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After a Flood, Take Precautions Before Starting Heating and Cooling Equipment

Release Date: August 12, 2014

Taylor, MI After a flood, homeowners need to take several precautions before attempting to salvage or restart heating and cooling equipment.

"It’s important to remember not to immediately restart heating and cooling equipment after a flood because in can be dangerous and could cause further damage," said Mary Lavack of R&L Heating & Cooling in Taylor. "Water affects electrical equipment and machinery in several ways. For example, water will short-out electrical equipment if electricity is on when water reaches it. This is one of the many reasons why it’s best to have a qualified service technician inspect your heating and cooling equipment before it is started up after a flood."

Homeowners should not be too anxious to get things back to normal after a storm because improper maintenance and preparation can cause problems years later.

To ensure your safety and prevent further damage to equipment, you should take the following steps after a flood before power is reestablished in your neighborhood:

  • Turn off all electrical switches (i.e. disconnects and breakers) to the heating and cooling equipment.
  • Don’t start equipment until you have it inspected and serviced by a qualified heating and cooling contractor. After the storm, have a reputable electrician or a technician from the power company or city inspect your home’s internal wiring to make sure it’s dry and safe before power is reestablished to your home.
  • If the power company gives you approval to turn on the electricity in your home, have the service company disconnect the equipment from the electrical source if you have not done so already.
  • Use only reputable service companies. "A lot of unscrupulous companies can descend on disaster areas. Be careful. If necessary, go without service a little longer to make sure you get what you pay for".

Homeowners should also be aware that the following factors will determine if their heating and cooling equipment is salvageable or needs to be replaced:

  • The amount of time the equipment was underwater
  • Whether the electricity was on when the water flooded the unit
  • If the equipment is filled with dirt and debris

To find out more about protecting your heating and cooling equipment after a flood, call R&L at 734-287-3330. R&L Heating & Cooling was established in 1979 and services all of Wayne County.

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