Electrical Connection Urges Caution in Flood Areas Impacting Electrical Systems


ST. LOUIS — The Electrical Connection IBEW/NECA partnership reminds residents in flooded areas to be wary of shock hazards around their home and carefully check credentials of any company offering repairs. IBEW/NECA electrical contractors will again work with government officials, residents and businesses to ensure electrical systems damaged by the recent flooding are made safe. Residents and business owners need to be aware some electrical systems compromised by the flood may have to be inspected and repaired.

Residents and business owners should always use licensed electrical contractors for new electrical installations and electrical repairs. IBEW/NECA contractors are dedicated to strict adherence to the National Electrical Code to ensure safe electrical systems. The Electrical Connection offers the largest data base of licensed electrical contractors at its web site: www.electricalconnection.org.

The Electrical Connection offers the following tips to homeowners and businesses:

  • Always ask for credentials to ensure the repair service is fully licensed.
  • Call your insurance company first to find out what your insurance will cover and identify their procedures for how it will be covered.
  • Never enter a basement with standing water that is in contact with electrical systems.
  • With the immense volume of rain, water has been able enter homes from faulty rooftop flashing to basements and in many cases the water trickles down electrical cables into fixtures. These fixtures, while they may look dry, should be inspected.
  • The nonmetallic-sheathed cable (Romex) wiring used in most all dwellings has a paper-type material on the inside that will absorb water. Even though the appliance or outlet may look dry, the wiring may be completely wet.
  • Any flickering lights may be a sign of hidden water damage and not be used until inspected and repair.
  • Flooded sockets will have to be replaced as the waters could corrode the device and insulation.
  • All dishwashers, laundry machines must be on ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI) circuits.

More information on repairing flood damaged electrical systems can be found in an alert from St. Louis County’s chief electrical inspector Rick Hill.