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What do I do with water damaged appliances?

Updated: Feb 11, 2020

What do I do with water damaged appliances?

Have you run into a flooded home recently? A flooded home does just happen during a hurricane here in Florida. Sometimes, a flood can be caused by a broken toilet, sink, or bathtub, so, therefore, evaluating appliance damage is a high priority after coming home and finding a flood.

Our very first recommendation is to call a reputable certified electrician to check flooded appliances for any electrical issues. Further, we also recommend calling your insurance agency to file a claim. Take plenty of pictures before you attempt to try to operate any of the flooded appliances. Obviously, if the appliances aren’t salvageable, we can remove them for you - as you invest in clean-up efforts.


Before entering a home after a flood, be sure that the electricity to the dwelling has been completely shut off. No one wants to have their child or family member get injured and of course, you need to protect yourself too. So, turn off the power immediately! Appliances should not be operated until they have been checked by service specialist and/or until that are completely dry if you are a DIYer.

There can a lot of repairs to be prepared for and you need to consider the age and overall cost of the appliance that was damaged to determine if these possible repairs are worth doing. Here are some things that may need to be done:

1 - Electrical motors may need to be reconditioned or replaced.

2- Wiring will need to be checked and cleaned.

3- Wiring may also need replacement.

4- Your water damaged appliance(s) will need to be cleaned and sanitized.

5 - Remember, first things first, be sure the motor is in a safe working order. It may not be worth the time to clean up the unit.

6 -A rust inhibitor may need to be applied to all metal parts. Some appliances with only 1 to 3 inches of water need this applied to stop rust before it starts. Even though an appliance in your home may not have been submerged, rust can develop from dampness in the air.

Let’s talk about water-damaged - REFRIGERATORS AND FREEZERS

First, you need to clean out the spoiled and rotting food. Next, you will need to inventory the loss of the value of the contents in the freezer and/or refrigerator. You will want to document the food waste with your small phone and send it to your insurance agency. Then you will need to sanitize the refrigerator or freezer if water has seeped in. Here are a few steps you need to follow if you want to try to salvage your refrigerator or freezer.

Remove and wash all shelves, crispers and ice trays. Wash everything thoroughly with water and detergent. Rinse with a disinfectant solution. Wash the interior of the refrigerator, including the door and door gasket, with hot water and baking soda. Rinse with a good quality brand disinfectant solution. Remember to leave the freezer or refrigerator door open for about 15 minutes to allow free air circulation. After 15 to 30 minutes have passed, place several pieces of a commercial refrigerator deodorizer in an open metal container for 24 to 48 hours. After this step, you can wash the outside with a mild detergent and hot water.

Lastly, remember to be sure the motor and freezing unit is in safe working order and insulation is not wet. If you find out that the insulation in the machines is wet – that means replacement may be necessary. Let it Go Junk Removal can happily arrange to remove the broken refrigerator and/or freezer quickly and safely if that is the case.

Next, let’s talk about - LAUNDRY MACHINES that have been water damaged!

You can check and see if your laundry machine manufacturer can fix the units in your home. And maybe you are lucky to have homeowner’s insurance that covers the repairs. If that is the case, after washers and dryers have been reconditioned, sanitize them. Don’t assume the manufacturer will do this for you. Here are a few easy steps to follow for when your units are working again:

+ Pour a disinfectant (chlorine, pine oil or phenolic) into the empty washing machine. Then complete a 15-minute cycle at the "hot" water setting.

+ Unplug the dryer and wipe the drum and door with a cloth dipped in disinfectant solution. Rinse with a cloth dipped in clear water.

+ Leave the dryer door open until all parts are thoroughly dry - preferably overnight.

If you find out that your laundry manufacturer does not handle cases like yours or if there is a hurricane and everyone is dealing with the same issue. You can always call us to have that broken moldy machine removal asap.

Hurricanes, tropical depressions, mid afternoon thunderstorms happen a lot in Florida between July to October sadly. It is our storm season during that time of year. As you batten down the hatches, what should you do with your appliances to help minimize damage? And once you’ve made it through the storm safely, it’s time to take stock of the damage. Are your appliances wet or standing in water? Okay now, what do you do?

1. Should I unplug my appliances before the storm hits?

YES. You know what they say about an ounce of prevention. If a storm is on its way and there is a threat of flooding, it’s a good idea to unplug your fridge, dishwasher, washer and dryer, computers, and cooking appliances. Unplugging these appliances might just save your life! Why because it helps you avoid facing a room flooded with electrically charged water if the worst happens.

2. My house is flooded, and I didn’t unplug my washer and dryer. Now they’re sitting in water. Should I unplug them?

NO. If appliances are still plugged in and those appliances, electric cords or even outlets are submerged, you have a very dangerous situation on your hands. TURN OFF THE POWER TO YOUR HOUSE! Your home’s electricity can charge the standing water, and you can get electrocuted.

3. There isn’t any standing water, but my appliances have gotten wet. Are they safe to use?

Are your carpets dry? If not, don’t get tempted to do a load of laundry just yet with your washing machine. And the same is true for your clothes dryer after a big storm has ended. Trust me, I know that we all want to start drying any wet clothes and linens from the storm. But please wait, a wet floor can get you electrocuted, and any standing water is damaging the inner workings of your appliance. A motor that is wet might not be able to be fixed. Get a qualified repair expert to assess the damage.

4. Can I salvage and repair appliances that have been damaged in a flood, or should I replace them?

An appliance repair technician can tell you for sure if you can repair those watered damaged appliances, but the decision to repair or replace depends on several factors, including the following:

1 - Amount of Time in Water: The longer they’re wet, the less likely they can be salvaged.

2 - The Machine’s Warranty: Repairs or replacement parts might void it.

3 - Corrosion to Untreated Metals on your machine: Dirty water can corrode certain parts of appliances. If you have a roof leak or your neighborhood becomes flooded than the likelihood of dirty water damage only increases. Even if the machines are safe to use, you might find problems late on.

4 - How old are your Appliances? If your appliances are reaching their golden years anyway, it’s probably best to replace them. Repairs might cost as much or more as buying new, especially if your insurance is covering part of the replacement cost.

When you need a quality and knowledgeable team to handle your water damage appliance clean up needs, that is where we come in. We get the job done right and for a fair price. Our friendly and professional junk removal experts go where you need them and when you need them. We will work to get the job completed from start to finish because you are hiring us so you don’t have to lift a finger.

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1 commento

Scott Purkey
Scott Purkey
14 feb 2021

Thank you for this article!

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