Large Electrical Appliances
Appliances submerged in floodwater are often not repairable, and even those that are repaired will have
a shortened life expectancy. And it's not economical to repair such small appliances as microwaves,
televisions, and radios. Use the following guidelines to begin salvaging appliances.
- Disconnect the power to the building or to the circuit that feeds the appliance before unplugging it from the wall.
Water can short-circuit an appliance so parts that don't normally conduct electricity can shock you.
- Make a diagram or list of all switches, contacts, motors, and wiring before disconnecting them.
- Rinse and flush all parts with clean water, and allow them to dry for several days.
- Dry and lubricate hinges, bearings, and other moving parts to prevent rust.
- Use spray-on drying agents to get rid of moisture on contacts and motors.
- Consult the diagram you've made as you reassemble the appliance. Appliances that have absorbent insulation, such as ovens,
freezers, refrigerators, and water heaters, need to have wet insulation replaced. Water heaters also
require special care when flushing the pipes. Be sure to flush hot water lines last so sediment doesn't end up
in the weater heater.
Follow these steps to begin dealing with wet insulation in your appliances, water softner, filters, and purifiers.
- Remove insulation, and consult the owner's manual for details. Be sure to wear gloves when removing
- Clean the area, and install new insulation. Duct insulation can replace old fiberglass insulation.
- If the insulation can't be removed, it's best to discard the appliance. If that's not an option for you,
and you're sure the floodwater was not contaminated, drill holes in the outer casing so the insulation can dry
faster. Make sure the appliance is unplugged and do not drill through wires.
- You don't have to remove the foam insulation from newer refrigerators and freezers.