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My flat iron's (for clothes) plug fell in a bucket of water. I pulled it out almost immediately.
If I let it dry, is there any concern if I use it or is it not safe anymore?

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3 Answers 3

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Take the cover off and inspect, if all dry and clean without corrosion then good to go.

If it is a "new" molded plug, then dry with a tissue and should be good. If worried wait 24h. However, with either position above, test for continuity between both pins and the earth or ground connection. If a low resistance is measured then either water is still causing a short or something else may be wrong. Checking for continuity between the pins may just be measuring the normal resistance of the device.

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  • What cover are you referring to? It is a power plug that has a small hole at the top between the two spiked that go in the wall. Not sure what that is
    – Jim
    Jun 15 at 15:23
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    @Jim what plug? If you post a photo - as it is your plug then we could see the detail. I work with several versions of plugs that fit into the same socket so I gave an answer relevant to two types of plugs: one that comes apart and one - molded - that does not.
    – Solar Mike
    Jun 15 at 15:45
  • I updated the post and added a photo of the plug
    – Jim
    Jun 16 at 8:28
  • This worries me as being so popular - it's 'give it a day, then see if it shorts'. Not the best way to treat mains electricity.
    – Tetsujin
    Jun 16 at 17:19
  • @Tetsujin on the other hand, it's not practical to overly worry about low probability risks. This answer could be improved by talking about why the risk is small and what to look for to assess the damage: it should describe what concerning amounts of corrosion looks like.
    – PipperChip
    Jun 16 at 17:29
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What's really bad is electricity plus water:

  1. That causes electrolysis, and that will eat through the metal contacts very quickly.

  2. There's a risk for the user if the wet parts are touched.

As long as you don't plug it in while wet, and let it dry, it'll be fine.

You can leave the device in a hot environment to dry it, for example in a car parked in the sun for a few days.

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    They're not washed with tap water. Contaminants create corrosion.
    – Tetsujin
    Jun 16 at 10:08
  • This is a metal plug we're talking about here: there really shouldn't be any circuit boards involved. This answer could be better by explicitly addressing why wet plugs are bad, corrosion rates, and why a quick dip is not a concern.
    – PipperChip
    Jun 16 at 17:32
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I'd change the plug just to be safe.

You don't know what the inside of the plug looks like - nor can you open it to see. You don't know what little nooks & crannies could hold water for several days before it dries fully, so a 24h wait might or might not be long enough - you'll find out when you plug it in… if it goes bang you didn't wait long enough.

After that, there's corrosion. Wires tend to be copper. Plug innards tend to be brass, which contains copper. Copper will verdigris [oxidise] after some time in a wet environment which in extreme circumstances can completely 'rot' away the copper. That may never become an issue depending on how the wires are connected to the plug pins… but again as it's a moulded plug, you'll never be able to see for sure.

So, for the sake of a buck & 5 minutes of your time - change the plug.

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  • I am not sure how is that possible. How can I know If the plug can be changed? Because it is attacked to the iron.
    – Jim
    Jun 16 at 9:23
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    All plugs can be changed. If, as with a moulded plug you can't unfasten it, you just clip off the old one, prepare the wires properly to match the new one, then connect.
    – Tetsujin
    Jun 16 at 9:33
  • I know a bit more about corrosion than the average bear, and IMHO a quick dip in some water shouldn't cause any concerning amount of corrosion. Repeated dips, extended time (over hours, days), and dipping in non-potable water would make this a concern for me
    – PipperChip
    Jun 16 at 17:22
  • @PipperChip - my point is, you don't know how long it's going to stay wet in there - primary concern is a short. Corrosion is a long-term possibility. Either would make me change the plug.
    – Tetsujin
    Jun 16 at 17:29
  • I give up on this stack. I posit something others consider to be dodgy, cutting corners, I get downvoted. I propose safety over convenience & again I'm downvoted. There is no consistency here. Lead answer says' hope it doesn't go bang.' which is the equivalent of putting your wet phone in rice & hoping it'll be OK. Can't argue with that:\
    – Tetsujin
    Jun 16 at 17:35

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