Basement flood--why did the breakers not trip?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by maxvintage, Jul 22, 2019.

  1. maxvintage

    maxvintage Friend of Leo's

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    Ok this is great--I can see why the breakers might not trip when the outlet is submerged.


    I can see the logic of replacing the outlets. Replacing the wiring seems a little excessive to me--it's all romex; it was all fresh water and not salt. But we will likely have to hire contractor to do the work--I'm not as young as I used to be--and the county will demand permits.

    Not going down there till the crumbling asbestos tile is out. My brother in law and I were all set to do it ourselves but wife nixed it.

    The tile was tested as having asbestos, which my wife was going to believe regardless. The adhesive/mastic did NOT test positive for asbestos, which i think is BS but as far as I can tell removing cutback mastic is virtually impossible. We will probably cover it with sheet plastic and drop a floating laminate floor over it. I'd like to do a cement skim coat and leave it at that but I think the mastic makes that impossible.
     
  2. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Friend of Leo's

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    Perhaps your breakers didn't trip because the water you were flooded with was actually very pure water in the grand scheme of things, and it wasn't conducting endless current, like many people believe water does. But, whatever the reason, you should have them manually open until you have the electrical system in the basement fully inspected. Damage may have been done that will not cause issues until later. Not to sound alarmist, but worst case scenario, we're talking a fire that burns your house down.
     
  3. Torren61

    Torren61 Tele-Afflicted

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    Transmission tower insulators are regularly cleaned using a high pressure water cannon without de-energizing the line. There weren't enough impurities in the water to lead to an excess of current between the hot wire and the neutral or ground wire. When I was a kid, my parents had lots of fish tanks. Both fresh and saltwater fish. Once, when I was around six or seven, I was fooling around with one of the tanks. I accidentally knocked the light into the tank and into the water. It was still working when I reached into the water to get it out. The lesson I learned that day was almost as important as when I learned that milk mixed with orange juice does NOT make a tasty orange flavored milk. It does not.
     
  4. Blrfl

    Blrfl Tele-Holic

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    Many flavors of NM-B (Romex is Southwire's brand name) cabling have a paper separator around the ground wire and a paper sheath around everything. Submerge one end and the paper will wick water up into the cable. Unless you were flooded with deionized water, the impurities in the water will react with the copper.
     
  5. darren7

    darren7 Tele-Holic

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    Underground cables are sealed.
     
  6. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Not a bad post at all, but we had freshwater up over the outlets (and in the cables serving them) in thousands and thousands of houses in East Jefferson Parish (Orleans is where the salt water got in) and in those Jefferson Parish houses and apartments, only about a dozen burned and half of those were arson.

    If the wiring was aluminum, I'd pull it. If it was knob and tube I'd pull it. But garden variety copper romex with ground is, I think, fine. I upgraded the outlets to high end from contractor, added a few GFCI and some Arc Fault also.
     
  7. maxvintage

    maxvintage Friend of Leo's

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    The Romex we used has a paper sheath around the ground but plastic around hot and neutral. It’s hard to see how it corrodes, but it will be up to the local code.

    The water was muddy fresh water.
     
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