Flooding can wreck your electrical system. Water being an electrical conductor, it has a great capability of destroying your electrical wiring and appliances. Flood water also contains other harmful substances, such a salts, acids, and metals, which do not augur well for your electrical system. That is why you should assess your electrical damage after a flood, and fix any problems before using your electrical system. Here are some of the potential problems flooding may cause to your electrical system.
A short circuit is an electrical connection between two points that shouldn't be connected. This is an immediate problem because the flood water may connect parts of a circuit or different wires that should remain unconnected. If that happens, the efficiency of the electrical system will reduce, sparks may fly off due to the increased current flow, and the affected system may heat up and cause a fire outbreak. This is the main reason you shouldn't switch on your electricity after a flood until the electrical system certified as safe.
Insulation and Termination Failure
As hinted in the introduction, damage from floodwater doesn't just emanate from the electrical conductivity of water. The mud that flood water contains may flow into electrical circuits, such as an outlet, and cause a malfunction. For example, debris may get between electrical contacts and insulate the contacts. Insulation of contacts may also occur due to corrosion, which increases the electrical resistance of conductors.
Flooding can also lead to cable failure. For example, some electrical cables are only meant to be used in dry areas, which mean you have to throw them away after being exposed to water. Some of these cables contain paper fillers, which absorb water and may not dry thoroughly or may fail prematurely even after drying. Cable failure may also occur due to corrosion, which occurs over time and makes wires brittle enough to break.
Lastly, the water may also reduce the effectiveness of your electrical fuses or even render them useless. This damage occurs because fuses contain filler materials that absorb water. The water degrades the filler material making the fuse incapable of interrupting the circuit if there is a current overload. Using such a fuse is dangerous since it won't protect your appliances when the need arises.
As you can see, some of these damages aren't immediate. This is why you shouldn't assume your electrical system is safe and intact even if you happen to switch on the light (strongly discouraged), and it works. Rather, leave it for electricians like Williams Electric Supply to examine the system and correct any failures. Even if you don't notice an immediate problem after a flood, consult an electrical contractor if you start noticing issues after a flood, issues such as flickering lights, heated outlets, and constantly failing circuit breakers.Share
2 June 2016
Have you ever thought about the dangers sitting around your home? Although it might be easy to overlook, electrical outlets, panels, and wiring can hurt you in an instant--if you don't know how to treat it. I have been a homeowner for many years, and I have learned a lot about what to do--and what not to do--around electricity. Check out my blog for information regarding electrical safety. By using this information, you might be able to protect your curious kids, avoid electrical expenses, and fend off house fires. In addition to saving you money and time, this information can also protect the people you love.