In the wake of all these Midwest floods we thought this was a relevant topic. Many kinds of contractors get called during the aftermath of floods and water events. Make sure they know and understand what water does to electrical systems!
(6) Things to know regarding electrical systems and water
- If electrical service entrance equipment has been submerged it needs to be inspected, dried out, and have all the connections re-made with anti-corrosion compound. In some cases total replacement may be the only guaranteed option for safety
- Circuit breakers that have been exposed to direct water, extreme weather, high moisture, or active water need to be replaced, no exceptions! Circuit breakers are over current protection devices – they are the main safety device in the electrical circuit and need to work
- Any outlet or switch that has been submerged or effected by direct water or moisture needs to be removed and replaced – water means corrosion and corrosion is the enemy of good electrical connections
- Romex type building wire that has been submerged should be replaced. It is nearly impossible to get it fully dried out… the plastic casing acts as a hose and retains water that over time will leak back out into the device connections and cause corrosion
- Ground mounted lights that have been submersed can be full of water days after a flood event – these should be checked out carefully to insure safe operation when switched back on
- Remember that electricity and water do not mix, and most electrical products are not tolerant of being submerged. Just because it “came back on” does not mean it is safe to use or is in the same condition it was prior to being effected by water
If you have any questions let us know – we do site consults an can get you on the right path to a speedy and safe restoration.