How to Handle Water-Damaged Appliances: Your Safety First

When it comes to appliances, water can inflict serious damage. If your appliances were affected by water during a storm or a flood, you need to know how to handle them safely. Electrocution is always a possibility with damaged appliances, even if the reason for their malfunction is high humidity.

You need to know what can be done with this equipment while keeping your family safe. Ideally, you shouldn’t be trying to handle damaged appliances on your own. If you don’t know the extent of the damage, you may be putting yourself and loved ones in danger. By contacting professionals, you can save yourself a lot of time, money, and effort.

1.   Sever the Connection

When water damage occurs due to flooding, your entire home may become dangerous. If you make physical contact with the floodwater, you make get electrocuted.

If part of your home is flooded, even if it’s just the basement, make sure to call a licensed electrician to disconnect the house from the grid. Emergency workers like firefighters or utility company staff can handle disconnection as well.

Even if your home seems to be without power, disconnection is mandatory. You never know when and where the electricity may still be running.

Prevent Basement Flooding by ensuring proper drainage systems and investing in flood-proofing measures for your basement. These steps can significantly reduce the risk of water damage to your appliances and belongings during floods.

2.   Follow General Rules

Unfortunately, the majority of appliances can’t handle severe water damage. Some of them may stop working even if the full immersion hasn’t occurred. For all appliances that you manage to salvage from the flood or storm, you need to follow general rules.

  • Check the electrical motor. Most likely, it needs to be replaced or at least reconditioned. Always make sure it’s in working order before taking any other steps.
  • Check and clean all wiring and fixtures. In most cases, they need replacement.
  • Apply rust inhibitor where necessary. Rust develops even if the appliance isn’t submerged.
  • Don’t run the system before you check the unit for mold and mildew.

In many cases, replacing the appliance can be cheaper than fixing it.Technicians Appliance Repair, recommend getting the entire repair works evaluation before trying to clean the appliance and replace the wiring.

3.   Don’t Turn the Power On

Even if you clean the damaged appliance on your own, powering it on should be done by a professional. The equipment may appear to be in good shape but be seriously damaged on the inside. Powering it on without professional assistance can result in electrocution.

Only a licensed technician can evaluate the damage done to the appliance and recommend appropriate actions. Allow experts to clean the equipment, replace broken parts, and test it properly to ensure your safety.

4.   Sanitize the Equipment

After your repair a water-damaged appliance, you need to sanitize it. Mold, mildew, and bacteria can continue growing inside it, leading to more damage and posing a threat to your health.

Refrigerator and Freezer

  • Make sure the appliance is in working condition.
  • Remove and wash all shelves and ice trays.
  • Clean shelves with water and detergent.
  • Wash the interior withhot water and baking soda.
  • Use a disinfecting solution to clean all surfaces.
  • Leave the door open for an hour (or better overnight) to air dry the appliance.
  • Wash the exterior with water and detergent.

Washer and Dryer

  • Make sure the appliance is in working condition.
  • Pour a disinfectant inside the empty washing machine.
  • Run a short hot-water cycle (15 or 30 minutes).
  • Wipe the dryer with a disinfectant – covered cloth.
  • Rinse the dryer with warm water.
  • Leave both the washer and the dryer open overnight for all parts to dry properly.

You may want to wait several days before using your damaged appliances to make sure they are fully dry and free from bacteria.

The Takeaway

While water-damaged appliances may look fine on the outside, they could pose a threat to your health inside. Don’t try to repair or run such equipment on your own. Only expert technicians and electricians should have access to appliances after they’ve been damaged by water.

After the appliance is repaired, you need to clean it thoroughly to prevent further mold and bacteria growth.

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