State University Extension
Home Maintenance And Repair - 01500015
Reconditioning Flooded Electrical Appliances
try to use washers, refrigerators or other large electrical
appliances until they are checked by a serviceman. Attempting to run
equipment before it is properly cleaned could seriously damage it. The
manufacturer's authorized dealer has detailed information for
inspection and repair of his particular equipment, and should be called
for repair if possible.
Follow these general procedures if you must do your own repairs:
Motorized appliances (refrigerators,
freezers, washers, dryers)
1. Remove the electric motor, if possible, and take it to an electrical
repair shop. If the motor can't be removed, follow instructions to
2. Remove dirt from insulation and dry insulation thoroughly.
Insulation may have been ruined from wetting. It may develop bad odors,
or lose its insulating ability depending on exposure time in water. If
so, the appliance will probably have to be discarded. Some newer sealed
units may be unharmed by water.
3. Clean up outside of unit, and recondition the controls. Replace all
4. Clean gear housings and shafts in washing machines with kerosene.
Clean bearings. Wipe metal surfaces with a kerosene-soaked rag to
remove rust and dirt. Coat metal surfaces thinly with oil.
1. Disconnect electricity and flush appliance with clean water.
2. Aerosol cleaning products (like Quik-Kleen) are available for
cleaning hard to reach places in motors. Spray on parts and wipe or
flush off. Do not use on contacts.
3. The insulation on hot water heaters may be soaked. Remove all
panels, and if possible, the top of the heater. The insulation may
never dry satisfactorily.
4. Clean and dry thermostat and wiring. Apply rust inhibitor to all
1. Throw away any damaged or fabric-covered cords.
2. Rubber-covered cords in good condition (with no cracks in the
rubber) can probably be reconditioned as follows:
a. Remove connections from both ends
Peel back rubber covering until inside braid is dry.
off damaged part of cord.
Clean up plug and receptacle; connect to cord or replace.
All metallic appliances should be grounded when in use to prevent
electric shock. This is especially important with washers, dryers,
ranges, waffle irons, dishwashers, portable drills, saws and grinders.
Attach a wire from the frame of the appliance to a water pipe or to the
ground wire in a grounded wiring system.
This article was written by Anne Field, Extension Specialist, Emeritus,
with reference from the USDA Disaster Handbook.
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This information is for
educational purposes only. References to commercial products or trade
names does not imply endorsement by MSU Extension or bias against those
not mentioned. This information becomes public property upon
publication and may be printed verbatim with credit to MSU Extension.
Reprinting cannot be used to endorse or advertise a commercial product
MSU is an
employer. Michigan State University Extension programs and materials
are open to all without regard to race, color, national origin, gender,
gender identity, religion, age, height, weight, disability, political
beliefs, sexual orientation, marital status, family status or veteran
status. Issued in furtherance of MSU Extension work, acts of May 8 and
June 30, 1914, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Thomas G. Coon, Director, MSU Extension, East Lansing,MI 48824. This
information is for educational purposes only. Reference to commercial
products or trade names does not imply endorsement by MSU Extension or
bias against those not mentioned.
information.was reviewed as
of June 2008. For more information about the contents please
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