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water damage on lugs and buss #203060 09/07/11 12:20 AM
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 37
F
falcondfb Offline OP
Member
We have been busy the last week getting power restored to people in northern new jersey. I have a couple of homes with damage to the panel buss because the panels were energized. we are just going to replace them. Today we went to a commercial property with a 1200 amp 3 phase switch gear where the feeders lands on lugs at the end of the buss. The service was hot under water and now have white corrosion on them. the buss has rust and obvious signs that it was under water. I am no engineer so what is the typical course of action in dealing with this issue??

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Re: water damage on lugs and buss [Re: falcondfb] #203061 09/07/11 12:29 AM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 7,105
HotLine1 Offline
Member
Falcon:

You can read the NEMA reccomendations here on this link:

http://www.nema.org/stds/water-damaged.cfm

It's not NEC verbatum, but....remember 110.3 (b) (Mfg instructions)

Resi stuff is trashed basically. Large comm/ind gear may be 'factory' (mfg) certified as refurbished. Factory costs and timeline vs. replacement $$ are an important factor.

based on your description, lugs are replacable.....buss is an an issue.



John
Re: water damage on lugs and buss [Re: falcondfb] #203062 09/07/11 12:35 AM
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 37
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falcondfb Offline OP
Member
wow you are quick. I just came across that link in another post and didn't get back in time to say so. It looks like a call to the mfg is in order.

Thank you for the quick response, again

Re: water damage on lugs and buss [Re: falcondfb] #203063 09/07/11 01:42 AM
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 1,273
T
Tesla Offline
Member
If the bus is Al I'd expect it to be totally trashed.

If copper...?

I'd expect that either way -- it's going to be replaced.

That level of flooding normally requires gutting.

Flood damage that high had to effect a lot more than just the Service.


Tesla
Re: water damage on lugs and buss [Re: falcondfb] #203609 10/12/11 10:51 PM
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 101
M
mikethebull Offline
Member
There was a lot of homeowners last year that wanted electricians to "sign-off" on houses that were flooded out in the big rains. This was due to the insurance companies.
"

Re: water damage on lugs and buss [Re: mikethebull] #203611 10/13/11 04:07 AM
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 8,262
Trumpy Offline
Member
What I'd be more concerned about is not the lugs themselves, but the wires connected to them.
Having water get into any sort of wiring where it is terminated at a lug (or whatever), can cause water to move up under the cable insulation (by capillary effect), this can then cause a failure later on as the wire corrodes from the inside out.

I myself would be rather hesitant in re-connecting anything that has been submerged, without a VERY good megger and continuity test being done on the the whole place.
Let alone certify it as safe.
Be very careful here, it could come back to bite you in the britches. eek

Re: water damage on lugs and buss [Re: falcondfb] #203619 10/13/11 02:29 PM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 7,105
HotLine1 Offline
Member
Mike:
I share your opinion. Wiring that is submerged, or been subject to 'water damage' has to be replaced. The effects of corrosion or other internal damage cannot be 'seen' and will rear its head eventually.

I didn't mention anything regarding the conductors to the OP, as he only seemed to have concerns about the gear. Perhaps a 'bad' on my part?



John
Re: water damage on lugs and buss [Re: falcondfb] #203634 10/14/11 12:27 AM
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 2,233
H
harold endean Offline
Member
There are some companies out there who will take the time and try to clean out all of the service gear to see if it is fit to re-use. As long as I get a letter from them stating that it is OK to turn back on, that letter goes into the file for reference.

Re: water damage on lugs and buss [Re: falcondfb] #203641 10/14/11 09:26 PM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 7,105
HotLine1 Offline
Member
Harold:
You are talking commercial (large) gear, not resi, right?


John
Re: water damage on lugs and buss [Re: falcondfb] #203642 10/15/11 06:18 PM
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 1,273
T
Tesla Offline
Member
I can't imagine any circumstance whereby a commercial property could purchase fire insurance upon a property that's been flooded and then re-energized.

Period.

The debris that comes with a flood ruins everything. Things like MAINS circuit breakers.

It all has to go back to the factory for a rebuild. The active components are going to be toast.

Floods are disasters, plain and simple.

You can't fox your way around it.



Tesla
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