Flood Damage & Electrical Safety

It is easy to be rattled when a storm hits and water floods your house. Of course, you should think of the safety of your loved ones first. But afterwards, the natural impulse would be to call a Victoria BC electrician, inspect your belongings and the rest of the building for damage.

When a basement or a low portion of a house or building floods, the first thing one should do is to ensure that there is no electrical current running through the flooded area. In fact, you should shut power off to the entire house for safety’s sake. Most homes will have the main circuit breaker in the garage or somewhere inside the house where it is easily accessible. (It’s a good idea to locate the breaker panel when you first move into a house or apartment.)  If you are unsure of what to do, it would be best to call an electrician.

Under no circumstance should you stand in water to get to the circuit breakers, call your utility instead and have them remove power to your domicile at the meter. This way, the structure is completely disconnected from the electrical grid. Until electricity is shut off to the affected area, never go into a flooded area, as even a small layer of water can shock or even electrocute you. When you are sure that the flooded area has no electrical power being supplied, have somebody close by to help you out in case something goes amiss.

After the flooding has subsided or you have removed the water from the affected area, do not assume that your electrical situation is back to normal. Connections or electrical outlets may still be shorted, as can the motors in your appliances. Bear in mind that a flooding almost always ruins electrical appliances and connections. These include blowers and fans, heaters, washing machines, air conditioners, and non-submersible pumps. If you had a sump pump in the basement and it still flooded, then more than likely, the sump pump has failed. Also bear in mind that flooding also brings with it dirty water, so you also have to consider non-electrical remediation efforts.

When things have more or less gotten back to normal, assess why your basement got flooded. Are there cracks that allow water to seep in? Did the sump pump indeed fail, or was it inadequate in coping with the incoming water? Maybe the cause was water in the garden flooding your basement. In that case, take a look at your drainage system.

Taking flood damage is a very unpleasant experience. But taking safety precautions after flooding (or even during), can prevent that unpleasant experience from turning into a tragedy. Call the electricians at Onda Electric for more information on how to handle flooding in your home.