Electronic Components and Flooding

Unexpected weather happens all across the country.  Flooding is a natural occurrence that is occurring more and more nowadays due to the changes in our climate.  Heavy rains tax the infrastructures that are in place to contain the overabundant water causing failures.  Once the water recedes it is time to evaluate the damage that has occurred.  This is true in both residential and commercial settings.

Evaluating electrical equipment is a serious issue.  Large manufacturing equipment is quite costly to replace.  After equipment has been subjected to large amounts of water it needs to be properly evaluated.  A thorough evaluation will give companies an idea on the most cost effective way to get up and operating.  Electrical equipment that has been involved in a flood is dangerous especially if the equipment is not properly re-energized before the equipment is properly reconditioned, refurbished, repaired or replaced.

Certain guidelines have been put in place recently due to the increase in floods.  Flood water comes from a variety of places and thus can be contaminated with chemicals, oils, saltwater and a combination of materials that can wreak havoc on electrical equipment affecting the manner in which the machine operates.  The NEC, National Electrical Code, states that internal electrical components subjected to flood water must not be damaged or contaminated by foreign materials.  This allows electrical equipment inspectors to reject the use of equipment that has possible damage or deterioration from corrosion or chemical actions and/or reactions.

Inspectors handle each type of electrical component differently based on the possible risk.  A working knowledge of electrical equipment is a must when evaluating the intricacies of each piece.  If it is deemed that the equipment can be salvaged it is crucial that properly trained technicians assist in the equipment reconditioning process.  The inspector will evaluate the piece based on several factors including the role it plays, the degree of flooding it was subjected to, the age of the equipment and the time it was submerged or exposed to flood waters.

The National Electrical Manufacturing Association, NEMA, has many public policies in place regarding electrical equipment standards after flooding.  There are several components that must simply be replaced no matter the circumstances of the flooding.  Items such as molded-case circuit breakers, Mylar wrapped busways, low voltage fuses and electronic trip power circuit breakers and more.   However, items such as busways with powder coated bushbars can often be reconditioned when the damage that is present has not inflicted damage to the over coating applied to the bushbars.

Anytime your facility incurs flood damage it is crucial to have all electrical equipment evaluated.  It is dangerous to operate any machinery after exposure to flood water even if it appears to be dry and free of damage.  Many times the damage done by flooding is internal or unseen to novices.  The safety of you and your employees must come before the urgency of operations.

J&P Electrical is a full service electrical equipment company.  At J&P, we supply contractors, end users and supply houses with new surplus, quality reconditioned and obsolete electrical equipment. Contact us today at https://jpelectricalcompany.com for all of your bus plug, circuit breaker, switchboard, fuses, disconnects and more.