Katrina Flooded my house, is the wiring safe?

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Old 01-19-06, 01:22 AM
scott504
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Katrina Flooded my house, is the wiring safe?

My house in New Orleans had just under 3 1/2 feet of water in it from the floodwaters of hurrican Katrina. Would it be safe to cut off the ends of the wiring and install new outlets or should all the wiring below the 4foot line be replaced? What would be the best way to accomplish this? By the way, all walls have been ripped out 4 feet up. The upper half of the walls is still intact. Electricity has been restored in my neighborhood but not yet to all houses. They wont turn it on to your house until an electrician verifies that your wiring is safe.
 
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Old 01-19-06, 05:07 AM
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It would be difficult for us to give you a definitive answer, since the devasation in your area was complete, and every situation is different. We have dealt with the aftermath of Ivan in areas of Western North Carolina, where the water line in these houses exceeded 3 feet, and we were not allowed to leave the wiring. We had to junction or run new home runs to the outlets. Since you are technically under the auspicies of FEMA and other governmental agencies, it would be best for you to get the electrician to verify it and go from there. That way you won't have to do it over again.
 
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Old 01-19-06, 05:24 AM
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Download this free document from NEMA
http://www.nema.org/stds/water-damaged.cfm
 
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Old 01-19-06, 06:54 AM
scott504
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re: flooded wiring

Ok, so I guess I'm going to have to replace the wiring(which I'd already assumed would be the best thing to do). What is the best way to do this? Should all the wiring be replaced? Or should it be replaced Up to the point where it didnt get wet? How is this done without violating code? By the way, the house was built in 1974. There is no circuit breaker, its an old fuse panel. Should I just go ahead and replace EVERYTHING? What would be my best option?
 
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Old 01-19-06, 11:04 AM
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It's my impression that you'll have to replace so much of the wiring that you'll probably end up replacing it all. There could also be grandfathering of certain things or relaxing of codes for relief; a local electrical contractor would be able to answer those questions.

For example, a 60A fused service is no longer legal for new installation according to national code. You may have to upgrade to at least 100A before the power company will reconnect you. Then again, there could be disaster relief laws which will allow you reinstall or reuse the same as you had.

Some things you cannot do are splice wires inside walls. If you have a cable which was partially submerged, you cannot just replace the damaged end; you have to replace it back to a permanently accessible junction box. For this reasion, I think much of the wiring will need to be replaced.
 
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