When filling our electric kettle with tap water, I’m carefully avoiding any water trickling down the side. Others in our household are less careful.

If we let water run down the side, will it damage the kettle and reduce its life? Is there any other reason it could be harmful?

  • 1
    What material is your kettle made of, and what happens when you want to wash or clean it?
    – moscafj
    Sep 25, 2018 at 0:45
  • Welcome to Seasoned Advice! I have edited your post and removed the non-technical parts: we will happily accept questions about equipment. A photo or two of your kettle would be useful, as there are many different models on the market, and you can simply edit your post with more details.
    – Stephie
    Sep 25, 2018 at 6:49

2 Answers 2


Kettles often drip a bit when they pour, and that runs down the outside. So a kettle has to be designed for a little water on the outside (though clearly not for a complete soaking).

If you have a shiny kettle and like to keep it that way, limescale will be increased by getting it wet more often, but that's the only real harm, and anyway is easily fixed.

I prefer to turn the tap off before removing the kettle though, because it's convenient the way my kitchen is laid out. Otherwise I get a bit of splashing near the sink that I might not want.


I'm an electronic engineer who often was involved in mechanical design of products.

Such problems are thought of by engineers during design and manufacture. Any electronic and electrical situation, such as this, is thought of ahead of time and, if wishing to be UL listed, is tested for such situations. Electrical connections should be protected and sealed against water overflow and pouring since it's an expected problem. The consumer must be protected from electric shock.

Look for a UL sticker on the device somewhere; perhaps the bottom.

Complete submersion is a different issue, though, and more severe protection from that should not be expected and I'm sure the instructions warn against it.

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