Fixing a Flooded Basement

It’s an all too familiar scene for homeowners with basements: During a heavy rainstorm, their sump pump fails, filling their basement with water. What do you do when your basement aka home gym, playroom, or “man cave” turns into a swimming pool?

A flooded basement can be a huge and costly inconvenience. But more than that, it’s an electrocution hazard. If your service panel is in the basement and you only have an inch of water, use a plastic step stool or a fiberglass step ladder to get above the water and safely switch off the circuits in the basement. Wearing rubber boots, proceed with caution.

On the other hand, if you have a deeply flooded basement, you have a problem that can turn deadly. Once the water reaches the outlets, you have a profound risk of electrocution, especially if the service panel is located in the basement. You CAN NOT go into your basement safely until it is drained.

If for some reason you must go into the basement while it’s flooded, the only way you can do this safely is to wait until the house has completely disconnected from the electrical grid. To do this, the electrical meter face must be removed from the meter pan – you’ll need a utility employee or a firefighter who is trained in pulling the meter face. This is not a “do it yourself” task.

Additionally, if your home has gas service and flooded gas appliances located in the basement, the gas will have to be shut off from the gas meter outside the home. You’ll need a wrench to turn the metal stub on the gas meter so it’s perpendicular to the pipe.

Keep the following in mind:

  • The deeper the water, the more dangerous it is.
  • Never go alone into a deeply flooded basement.
  • Always bring a bright light with you, it’s dark down there.
  • Remember, flooded basements are littered with debris.
  • Make sure someone is always standing by you to ensure that you come out safely.

Don’t Attempt to Salvage Gas or Electrical Appliances

If you have flooded gas or electrical equipment, don’t salvage them. In fact, the National Electric Manufacturers Association (NEMA) and the Gas Appliance Manufacturers Association (GAMA) both say that most flooded electrical equipment should be replaced.

This means to discard all flooded:

  • Outlets
  • Switches
  • Fixtures
  • Wiring
  • Gas-fired appliances
  • Electrical motors

On the other hand, drywall that is above the floodwater can be salvaged, but drywall below the floodwater is no longer good and should be replaced. Occasionally, carpet can be dried, but usually, it will have to be replaced along with the flooring.

Need Your Flooded Basement Drained?

If you have a flooded basement, you can call on our Kansas City plumbing contractors to get the job done promptly and correctly. Contact A-1 Sewer & Septic Service Inc. today for a no-obligation quote!

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