Prevent Flood Damage to Electrical Systems

News & Information > Prevent Flood Damage to Electrical Systems
5/10/2017
Water and electricity do not mix – this is common knowledge. Electrical systems such as service panels, meters, switches and outlets are easily damaged by floodwater. Even more critical – Water damaged electrical systems are deadly.

water damage


If flooding occurs, it is important to contact a professional to ensure safe entry into a flood damaged home. Call your utility company, fire department or a licensed electrician to remove your home's electrical meter from its socket. Keep in mind also that your home’s flooded electrical equipment is almost certainly ruined.

Let’s take a step back. Rather than reacting to water damaged electrical systems, let’s prevent damage in the first place. How? Talk to a licensed electrician about the following options:

Elevate Your Electrical System
Option 1: Elevate your electrical system to prevent contact with rising flood waters. This will help prevent damage (and potential fires), resulting in faster cleanup and repairs. Begin by determining the Base Flood Elevation (BFE) for your property. The BFE is the elevation at which your building has a one percent chance of flooding annually. Place all electrical equipment at least one foot above this level.

electrical systems

Relocate Electrical System
Option 2: Move power handling equipment to a utility shed located above the floodwater level. Relocation of the equipment is an expensive option, but it can be effective in providing elevation of all the equipment. In order to elevate the equipment above the floodwater level, a separate structure is built just for housing the electrical equipment. From the separate structure, a line is run into a breaker box located in the main structure.

Isolate Distribution Panel
Option 3: Protect the electrical system at the lower level. If the electrical system must remain below floodwater level, isolate it using a distribution panel. The only electrical components that are permitted below the floodwater level are the minimum necessary for life/safety. This design approach groups all of the components that lie beneath the floodwater level together on Ground Fault Interrupting Circuit (GFIC) breakers. These breakers should be clearly marked so that they can be disconnected in the event of rising floodwaters.

Cleantec aims to offer helpful information to our clients and friends. Learn more about how we can help should your residence suffer from water damageSign-up for our newsletter to receive helpful information and tips on how to protect your property from fire, water and mold damage.
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