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Replace or Repair your Water-Damaged Appliances?

Guest Blogger 1K+, Entry #2631, July 8, 2013

Because of global climate change, cities that used to be safe from flood are getting flooded. Since most people on those cities are not prepared for floods, they will often have water-damaged appliances after floods. What should you do when your appliances are damaged by water?

modern kitchen wood

Your kitchen could have water-damaged appliances – what should you do?

Image via: Dyna Contracting

Before you do anything . . .

It may be possible to repair water-damaged equipment or appliances. But it takes a trained technician to do it. If you don’t have a good working knowledge of electrical systems and that particular equipment, do not try fixing it yourself.

The first thing you should do is contact the manufacturer to get information on how to fix it or if the appliance can be fixed at all.

Trying to fix it yourself can put you and those around you in danger. Plus, it can worsen the damage on the equipment.

laundry room bathroom

Have you had a flood recently? Should you replace your appliances?

Image via: Archipelago Hawaii

Replace equipment if . . .

According to the National Electrical Manufacturers Association, equipment must be replaced if the following parts are damaged by water:

  • Molded case circuit breakers
  • Low voltage fuses
  • Switches
  • Components containing semiconductors and transistors
  • Electronically controlled and solid state contactors and starters
  • Overload relays
  • Electronic trip units or LV power circuit breakers
  • All kinds of transformers except current transformers
  • Fittings
  • Outlet and junction boxes
  • Wire or cable listed for dry locations
  • Surge protective devices
  • Wiring devices
  • Arc fault circuit interrupters
  • Ground fault circuit interrupters
  • Lighting fixtures, ballasts, LED drivers
  • Signaling, protection and communication systems
white kitchen view

What appliances can be repaired after water damage?

Image via: Katrina Mojzesz

May be reconditioned if . . .

Some damages may be reconditioned with the help of the manufacturer. If the following parts are damaged by water, contact manufacturer for guidance and how to get the device reconditioned.

  • Panelboards
  • Switchboards
  • Manual and magnetic controllers
  • Motor control centers
  • High-voltage circuit breakers
  • Low-voltage power circuit breakers
  • Protective relays, meter and current transformers
  • Low voltage switchgear
  • Medium voltage switch gear
  • Conduit and tubing
  • Wire or cable suitable for we conditions
  • Cable tray
  • Fire pump controllers
  • Motors

Why they’re Dangerous

Electrical distribution equipment and motor control equipment both have protective components. These components are essential to ensure safe operation of these machines. Flood water contains minerals and contaminants can result to corrosion. Aside from that, water can cause loss of lubrication and insulation.

According to the National Electrical Manufacturer’s Guide:

“Corrosion, loss of lubrication and insulation quality can also be expected in contactors and starters. Solid-state motor controllers, adjustable speed drives and those electromechanical contactors or starters with integral electronic circuitry will be more severely affected by water.”

Water can result in corrosion, insulation damage and also damage to the core winding. Water can also damage the fluids inside the transformer. When these things happen, the transformer won’t be able to do their intended jobs.

It may be tempting to try to recondition expensive equipment on your own but to keep yourself safe, always consult the manufacturer. When in doubt, the best course of action would be to refrain from using the equipment altogether until a qualified technician repairs it.

Duke Briggs is a DIY enthusiast and writer. He contributes to, a site that helps consumers make informed decisions on their purchases. 

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