Provide Flood Protection for Utilities


Make Resilient Upgrades | Strengthen Your Home • Floods | Hurricanes

Why does it matter?

Electrical system components, including service panels (fuse and circuit breaker boxes), meters, switches, and outlets, are easily damaged by flood water. If they are flooded, even for short periods, they will probably need to be replaced. The potential for fires from shorted circuits in flooded systems is a serious problem. Raising electrical system components helps protect electrical system components from damage. And having an undamaged, operating electrical system after a flood will help you clean up, make repairs, and return to your property with fewer delays.

What do I need to know?

  • All components of the electrical system, including the wiring, all switches, and receptacles, should be raised at least 1 foot above the 100-year flood level (BFE or required freeboard levels).
  • In an existing home, elevating the electrical system will require the removal of some interior wall sheathing (ex: drywall). It is easier to elevate the electrical system if you are repairing a flood-damaged home or building a new home.
  • If your home’s electrical system was affected by a flood, DO NOT energize and use the system until it can be inspected by a licensed electrician. Electrical systems do not “dry out” after being inundated by flood water as damage may have occurred.

Where Do I Start?

  • Electrical system modifications must be done by a licensed contractor to ensure that the work is done correctly and according to all applicable building codes. This is important for your safety.
  • Your contractor should check with the local power company about the maximum height for raising the electric meter. Some power companies now use smart meters that can be read remotely.
  • If your home has an old-style fuse box or low-amperage service, consider upgrading to a modern circuit breaker system and higher-amperage service, especially if you have large appliances or other electrical equipment that draws a lot of power.
  • You may also want to elevate electric service lines (where they enter your home) at least 12 inches above the projected flood elevation.

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