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What Happens When Electrical Wiring Gets Wet?

The signs of flooding are usually obvious as stained furniture, damaged furniture as well an unpleasant smell. It’s not as obvious what happens to your electrical wiring following the flood. If your home is flooded, your electrical wiring will probably require replacement even if it’s just temporarily, in order to make sure that your electrical systems in your home are secure.

You should have a professional electrician take a look at your house before you turn on any of your circuits to ensure that there is no damage done to the wiring. This is especially important if you have experienced any flooding because water can cause severe damage to electrical wires. If there is any kind of damage to the wire itself or if it has been exposed to water during the flood then it needs to be replaced immediately for safety reasons.

While electrical wiring is well-insulated but water may still harm your wires to the point where it can be risky due to the dangers of sparks.

It’s important to get this type of work done by an electrician who has experience working with wires that have been exposed to water or other fluids in order to replace them safely and make sure that they don’t pose any kind of danger during use after repairing them.

Photo Credit: https://www.amerestore.com/home-owners/

Does Water Damage Ruin Electrical Wires in a House?

The effects of water damage can cause damage to your wiring. It’s important to be aware that a flood isn’t necessarily pure water that flows through your house. Floods, particularly those that result from natural disasters or storm surges are contaminated by various substances like oil, gas, and chemicals used in the runoff of farms, and even wastewater. While the water itself can be detrimental, the issue could be caused by the water, not the water.

Why is this important? Because once you have a flood in your home, the chances of having another one are much higher than if you had never experienced flooding before.

The reason for this is simple: moisture in basements and crawl spaces causes mold growth, mold growth causes chemical reactions in materials, chemical reactions cause failures in electrical devices like switches and receptacles failures in electrical devices to cause fires, fires burn down houses, houses need to be rebuilt, people need to move out of their homes while they’re being rebuilt, people store their stuff (including electronics) at friends’ houses for months on end, friends’ houses get flooded again because they didn’t follow proper precautions after the first flood (i.e., installing flood gates)

Electrical Test After Water Damage

Following a flood, prior to you using any of the electrical appliances that you have in your home, you should have a licensed electrician visit your residence to conduct an electric test. Electricians, such as the ones at Dash Electric can provide numerous tests to find out the state of your wiring following the flood. Even if your wiring is able to pass the tests for safety, it’s suggested that you think about changing the wiring in the area affected. This is because, even if the wires are operating in a safe way right after the flooding has occurred and the corrosion may continue for a long time, decreasing the level of safety of your wires later on down the line. After the inspection, the electrician will be able to clarify what you need to do or what you can do to ensure that your home is safe.

electrician with tester

Do You Need to Replace Electrical Wiring After a Flood?

If you have a home with a basement, it is possible that your electrical wires have been flooded. Even if the wires are just a little bit flooded it is likely that you will need to replace the wires. If your house has standing water for a prolonged period and the possibility of degrading your wire’s insulation is likely to be higher.

Most homes in America have at least one wire that has been compromised by water damage. It may be one or two wires, or all of them may be damaged. If your home has standing water for days or weeks on end, then it is likely that some of your electrical wirings have been affected by this flooding.

The longer you wait to inspect and repair any damage done by flooding with electricity in your home, the more likely it is that something will go wrong down the line because of this damage.

How to Move Your Outlets Higher on a Wall

If you live in an area that has regular flooding the way homeowners are trying to reduce flooding is to elevate outlets above flood levels. This is a great option for your basement or any other area that could be more susceptible to flooding. The procedure involves making new holes in the walls for the receptacle box and patching up the existing ones. Then, wires are dragged through the new location. outlets are connected properly and tested by plugging them into an appliance or using the multimeter. Electrical contractors who are licensed should be involved in work similar to this.

It’s important to remember it is that lifting your electrical outlets will not all the time solve the issue. Flooding can be caused by various reasons, and your outlets and wires may be damaged even if they’re elevated. If the cause of the flooding could be an over-the-top leak, such as an explosion of a pipe, then the outlets could nevertheless be damaged. The wiring will also need to be raised to meet the outlets that have been raised since wiring that remains in the flood zone is still in danger.

Top Outlet on a wall

Photo Credit: https://www.reddit.com/r/HomeImprovement/comments/hgzsvp/wall_outlets_high_on_wall_in_basement/

Learn About Severe Weather Near You

Be familiar with the most common severe weather patterns in your region. Is your area susceptible to tornadoes, hurricanes, extreme storms, or flooding? Ask yourself these questions to make sure you’ve made the proper preparations

  • Does your house have a greater vulnerability to flooding because of its location? 
  • You may not have a house on a flood plain, but that doesn’t mean it’s completely safe from flooding. If you live in an area that has a greater vulnerability to flooding, you should know how to protect yourself and your property. Your home’s location can make it more vulnerable to flooding. For example, if your house is in a low-lying area surrounded by water or land that floods easily, your house is more likely to be damaged during a flood event. 
  • What safety protocols are in place in your area? And what are the procedures for distributing warnings?
  • The first thing to do is to make sure you’re safe and sheltered. If you’re near a window, be sure to close it tightly. If you’re outside, get inside as fast as possible.

If you live in an apartment building or high-rise, there will be instructions from management on what to do or who to contact if there’s an emergency such as this. You should also have a plan for getting together with family and friends in case of an evacuation.

If you’re driving, pull over immediately and stay inside your car until further instructions are given by authorities or the radio station that’s covering the event. Be sure to turn off your engine as well as all lights, including headlights and taillights.

  • What are the routes for evacuation and where can you look for shelter?
  • If you live in a flood-prone area, it’s important to know what routes are available for evacuation and where you can go if you need shelter. 

In the event of an emergency, listen to local media for instructions from your local emergency management agency. If you’re told to evacuate, do so immediately. If you’re told not to leave your home, stay tuned to local media outlets for further instructions.

  • Do you have backup devices to check for the weather?
  • Dash has a great integration with Weather Underground that gives you hyperlocal forecasts and real-time weather alerts. You can also use Dash to see what’s happening around you right now with the map view or glance at historical data with the graphs. If you have multiple cars, Dash cameras allows you to monitor them all at once—even if they’re not in the exact location!

Asking these questions prior to the storm hits will allow you to know what safety measures to be taking, where to stay and how to aid your family in preparing for the worst-case scenarios. The type of storm that is expected to hit you will determine the plan you apply However, it is best to follow these steps in learning how to prepare for extreme weather conditions.

Photo Credit: https://news.yahoo.com/photos-northern-california-communities-flooded-by-rainengorged-river-135821989.html

5 Severe Weather Tips

Whatever the weather might have to offer the following five tips will aid you in preparing for the possibility of future storms and emergency situations:

  1. Back up Your power. There’s a lot to consider when extreme weather is threatening. Don’t stress yourself with the added stress of power loss.  In the event of a total power outage, the use of a household backup generator will make sure all your appliances remain running, and that you don’t lose anything essential such as water, food, and warmth. At the same time, you stay in a safe place. In addition to the possibility of a power surge, it can happen after power restoration. Whole-house surge protection could protect appliances and electronics from getting damaged in the process.
  1. Make and test Safety Plans with your family. Explaining what to expect in a storm and assigning roles to family members will ensure that everyone is well-organized and calm. Spend some time with your family members to discuss extreme weather conditions in your region, develop your own safety plan, and conduct exercises. So that everyone knows how to proceed or what to do in the event in the event of separation.
  1. Conduct a home safety Inspection. Don’t just have an unsecured room, have a safe home. Take note of the weak points in the structure of your house and then think about what could do to secure them better. If you’re expecting strong winds, you might be thinking about putting up a barricade on your doors or creating shutters on windows, or changing your roof. Check the outside of your house for potential hazards, such as massive tree branches that you could trim before time. Monitoring as well as stabilizing the house is a task that can be assigned to your family members while drafting your security plan.
  1. Prepare to Stock Up and Make an Emergency kit. It can be difficult to keep track of all the things you might need in an emergency. Instead of rushing to gather things at the last minute make sure you have an inventory of food water, first aid items, medication flashlights, batteries, tools and blankets, maps as well as emergency contact numbers, and a whistle to aid. If you are able to save important documents, store them in an air-tight, dry place.
  1. Learn How to recover from damage. Seemingly minor damage could lead to more serious issues in the future. An electrical safety check of your home following an extreme weather event will assist in calming your mind about the potential for issues that are not visible. If the damage is greater be sure to take extra precautions and stay clear of areas that are damaged either inside or outside of your home. Offer assistance to your neighbors if you can, and consult a professional prior to trying to repair or operate any electrical device damaged by the storm.

Trust Dash Electric for All Your Post-Flood Electric Work. Following a flood, it’s crucial to resolve any electrical issues immediately. The nearby Dash Electric offers emergency electrical services that can restore power when the water is removed from your property. We are also able to conduct an inspection of electrical wiring to determine the condition of and replace the damaged wiring and restore your home to pre-flooding condition. Make your appointment or contact us to start.

Dash Electric - Electrician in Riverside, CA

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