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Flood-Damaged Appliances, HVAC May Have to Be Replaced

Release date: 
September 20, 2011
Release Number: 

COLUMBIA, Mo. -- Federal Emergency Management Agency officials urge flood survivors returning to their homes in northwest Missouri to consider carefully whether to repair or replace flood-damaged appliances and equipment.

Deciding whether to repair or replace gas and electrical appliances damaged by dirty floodwaters can be difficult. Deciding to salvage or replace damaged equipment will be influenced by the length of time in the water, the level of the flooding and the amount of coverage allowed by the insurance and flood-relief programs.

Some things you need to consider are:

  • Check your warranty, because repairing the equipment or appliance may void the warranty.
  • Dirty floodwater can cause parts to corrode, causing break downs.
  • If the equipment is more than 10 years old, new equipment/appliances offer better energy efficiency, thus saving money on monthly energy costs.
  • Your insurance company may offer you an adjusted replacement cost for your major appliances.
  • Corrosion or clogged parts not replaced can cause fire, explosion or electrical shock.
  • Cost -- Extensive repairs for parts and labor may cost more than buying new.
  • Refrigerators and freezers with wet insulation are not salvageable, but if there were only a few inches of water in the house, refrigerators and freezers are probably fine. Ovens and ranges are usually salvageable. Wet controls should be replaced.
  • Have an appliance technician check and replace the pilot flame orifice and any valves on gas ranges that were in contact with floodwaters.

Have an appliance technician electrician check all electrical contacts and connections on the washer and dryer and replace the contacts or controls if wet.

FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.

Last Updated: 
January 3, 2018 - 12:17