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For any HVAC and hydronic contractors & residents of the flooded areas of Texas

BillW Member Posts: 198
I had hoped that I wouldn't have to publish this again after Hurricane Sandy bashed NY & NJ.. Now, it looks like the Houston area and other parts of Texas and Louisiana are being hit with something much worse. The enclosure is for anyone effected. I hope it is useful. Be careful out there.


  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,441
    Excellent advice. I might add that it applies to any structure that has been flooded, regardless of the source or scale of the flood (even a frozen pipe!)
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,899
    Thanks for posting this. Can you tell us who published it (doesn't say in the text)?
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
  • BillW
    BillW Member Posts: 198
    edited September 2017
    Hi, Frank. This is a partial repeat of what I posted after Sandy hit NY&NJ. The comments about combustion controls and safety controls on boilers, furnaces and water heaters can be found on manufacturer's websites and in their tech sheets. A specific quote is from page 5 of Honeywell publication 69-0845 that reads" If a module or gas control gets wet, replace it." It also cautions against water used for cleaning purposes, dripping condensate and extreme humidity. Gas valves, ignition modules, oil primaries and water heater controls are NOT waterproof, unless they are specifically designed for that. In industrial and commercial situations, they may be inside a NEMA rated water-proof enclosure, but that would be very rare in residential use. The comments about ductwork come from my IAQ background, and plain old common sense. Insulation in ductwork or around flex-ducts gets soaked with floodwater, which is filthy with mud, sewage and contaminated with chemicals and petroleum products. There is no practical way to clean it. Similar decontamination procedures are found on Red Cross and FEMA websites, and some charitable organizations hand them out with basic decontamination kits. Mold follows flooding like day follows night. Finally, not everybody is as familiar with the deadly threats of carbon monoxide and hydrogen sulphide as we "Wallies" are. For example, in the aftermath of Sandy,, a local policeman noticed an orange extension cord running from a closed garage door to a window in the house. He knocked on the door, and found that the homeowner had a gasoline powered generator running in the CLOSED, ATTACHED garage! Fortunately, the homeowner had just gotten the generator and it had only been running for a few minutes, so this alert policeman saved lives by checking. I hope this is helpful.
  • BillW
    BillW Member Posts: 198
    For more information, see kcopp's "flooded equipment" thread that quotes the NFPA chapter & verse.