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How to Repair Water Damaged Electrical Equipment

How can I Restore a Water Damaged Electric Motor and Electrical Equipment? How to Repair Water Damaged Motors and Electrical Equipment, The Process to Help Restore Water Damaged Electrical Equipment.

Home Electrical Wiring Video

How To Hook Up a Generator to the House Panel
Using a Circuit Breaker Interlock Kit
for Backup Power

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Water Damaged Electrical Motors and Equipment
Electrical Question: How can I Restore a Water Damaged Electric Motor and Electrical Equipment?

I’m trying to salvage an air compressor that was submerged, for about 6 hours, in flood water. The mechanical part (the pump) works fine. On the electrical side, there is a small 15 amp circuit breaker, a capacitor and the motor. The motor spins freely and looks fine but when I plug it into the 120Volt outlet and then turn the switch on, I blow the circuit breaker at the electrical panel!
What I’ve done so far:

  1.  I’ve disconnected the motor from the on/off switch in order to test the switch. The switch seems to be fine: it shows 120VAC at the motor side of the switch when it’s ON and no voltage when the switch is OFF, and all without blowing the circuit breaker at the panel.
  2.  I’ve tested the capacitor by using a 9VDC battery and it seems ok: when I apply the 9VDC and monitor using my volt meter, I see that the DC voltage immediately measures 9VDC and then starts to diminish. Also, when I remove the capacitor from the circuit (thereby, eliminating it), I still blow the circuit breaker at the electrical panel.
  3.  My visual inspection of the motor shows no rust or water in any part of the motor visible through the ports. It looks like it always did!

Can you please tell me what might be the problem here? I’d hate to have to throw this compressor out because everything is clean and moves freely.


This home electrical repair question came from: John, from Brick, New Jersey.

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your electrical repair question John.

How to Repair Water Damaged Motors and Electrical Equipment

Application: Repair Water Damaged Electric Motor.
Skill Level: Intermediate to Advanced – Best performed by a Qualified Electrician or Electrical Contractor.
Tools and Testers Required: Basic Electricians Pouch Hand Tools, Voltage Tester, Continuity Tester and Megger Meter.
Estimated Time: Depends on the complexity of the water damaged electrical equipment.
Precaution: Identify the circuit which provides power to the equipment, turn it OFF and then Tag it with a Note before performing any inspections and repairs.
Note: Water damaged equipment is best repaired by a qualified electrician or electrical contractor.

The Most Common Process to Help Restore Water Damaged Electrical Equipment

Guide to Repairs for Water Damaged Equipment
Water soaked electrical equipment can be restored when preventive procedures are taken such as the following:

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Complete Guide to Home Electrical Wiring

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Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
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The Safest Way to Test Electrical Devices and Identify Electric Wires!

The Non-Contact Electrical Tester
This is a testing tool that I have had in my personal electrical tool pouch for years, and is the first test tool I grab to help identify electrical wiring. It is a Non-contact tester that I use to easily Detect Voltage in Cables, Cords, Circuit Breakers, Lighting Fixtures, Switches, Outlets and Wires. Simply insert the end of the tester into an outlet, lamp socket, or hold the end of the tester against the wire you wish to test. Very handy and easy to use.

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The Plug-In Outlet Tester
This is the first tool I grab to troubleshoot a problem with outlet circuit wiring. This popular tester is also used by most inspectors to test for power and check the polarity of circuit wiring.
It detects probable improper wiring conditions in standard 110-125 VAC outlets Provides 6 probable wiring conditions that are quick and easy to read for ultimate efficiency Lights indicate if wiring is correct and indicator light chart is included Tests standard 3-wire outlets UL Listed Light indicates if wiring is incorrect Very handy and easy to use.

Strip Off Wire Insulation without Nicking and Damaging the Electric Wire!

The Wire Stripper and Wire Cutter
My absolute favorite wire stripping tool that I have had in my personal electrical tool pouch for years, and this is the tool I use to safely strip electrical wires.
This handy tool has multiple uses:
The wire gauges are shown on the side of the tool so you know which slot to use for stripping insulation.
The end of the tool can be used to grip and bend wire which is handy for attaching wire onto the screw terminals of switches and outlets..

The wire stripper will work on both solid and stranded wire. This tool is Very Handy and Easy to Use.

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