Preparing for a flood:

  • Take precautions to safeguard or minimize damage to electrical equipment – e.g. move equipment off the floor (up onto tables) or, even better, to the upper floor(s) of your home.

During a flood threat or flood:

  • If your basement floods, do not attempt to turn off the main power switch. Contact us to disconnect power at the pole. Stay clear of anything that could conduct an electric current such as metal pipes, metal ladders, and even damp wood.
  • Power line hazards in flooded areas:
    • Flooding can completely alter the local landscape temporarily. Sometimes the only transportation available may be a boat or other watercraft.
    • If you are travelling by boat, watch for submerged poles and low hanging power lines. Normal clearances of overhead high voltage power lines can be significantly reduced by the high water in a flood zone.
    • Do not travel by boat in the area unless you have 10 metres of clearance under power lines or alongside poles.
    • Know that flood water currents can change direction as water levels rise and fall, making it very difficult to control your watercraft around poles and power lines.
    • Nighttime can be especially treacherous because dark-coloured power lines are almost impossible to spot at night. Determine your travel route through a flood zone during the day. Avoid travelling after dark unless it is an emergency.

After a flood:

  • Even if water is not visible in a building, the interior structure may be soaked and still present an electrical hazard. Do not enter flooded basements or buildings that may contain energized electrical wiring or electrical appliances.
  • Before re-entering the premises, contact us to ensure it is safe to do so. Have a qualified electrician inspect all wiring before turning power on.

Electrical cleanup procedure

  • The main electrical panel must be cleaned, dried, and tested to ensure the integrity of the insulation.
  • Circuit breakers that have been submerged must be replaced. Any circuit breaker removed after being submerged must be destroyed because it may not operate safely.
  • Replace all high limit protection devices in heating equipment that has been submerged such as electrical furnaces and water heaters.
  • Replace all devices such as receptacles and switches that have been submerged in flood water.
  • Do not use any appliance, heating, pressure, or sewage system that has been subjected to flood water until the electrical components of the appliance or system have been thoroughly cleaned, dried, and inspected by a qualified electrician.
  • Before turning on the power, have a qualified electrician inspect all wiring that has been subjected to flood water. Even if your basement did not suffer water damage, the interior structure may be soaked and can still be a good conductor of electricity.

Natural gas

Preparing for a flood:

  • Turn off the manual shut-off valve to each natural gas appliance.
  • Shut off or disconnect them from the electrical supply, if applicable.
  • To determine if it is necessary to shut off the natural gas service to your home, contact us.

After a flood:

  • If your natural gas appliances have not been flooded, it will be safe to turn the manual shut-off valves and light pilot lights on, and reconnect them to the electrical supply.
  • If your natural gas appliances have been flooded, it will be necessary to make arrangements to have a licensed heating contractor inspect them and determine whether they need to be serviced or replaced.
  • If we have shut off service during a flood, contact us to re-activate your natural gas service.

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