The start of September is prime hurricane and tropical storm season in South Carolina. Hurricane and Tropical Storm Hermine is currently flooding roads and homes, causing power outages in many parts of the lowcountry and PeeDee, and reminding many in the region of last year’s devastating October flood. Last month we looked at ways to storm-ready your HVAC system and how to assess and address damage to your HVAC unit after severe weather. Now let’s look at the dangers excessive water damage poses to your electrical system and some basic safety measure that can save your life in the event of flooding.
Evacuating your home in the face of rising waters can be traumatic. A home and the belongings within it are parts of our lives and leaving them behind is difficult. So when the storm subsides and flood waters begin to recede, many are eager to get back home and start the process of repairs. However, entering a home or building with standing water still in it can be extremely dangerous. A storm-damaged electrical grid and standing water never mix, so avoid the chance of electrocution by calling the utility company, the fire department or a licensed electrician to make sure power to your home is cut off at the meter.
After a flood or major hurricane, you’ll likely see a number of inspectors in your home to assess damage. An electrical inspection will assess damage and inspect the electrical system which includes not only the currents carried safely to your home, but also the grounding and bonding system that connect the circuit to the ground. Heavy flooding may also damage grounding, which may leave you vulnerable to electrical hazards.
If electrical equipment is flood damaged or was underwater, it will need to be replaced.This means panel boards, switchboards, receptacles, furnaces, appliances and the like are ruined. All the electrical wiring and cables damaged will need to be replaced as well. The reason for this is that water-damaged electrical equipment will forever pose serious fire and life safety hazards. As with before, consult a trusted, licensed electrician.
Cooper Mechanical Services has been servicing the Myrtle Beach and Grand Strand region since 1989, the year Hurricane Hugo ravaged our Carolina coastlines. Our licensed electrical, HVAC and refrigeration technicians are knowledgable and professional, and work hard to make sure your home is not just comfortable, but safe, too.