Flooded Electrical Equipment

Tips for Post-Flood Recovery

Nebraska is, unfortunately, experiencing record level flooding. Our thoughts go out to everyone affected by this ongoing disaster. Eventually, the water will recede, and a new set of problems will surface – the cleaning and the salvaging of furniture and electronic equipment. We’re going to speak to the electronic equipment here considering that’s what we do. Don’t assume your water-damaged electrical equipment can simply be dried, cleaned and reused. Flood waters contain contaminants that leave damaging corrosive and conductive residues on electrical equipment. The contaminants can cause shock, fires or electrocution. 

De-energize Your Electrical Equipment

The first step is safely disconnecting and de-energizing your equipment. All sources of electricity must be disconnected before entering sites with flooding, and fail-proof methods to prevent re-energization must be made. The utility should be contacted to shut off power to the site. 

Qualified Electrical Professional

Only a qualified electrical specialist should isolate and de-energize supply sources and perform post flood equipment inspections and assessments. They should also be the only one to work on equipment for removal, repair, installation, maintenance, and testing. You can, however, consult the equipment manufacturer to determine which electrical equipment can be restored and how.

Evaluation & Repair

Some equipment damaged from fresh water may be restorable. Equipment damaged by contaminated water containing sewage or chemicals is likely to require replacement. Molded case circuit breakers and electrical distribution equipment operating at 600 volts or less will typically need to be replaced. Any fuses that have been submerged will need to be replaced. Some motors might be salvageable.

Restoring Home Electronics

Smaller home electronic devices like computers, devices, and some appliances may be salvageable depending on design and how long they were submerged in flood waters.  The first step is to again make sure the device has been de-energized. Rinse the electronic device to remove any contaminants. After rinsing you’ll want to get it as dry as possible. If you’re tech-savvy, you can remove panels to dislodge any remaining water.

If your electronics were completely submerged in water, the internal circuitry is likely beyond repair. Damaged parts can be replaced though. You’ll need to compare the cost of replacement to total device replacement. Sometimes replacing the entire device is more cost effective. 

Try Professional Restoration

Tinkering with electronics always poses danger. Leaving restoration to an electrical professional is usually the safest route to go. A professional can quickly assess the damage and determine if it’s more cost effective to replace parts or to buy a new model. 

If you’ve been affected by the floods in Nebraska and need assistance with electrical repair, please do not hesitate to call.