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Flooded basement


asihi
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Over the weekend we had some torrential rains, upwards of 7" overnight on Saturday. I just got a call from a client canceling an inspection that we had scheduled for tomorrow because the basement of this house he's looking at was flooded.

He didn't go into details and couldn't talk all that long, but he did say that there was at least 8" of water all the way around the basement and he wants to re-schedule for later in the week after the clean up.

Here's my question; this is a large home with at least 2 boilers and multiple water heaters. If these systems were buried under water, do they need to be replaced or can they be dried out? I would think at a minimum, the burners and control valves on all of them would have to be replaced. Thanks for your help.

Tony

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They should remove the bottom 2' of drywall from the entire basement and have a half dozen fans running till it's dried out.

They should hire a real drainage contractor to design & install a real drainage system so that this doesn't happen again.

They should replace all NM cables that got wet.

If the boiler or water heater controls were underwater, they should be replaced. I agree with Terry that the burners are probably fine.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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They should remove the bottom 2' of drywall from the entire basement and have a half dozen fans running till it's dried out.

They should hire a real drainage contractor to design & install a real drainage system so that this doesn't happen again.

They should replace all NM cables that got wet.

If the boiler or water heater controls were underwater, they should be replaced. I agree with Terry that the burners are probably fine.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

What Jim and Terence said, with one additional replacement - insulation. Disaster restoration was once my business and there's no way you can possibly dry that wall cavity fast enough to avoid fungal growth without yanking the drywall AND the insulation and then, as Jim says, get those hurricane fans going.

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Just to close out this thread, I was at the building yesterday. These were 2-75 gallon Rheem water heaters. I called Rheem and they told me that the water heaters should be removed and replaced, not repaired. I guess that they were worried about the integrity of the tanks (water getting trapped in the insulation around the the tank causing corrosion) and of course the burners and controls.

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If they have the FVIR newer technology, the manufacturer will recommend replacement if the flame snuffing safety device at the bottom gets wet. Only takes a few inches of water.

Oh, good point. The FVIR shutters are somewhat delicate. If they rust up, they might not work.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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I'd say that too if I were Rheem / rep.

Before I had finished his recap, I was already having the same thought. I suppose a corporate attorney could be thinking of eliminating possible liability on someone else's nickel too - Let's take a ride on the Home Owner's Insurance Company! Yes!

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It also boils down to selling units.

I must amend my statements. In a normal world, where people take responsibility, there is no need to change the unit.

Given the present state the only correct action is to replace the tank. We live in an time where people can not, for the most part, think responsibly, intelligently or mechanically. The minimal amount of prudence that would go into making sure a hot water tank, that has been under water for X amount of time, stays safe is actually beyond most people. Perhaps not beyond intelligence but surely beyond extending any extra effort.

As most know I take very little seriously but in this case the best thing to do is recommend replacement. It's the only way to take the "idiot" out of the equation.

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It also boils down to selling units.

I must amend my statements. In a normal world, where people take responsibility, there is no need to change the unit.

Given the present state the only correct action is to replace the tank. We live in an time where people can not, for the most part, think responsibly, intelligently or mechanically. The minimal amount of prudence that would go into making sure a hot water tank, that has been under water for X amount of time, stays safe is actually beyond most people. Perhaps not beyond intelligence but surely beyond extending any extra effort.

As most know I take very little seriously but in this case the best thing to do is recommend replacement. It's the only way to take the "idiot" out of the equation.

Isn't this post supposed to be followed by that guy that talks at about 900 words a minute spewing out a humongus disclaimer? [:-graduat

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