What to Check in Flooded Equipment
The problem with flooded equipment is that it needs urgent inspection to know if it is possible to refurbish. (Photo Credits)
Electrical equipment and water damage would usually mean totaled appliances and fixtures. There however are some instances when electrical devices can still be refurbished and reused, depending on the severity of the damage of the equipment.
Electrical Safety Foundation International says property owners should still prioritize their safety over trying to salvage their electric-operated appliances and home furnishings. Read more here
“ESFI recommends that the evaluation of water-damaged electrical equipment be conducted by qualified electricians. Floodwaters contaminated with chemicals, sewage, oil, and other debris can affect the integrity and performance of electrical equipment. Ocean water and salt spray can be particularly damaging due to the corrosive and conductive nature of the saltwater residue. Returning power to water-damaged electrical devices or equipment without a proper evaluation could result in an electrical fire, shock, electrocution, or further damage to your device.”
Read their list of what can and can be possibly repaired here.
The Electrical Safety Authority echoed the same warning to homeowners whose homes have been subjected to water or flood damage.
“Never assume any part of a flooded electrical system is safe, not even the main switch or circuit breaker. Before testing or repairing any wiring or other electrical equipment, confirm all power should be disconnected by pulling the main switch at the panel. ESA strongly recommends that you hire a licensed electrical contractor to assess the damage to ensure your safety.”
Check out the continuation of the article here.
The National Electrical Manufacturers Association has a ready guideline that helps professionals in determining whether a certain electrical device or fixture can still be safely repaired or would need to be disposed. Here is a description of the NEMA guideline:
“Provides advice on the safe handling of electrical equipment that has been exposed to water. Outlines items that will require complete replacement or that can be reconditioned by a trained professional. Equipment covered includes electrical distribution equipment, motor circuits, power equipment, transformers, wire, cable and flexible cords, wiring devices, GFCIs and surge protectors, lighting fixtures and ballasts, motors and electronic products.”
Download the whole file here.
Safety should remain the utmost priority of any homeowner when testing our water damaged electrical equipment.