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#95703 - 09/28/05 06:58 AM flood restoration
katrina Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/27/05
Posts: 1
Is it necessary to replace romex wire subjected to salt water flood or is it adequate to replace receptacles only?

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2014 / 2011 NEC & Related Books and Study Guides
#95704 - 09/28/05 08:56 AM Re: flood restoration
jw electric Offline
Member

Registered: 09/08/05
Posts: 108
Loc: Asheboro, NC
You may need to replace the whole structure.

A rule of thumb that I use is if the paper around the equipment grounding conductor is wet then the NM-B cable is no good. This is why I work from a van instead of a pick-up truck. Some of the jurisdictions around where I live use the same rule of thumb.

 Quote:
334.12 (B) (4) Where exposed or subject to excessive moisture or dampness
_________________________
Mike

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#95705 - 09/28/05 05:41 PM Re: flood restoration
ShockMe77 Offline
Member

Registered: 06/11/05
Posts: 823
Loc: Rahway, New Jersey
Wow, I never even considered that to be a reason for using a van over using a pick-up truck. Makes a whole lot sense, though, especially since I am in the market of buying either a new work van or pick-up.


Welcome to the board, Katrina. If I were you, I'd also go ahead and change the box. Why leave anything to chance, especially after a flood like that.

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#95706 - 10/02/05 05:35 PM Re: flood restoration
harold endean Offline
Member

Registered: 02/16/02
Posts: 2248
Loc: Boonton, NJ
Here in NJ a couple of years ago, we had some bad spring flooding. The state issued all AHJ's an order about equipment that went under water. Either replace it, or you can get it tested by an agency that tests electrical equipment. ( i.e. UL) or the electrical contractor can look at it, and take responsability for saying that the piece of equipment is safe to turn on. (Most EC's would not take this kind of responsability) so most equip. was replaced.

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#95707 - 10/02/05 07:12 PM Re: flood restoration
Joe Tedesco Offline
Member

Registered: 10/07/00
Posts: 3325
Loc: Boston, Massachusetts USA
NEMA Publication
Guidelines for Handling Water Damaged Electrical Equipment
Published by
National Electrical Manufacturers Association
1300 North 17th Street
Rosslyn, Virginia 22209 www.nema.org
© Copyright 2001 by the National Electrical Manufacturers Association. All rights including translation into
other languages, reserved under the Universal Copyright Convention, the Berne Convention for the
Protection of Literary and Artistic Works, and the International and Pan American Copyright Conventions.
NOTICE AND DISCLAIMER
The information in this publication was considered technically sound by the consensus of persons
engaged in the development and approval of the document at the time it was developed.
Consensus does not necessarily mean that there is unanimous agreement among every person
participating in the development of this document.
The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) standards and guideline publications, of
which the document contained herein is one, are developed through a voluntary consensus
standards development process. This process brings together volunteers and/or seeks out the
views of persons who have an interest in the topic covered by this publication. While NEMA
administers the process and establishes rules to promote fairness in the development of
consensus, it does not write the document and it does not independently test, evaluate, or verify
the accuracy or completeness of any information or the soundness of any judgments contained in
its standards and guideline publications.
NEMA disclaims liability for any personal injury, property, or other damages of any nature
whatsoever, whether special, indirect, consequential, or compensatory, directly or indirectly
resulting from the publication, use of, application, or reliance on this document. NEMA disclaims
and makes no guaranty or warranty, expressed or implied, as to the accuracy or completeness of
any information published herein, and disclaims and makes no warranty that the information in this
document will fulfill any of your particular purposes or needs. NEMA does not undertake to
guarantee the performance of any individual manufacturer or seller’s products or services by virtue
of this standard or guide.
In publishing and making this document available, NEMA is not undertaking to render professional
or other services for or on behalf of any person or entity, nor is NEMA undertaking to perform any
duty owed by any person or entity to someone else. Anyone using this document should rely on
his or her own independent judgment or, as appropriate, seek the advice of a competent
professional in determining the exercise of reasonable care in any given circumstances.
Information and other standards on the topic covered by this publication may be available from
other sources, which the user may wish to consult for additional views or information not covered
by this publication.
NEMA has no power, nor does it undertake to police or enforce compliance with the contents of
this document. NEMA does not certify, test, or inspect products, designs, or installations for safety
or health purposes. Any certification or other statement of compliance with any health or safety–
related information in this document shall not be attributable to NEMA and is solely the
responsibility of the certifier or maker of the statement.
© Copyright 2001 by the National Electrical Manufacturers Association. 1
Guidelines for Handling Water Damaged Electrical
Equipment
NOTICE AND DISCLAIMER – Please see the last page of this document.
Use of this Publication
This publication provides guidelines on how to handle electrical equipment that has been exposed to water through
flooding, fire fighting activities, hurricanes, etc. It is designed for use by suppliers, installers, inspectors, and users
of electrical products.
Electrical equipment exposed to water can be extremely dangerous if reenergized without proper reconditioning or
replacement. Reductions in integrity of electrical insulation due to moisture, debris lodged in the equipment
components and other factors, can damage electrical equipment by affecting the ability of the equipment to perform
its intended function. Damage to electrical equipment can also result from flood waters contaminated with
chemicals, sewage, oil, and other debris which will affect the integrity and performance of the equipment.
Distributors of electrical equipment should not use any inventory that has been subjected to water damage. Damaged
inventory should not be sold to resellers that will place the equipment back into the market. This can lead to
damaged equipment still being used and creating a hazard to individuals or property.
To Contact the Manufacturer
Working knowledge of electrical systems and of the equipment in question is required to evaluate damage due to
contact with water. The original manufacturer of the equipment should be contacted if any questions arise or specific
recommendations are needed. In many cases, replacement will be necessary.
After consultation with the manufacturer, some larger types of electrical equipment may be reconditioned by
properly trained personnel. The ability to recondition the equipment may vary with the nature of the electrical
function, the degree of flooding, the age of the equipment, and the length of time the equipment was exposed to
water.
Attempts to recondition equipment without consulting the manufacturer can result in additional hazards due to the
use of improper cleaning agents which can further damage the equipment (see National Electrical Code  Section
110-11 FPN No.2) or due to improper reconditioning techniques.
NEMA member companies are committed to safety. For specific contacts within these manufacturing firms, call or
write:
National Electrical Manufacturers Association
1300 North 17th Street, Suite 1847
Rosslyn, Virginia 22209
Telephone: (703) 841-3236
Fax: (703) 841-3336
ATTN: Vince Baclawski
email: vin_baclawski@nema.org
© Copyright 2001 by the National Electrical Manufacturers Association. 2
Electrical Distribution Equipment
Electrical distribution equipment usually involves switches and low-voltage protective components such as molded
case circuit breakers and fuses, within assemblies such as enclosures, panelboards and switchboards. These
assemblies can be connected to electrical distribution systems using various wiring methods.
The protective components are critical to the safe operation of distribution circuits. Their ability to protect these
circuits is adversely affected by exposure to water and to the minerals and particles which may be present in the
water. In molded case circuit breakers and switches, such exposure can affect the overall operation of the
mechanism through corrosion, through the presence of foreign particles, and through removal of lubricants. The
condition of the contacts can be affected and the dielectric insulation capabilities of internal materials can be
reduced. Further, some molded case circuit breakers are equipped with electronic trip units and the functioning of
these trip units might be impaired. For fuses, the water may affect the filler material. A damaged filler material will
degrade the insulation and interruption capabilities.
Distribution assemblies contain protective components together with the necessary support structures, buswork,
wiring, electromechanical or electronic relays and meters. Exposure to water can cause corrosion and insulation
damage to all of these areas. In the case of exposure of distribution assemblies to water, the manufacturer should be
contacted before further action is taken.
Items Which May Possibly Be Reconditioned by Trained Personnel in Consultation with Manufacturer
• Enclosed switches - reference NEMA Standards Publication KS 1-2001, Enclosed and Miscellaneous
Distribution Equipment Switches (600 Volts Maximum), para 5.1, 5.1.2
• Busway - reference NEMA Standards Publication BU 1.1-2001, General Instructions for Handling,
Installation, Operation, and Maintenance of Busway Rated 600 Volts or Less, para 3.4.4, 9.2.4.2
• Panelboards - reference NEMA Standards Publication PB 1.1-1996, General Instructions for Proper
Installation, Operation, and Maintenance of Panelboards Rated 600 Volts or Less, para. 10.3, 10.8.3,
10.8.4
• Switchboards - reference NEMA Standards Publication PB 2.1-1996, General Instructions for Proper
Handling, Installation, Operation and Maintenance of Deadfront Distribution Switchboards Rated 600
Volts or Less, para. 11.3.1.3, 11.10
• Fire Pump Controllers – reference NEMA Standards Publication ICS 15-1999, Instructions for the
Handling, Installation, Operation, and Maintenance of Electric Fire Pump Controllers Rated Not
More Than 600 V
Motor Circuits
Motor circuits include motor control devices such as motor starters and contactors, together with overcurrent
protection components such as overload relays, circuit breakers, and fuses often assembled into motor control panels
and motor control centers as well as individual enclosures. Motor control centers contain both control and protective
components together with support structures, buswork and wiring.
The protective components are critical to the safe operation of motor circuits and their ability to protect these
circuits is adversely affected by exposure to water, and to the minerals and particles which may be present in the
water. For molded case circuit breakers, such exposure can affect the overall operation of the mechanism through
corrosion, through the presence of foreign particles, and through removal of lubricants. The condition of the contacts
can be affected and the dielectric insulation capabilities of internal materials can be reduced. Further, some molded
case circuit breakers are equipped with electronic trip units, and the functioning of these trip units might be
impaired. For fuses, the water may affect the filler material. A damaged filler material will degrade the insulation
and interruption capabilities.
© Copyright 2001 by the National Electrical Manufacturers Association. 3
Corrosion, loss of lubrication and insulation quality can also be expected in contactors and starters. However, solidstate
motor controllers and those electromechanical contactors or starters with integral electronic circuitry will be
more severely affected by water.
Drives damaged by water can be remanufactured by the original manufacturer in some cases. Contact the drive
manufacturer for specifics.
Items Requiring Complete Replacement
• Electronically controlled and solid state contactors and starters
• Components containing semiconductors and transistors
• Overload relays
• Molded case circuit breakers and molded case switches - reference NEMA Standards Publication AB 4-
1996, Guidelines for Inspection and Preventive Maintenance of Molded Case Circuit Breakers Used in
Commercial and Industrial Applications, para 2.2
• Fuses
Items Which May Possibly Be Reconditioned by Trained Personnel in Consultation with Manufacturer
• Manual and magnetic motor controllers
• Motor control centers
Power Equipment
Power equipment involves low voltage or medium voltage protective devices within an overall switchgear assembly.
The assembly may also contain cabling, buswork with appropriate insulators, current transformers,
electromechanical or electronic relays, and metering.
Reliable operation of the protective devices is vital to system safety; however, these devices can be adversely
affected by water. In the case of low voltage and medium voltage circuit breakers and switches, the operation of the
mechanism can be impaired by corrosion, by the presence of particles such as silt, and by the removal of lubricants.
The dielectric properties of insulation materials and insulators will degrade and, in air circuit breakers, the condition
of the contacts can be affected. Further, low voltage power circuit breakers usually incorporate electronic trip units;
the functioning of these units will be impaired. Similarly, the functionality of electronic protective relays and meter
can be impaired.
In the case of fuses, water may affect the filler material. A damaged filler material will degrade the insulation and
interruption capabilities of fuses.
Power circuit breakers and medium voltage breakers are designed to be maintainable with the possibility, for
example, of replacing contacts in air circuit breakers. It may, therefore, be possible to reuse such breakers provided
the refurbishing is performed in close consultation with the manufacturer. This would include cleaning and drying
techniques, lubrication advice, and thorough testing prior to the reapplication of power. However, the electronic trip
units of low voltage power circuit breakers, and electronic protective relays and meters in any power equipment
should be discarded and replaced, or at least returned to the manufacturer for inspection and possible refurbishment.
In the case of fused equipment, the fusible units should be replaced, and the remainder of the apparatus may be
suitable for refurbishing in close consultation with the manufacturer.
In all cases, great attention must be paid to the thorough cleaning, drying, and testing of insulators and insulation
material.
© Copyright 2001 by the National Electrical Manufacturers Association. 4
The power equipment can be expected to contain additional electronic units such as solid-state relays. These units
can also be vital to the correct functioning of the protective device, and great care is needed in the cleaning and
testing of such units. A first recommendation is to return the devices to the manufacturer. If this is not possible, the
manufacturer should be consulted, for example, on the correct selection of cleaning agents which remove impurities
without damaging the conformal coating. The manufacturer must also be contacted relative to the exact testing
required of sophisticated electronic equipment containing, for example, microprocessors.
The overall power equipment assembly (switchgear) may be able to be reconditioned provided careful steps are
taken in the cleaning, drying and testing of the equipment prior to applying power. This would require input and
advice from the manufacturer. An area of particular concern is the maintenance of the dielectric properties of
insulation. In the field application of medium voltage equipment, for example, standoff insulators are subjected to a
wide variety of high voltage surges. Such insulators might need replacement.
Items Requiring Complete Replacement
• Fuses
• Electronic trip units of low voltage power circuit breakers
Items Which May Possibly Be Reconditioned by Trained Personnel in Consultation with Manufacturer
• Alternating current high-voltage circuit breakers - reference NEMA Standards Publication SG 4-2000,
Alternating-Current High Voltage Circuit Breaker, para 6.12
• Low voltage power circuit breakers
• Protective relays, meters, and current transformers
• Low voltage switchgear
• Medium voltage switchgear
Transformers
Exposure of transformers to water can cause corrosion and insulation damage to the transformer core and winding.
The ability of the transformer to perform its intended function in a safe manner can also be impaired by debris and
chemicals which may be deposited inside the transformer during a flood. Water and contaminates also can damage
transformer fluids.
Items Requiring Complete Replacement
• All dry-type transformers regardless of kVA ratings
• All dry type control circuit transformers
Items Which May Possibly Be Reconditioned by Trained Personnel in Consultation with Manufacturer
• Liquid-filled transformers (analysis of the insulating medium is required for evaluation of this equipment)
• Cast-resin transformers
Wire, Cable, and Flexible Cords
When any wire or cable product is exposed to water, any metallic component (such as the conductor, metallic shield,
or armor) is subject to corrosion that can damage the component itself and/or cause termination failures. If water
remains in medium voltage cable, it could accelerate insulation deterioration, causing premature failure. Wire and
cable that is listed only for dry locations may become a shock hazard, when energized, after being exposed to water.
The following recommended actions are based upon the concept that the water contains no high concentrations of
chemicals, oils, etc. If it is suspected that the water has unusual contaminants, such as may be found in some flood
water, the manufacturer should be consulted before any decision is made to continue using any wire or cable
products.
© Copyright 2001 by the National Electrical Manufacturers Association. 5
Items Requiring Complete Replacement
• Any wire or cable that is listed for dry locations only, such as type NM-B cable, should be replaced if it has
been exposed to water.
• Any cable that contains fillers, such as polypropylene, paper, etc., should be replaced if the ends of the
product have been exposed to water.
Items Which May Possibly Be Reconditioned by Trained Personnel in Consultation with Manufacturer
• Any wire or cable product that is suitable for wet locations and whose ends have not been exposed to water
should be suitable for use or continued use. A qualified person, such as an electrical contractor or others
familiar with wire and cable terminology, should make the determination of the product's suitability for wet
locations.
• Any wire or cable product, not containing fillers, that is suitable for wet locations and whose ends have
been exposed to water, may be considered a candidate for "purging" (using an inert gas under pressure to
remove water contained in the product) under engineering supervision. If this procedure is employed, the
wire or cable should be tested prior to energization. As a minimum, an insulation resistance test with a
megohmmeter should be conducted.
Wiring Devices, Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCI), and Surge Protectors
Sediments and contaminants contained in water may find their way into the internal components of installed
electrical products and may remain there even after the products have been dried or washed by the user. These may
adversely affect the performance of those products without being readily apparent to the user community. Also,
electrical products, such as GFCIs and surge protective devices, contain electronic circuitry and other components
which can be adversely affected by water resulting in the device becoming non-functional or a hazard to the user.
As a result, such products subjected to or believed to be subjected to water damage are not suitable for continued use
and must be replaced with new undamaged products. Air drying and washing of water damaged products of this type
should not be attempted.
Lighting Fixtures and Ballasts
Fluorescent, high-intensity discharge and incandescent lights are not intended for submersion in water except for
those that are listed as submersible lighting fixtures. Flooded lighting fixtures and associated equipment may be
damaged by corrosive materials, sediment, or other debris in the water. Corrosion of metallic parts and
contamination of internal circuitry may prevent the equipment from operating properly. Lighting fixtures and
associated equipment known to have been submerged should be replaced.
Motors
Motors which have been flooded by water may be subjected to damage by debris or pollutants. This may result in
damage to insulation, switches, contacts of switches, capacitors and overload protectors, corrosion of metallic parts,
and contamination of the lubricating means and should be evaluated by qualified personnel.
The manufacturer should be contacted for specific instructions on possible disassembly, cleaning, and drying of the
motor housing and internal components by trained personnel. Also, a method for drying is described in ANSI/IEEE
43-1974(R1992), A2and A3.
© Copyright 2001 by the National Electrical Manufacturers Association. 6
Electronic Products, Including Signaling, Protection, Communication Systems and Industrial Controls
Equipment used in signaling, protection and communication systems generally contain electronic components, and
the exposure of such equipment to flooding by water can adversely affect the reliability of those systems.
Contamination by pollutants or debris in flood waters may cause corrosion of components of the system, shorting of
printed circuits, or alteration of circuit characteristics. Since some of these types of installations are classified as life
safety systems, it is important that the reliability of those systems be maintained.
Where such systems are damaged by water, it is recommended that components of these systems be replaced or
returned to the manufacturer for appropriate cleaning, recalibration, and testing. Manufacturers of these systems
should be contacted for information on specific equipment.
Cable Tray
Carefully inspect the cable tray system to determine if its mechanical and/or electrical integrity has been breached.
(WARNING-Do not use cable tray as a walkway.) Repair or replace any damaged portions per original installation
requirements. Remove all debris from the cable tray. If any labels warning against the use of the cable tray as a
walkway have been obliterated, obtain new labels from the manufacturer and apply as required.
National Electrical Manufacturers Association
1300 North 17th Street, Suite 1847
Rosslyn, Virginia 22209
Telephone: (703) 841-3236
Fax: (703) 841-3336
ATTN: Vince Baclawski
email: vin_baclawski@nema.org
NOTICE AND DISCLAIMER:
The information in this publication was considered technically sound by the consensus of persons engaged in the
development and approval of the document at the time it was developed. Consensus does not necessarily mean that
there is unanimous agreement among every person participating in the development of this document.
NEMA standards and guideline publications, of which the document contained herein is one, are developed
through a voluntary consensus standards development process. This process brings together volunteers and/or
seeks out the views of persons who have an interest in the topic covered by this publication. While NEMA
administers the process and establishes rules to promote fairness in the development of consensus, it does not
write the document and it does not independently test, evaluate, or verify the accuracy or completeness of any
information or the soundness of any judgments contained in its standards and guideline publications.
NEMA disclaims liability for any personal injury, property, or other damages of any nature whatsoever,
whether special, indirect, consequential, or compensatory, directly or indirectly resulting from the publication,
use of, application, or reliance on this document. NEMA disclaims and makes no guaranty or warranty,
express or implied, as to the accuracy or completeness of any information published herein, and disclaims and
makes no warranty that the information in this document will fulfill any of your particular purposes or needs.
NEMA does not undertake to guarantee the performance of any individual manufacturer or seller’s products or
services by virtue of this standard or guide.
In publishing and making this document available, NEMA is not undertaking to render professional or other
services for or on behalf of any person or entity, nor is NEMA undertaking to perform any duty owed by any
person or entity to someone else. Anyone using this document should rely on his or her own independent
judgment or, as appropriate, seek the advice of a competent professional in determining the exercise of
reasonable care in any given circumstances. Information and other standards on the topic covered by this
publication may be available from other sources, which the user may wish to consult for additional views or
information not covered by this publication.
_________________________
Joe Tedesco, NEC Consultant

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#95708 - 10/02/05 07:13 PM Re: flood restoration
rmiell Offline
Member

Registered: 11/09/00
Posts: 261
Loc: La Junta, Co. USA
Click on link below to download (free) NEMA brochure conserning flood damaged equipment.
http://www.nema.org/stds/water-damaged.cfm

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#95709 - 10/03/05 10:02 AM Re: flood restoration
Dave T Offline
Member

Registered: 01/22/05
Posts: 157
Loc: Waukesha, WI, USA
HEADS UP!! And for the rest of us not in the flooded ares? Watch out for flood damages electrical devices that will be sold over the Internet and as refurbished, reconditioned, used, or? These products a ripe for being abused. One example is molded case circuit breakers they are hosed of mud, cleaned up and polished such as they look great in almost as new condition but are contaminated on the inside.
You know that these contaminated products will be flooding the used equipment market shortly. If you purchase surplus or refurbished equipment market buy from reputable vendors only.

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#95710 - 10/03/05 05:01 PM Re: flood restoration
HotLine1 Offline

Member

Registered: 04/03/02
Posts: 6805
Loc: Brick, NJ USA
Joe:
I hope you didn't have to type that whole NEMA thing......boy...sore fingers???

From the limited flood experience I have had here in NJ (luck is on our side).......
If it was 'wet', 'submerged', etc. it should be replaced.

Large gear can/could be cost effective to be repaired/refurbished by the factory, if that service is available, can be done in a timely manner, and certified. Basic resi is a replacement job, period.

And, YES, watch out for the refurb garbage that will be around; not just now, but probably for a while.

John
_________________________
John

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#95711 - 10/03/05 06:23 PM Re: flood restoration
renosteinke Offline
Cat Servant
Member

Registered: 01/22/05
Posts: 5305
Loc: Blue Collar Country
NEMA and other experts aside.....it just isn't going to happen.

We had quite a flood here about a decade back. In some areas, the service equipment was six ft. under water. At this very site, I once posted a pic of a meter cluster that still had a 1" thick layer of dried river silt in it, with settlement marks adding another several inches. It was clear that the gear had not even been hosed down, let alone cleaned or re-furbished.

I expect that this is going to be the "standard" response today. They'll let it drain, maybe dry out for a few days- then power up and see what happens. If it blows, it gets replaced. If it doesn't....it will continue to be used until it fails. Then, maybe, it will be replaced- but not "as a result of the flood."

Another thing I witnessed at the time of our flood: If the victim was insured, anything even slightly damp will be replaced; if not covered by insurance, folks will work like bees to recover every cent of value.

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#95712 - 10/03/05 07:04 PM Re: flood restoration
watersparkfalls Offline
Member

Registered: 03/08/05
Posts: 210
Loc: Washington...Not DC
i remember once a sprinkler broke in an apartment condo we were working on.
we changed some devices and megered those branch circuits and home runs to test the insulation but did not change the wire itself.
dunno if that applys the same as a flooded wire but thats my only experience.

h20

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