Your Home Electrical System after Water Damage
After a water damage incident due to flooding or water leakages, there is a high chance that you will be faced with a major electrical mishap. Through our years of providing water damage restoration in Sacramento, we have seen a lot of situations where electrical systems become a major concern. Water and electricity are a lethal combination, and the last thing you need after water damage is getting electrocuted. The best way to handle the situation is getting in touch with your local water damage restoration company to take over.
Turn It Off!
Once water damage has been established, the first thing you should do is to shut off the electrical supply at the electrical box. If you are not sure which to turn off, it would be wise to call for the assistance of a professional technician. Carefully unplug all electrical appliances or equipment. However, if the problem is due to major flooding, avoid taking the risk of entering your home. Do so only after it has been cleaned and inspected by a licensed technician or water damage restoration team.
Replace Wires and Cables
To ensure a reliable and safe electrical system, cables and wires exposed to water should be replaced as soon as possible because they could be damaged due to corrosion and mold or mildew build-up. The problems can even be more severe if the wires and cables have been exposed to salt water or floodwater, because these could contain high concentrations of chemicals, metals, oils, salts and debris.
Wires and cables that are meant for dry locations, such as NM-B, THHN and RHH, should be replaced after exposure to floodwater. For instance, the NM-B which is the most common residential electrical wiring as branch circuits for switches, outlets and other loads comes with paper fillers that can accumulate contaminated water in the cable. This can lead to permanent damage to the cable which is unsafe and unreliable. In this case, it is best to call for a technician or an expert team on water damage restoration in Sacramento to perform necessary replacements.
As for cables that are meant for wet locations, such as THWN-2, THW-2, and XHHW, these may still be suitable for future use if the cables have not been infiltrated with contaminants. Future problems due to corrosion may later present themselves, and these can lead to overheating of the conductor. Before any cable receives electrical charge, it should first undergo an insulation resistance test. This test is done by a qualified technician to determine if a cable can still be re-energized. Take note, however, that some cables may not immediately fail after it is energized. It may take weeks or even months before problems start showing..
There are several safety measures that need to be performed after flooding or a water damage incident, especially when electrical systems are involved. Again, water and electricity are not the best of friends, which is why it is important to leave the task to professionals, more so if you do not have the knowledge, the experience and the right tools to handle anything electrical.
If you are faced with this situation, do not hesitate to give J.P. Gallagher Construction, Inc. a call. You can rely on us for Sacramento fire damage repair and water restoration services to help you prevent significant increase in your repair and replacement costs due to an electrical system damage.