house) you will no longer have power so you should be able to safely unplug the equipment from the wall outlets so that you can address the water issues without worrying about electrical shock. One thing to note, generally you should not daisy-chain power strips into extension cords, if you don't have outlets where you need them you would be better off utilizing power strips with longer cords.

  • Thank you everybody you guys have helped so much and the water's already drying up already it is so weird how the water just comes in it really does just seep up through the cracks doesn't it I don't understand how it yet gets in here like that Commented Jan 3, 2020 at 12:09
  • You can try using a concrete patching product, available at your local home improvement store, to seal up the cracks and that should hopefully help to reduce water seeping up.
    – Dakcenturi
    Commented Jan 3, 2020 at 13:38
  • 5
    If you have water coming up from the concrete floor then there's probably bigger issues. Bigbox concrete patching kit won't fix that permanently. There's tons of ways to DIY waterproofing but even if they do work it's typically a short-term solution. I would investigate some waterproofing companies. Just beware: they can get pricey. Commented Jan 3, 2020 at 15:11

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