Storms can be devastating to a community and the aftermath can be even more challenging. However, it is an opportunity to renovate and upgrade structures with newer electrical equipment. It may also be an opportunity to upgrade your main power source with renewable energy such as solar.
The Importance of Rebuilding and Renovating Safely
Power outages can lead to more than just your lights going out. Forcing sensitive electronics to shutdown unexpectedly can result in data loss or damage to electrical systems. When power returns, a surge can damage TVs, appliances, and even heating and AC systems. Power outages can be impossible to predict, so be sure to prepare your home for power outages with the following devices.
Water and electricity do not mix. Follow this guide to quickly see what equipment must be replaced and which electronics may be reconditioned. Any water-damaged equipment even if thoroughly dried will pose serious long-term safety and fire risk if not properly reconditioned.
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.
Water damaged equipment that must be replaced:
Arc-Fault and Ground-Fault Circuit Interrupters
Lightning, ballasts, and LED Drivers
Low and Medium Voltage Fuses
Molded-Case Circuit Breakers
Outlet and Junction Boxes
Signaling, Protection, and Communications Systemes
Surge Protective Devices
Switches and Dimmers
Uninterruptible Power Supply
Wire or Cable (for dry areas)
Water damaged equipment that may be reconditioned:
High Voltage AC Circuit Breakers
Low and Medium Voltage Switchgear
Low-Voltage Power Circuit Breakers
Wire or Cable (for wet areas that have not been damaged/ends not exposed)
ESFI has teamed with the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (www.nema.org) to provide a detailed explanation of what electrical components can be reconditioned and which need to be replaced.