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NEI Electric

Ratings and Reviews

  • “Your company did good work and we will go with you next time we have an electrical project or upgrade to complete in our building.”–Sergio A., Church of Scientology, MN
  • “I highly recommend NEI Electric. I have worked with them on various projects over the last 12 years.”–Richard S., United Hospital
  • “From start to finish, they have exemplified why they are a leader in their field.”–Melissa P., United Family Medicine
  • “You should be proud to have Dan working for you. He truly is a fine young man and an asset to your company.”–Michael P., Homeowner, Woodbury
  • “There pre-construction recommendations provided us with a very cost effective building allowing us to focus on providing service to our patients”–Tom L., St. Paul Lung Clinic
  • “Chris did an outstanding job, I'll be recommending NEI to anyone who needs electrical work”–- Scott P., Homeowner, Rosemount
  • “NEI does it right - service is always prompt, high quality with reasonable rates and excellent communication.”–Phil W., Nuss Truck and Equipment Co.
  • “The quality of work is excellent. I will be an NEI customer for life.”–Robert H., Homeowner in Apple Valley, MN
  • “NEI Electric has done all of my electrical work for the past 10 years and they are prompt and efficient.”–Dan W., Benedictine Health Center
  • “Great job in responding to all my projects”–Nancy M., Homeowner in St. Anthony, MN
  • “NEI Electric is a sound and dependable company delivering top quality work at a competitive rate. Highly recommend.”–Randy H., Tapemark
  • “Jesse always does a great job. Thanks again.”–Nick Z, Homeowner
  • “We consider NEI like a vital part of our company.”–Phil, Nuss Truck and Equipment Co.
  • “Chris did a great job.”–Joe F, Homeowner
  • “It is a pleasure to work with professionals who share a cooperative get-it-done attitude.”–Wally S, Wunderlich Malec Engineering, Inc

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Electricity + Water = Danger

After what seemed like a very long winter to many of us, spring is finally coming to the upper Midwest. We now change our focus from snow, ice and cold temperatures to our beautiful spring weather which may also bring the threat of severe weather.

The physical devastation of tornados and floods around our country this year is visible and well documented. Severe weather brings with it the obvious hazards to personal safety; however, as flood waters recede, there is often hidden damage done to the integrity of any electrical system. Flood waters may be contaminated with a wide variety of dangerous substances that could lead to corrosion of the metals and insulation of electrical components. It is this hidden damage that is dangerous and possibly life threatening. No part of a flooded electrical installation can be assumed to be safe.

Local and national laws govern the inspection and replacement of flood-damaged electrical equipment. There are some provisions for the reconditioning of some larger types of electrical equipment by properly trained personnel that fall under the standards of the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA). Some states and municipalities may allow for the re-use of flood-damaged electrical components and equipment, most do not. From the MN Department of Labor & Industry on flood-damaged electrical systems: electrical wiring, equipment and appliances cannot be cleaned, restored and re-used.

Electricity and water are a lethal combination that can cause electrical shock, fire or death. If you know that the electrical equipment has been exposed to water, stay out of the area and call the power company immediately to disconnect the power. Be very cautious before using any electrical source that may have been exposed to water. Inspections and replacement of electrical equipment should be completed by licensed electrical contractors who know and follow the installation standards of the National Electric Code (NEC), the power utility company and the local building codes.

Preliminary Precautions

It is essential for those living in flood prone areas to be aware of the potential hazards associated with flooding; know what precautions to take to minimize the damage to electrical systems and appliances in a flooding situation. Flood waters are typically contaminated with a wide variety of dangerous substances such as unknown chemicals, oils, sewage, fertilizers, bacteria, germs and soil. These items can cause illness and injury but they can also penetrate electrical systems and have a destructive affect.

If you have time and if there is no water present, there are steps that can be taken to lessen the potential damage done during a flood.

  • Turn off the electricity at the main panel; turn off each circuit breaker or pull out your main fuse and remove each fuse from the panel.
  • Unplug electronic equipment and appliances; move them to a higher level if possible.
  • Verify that the sump pump is working and consider having a back-up in place.
  • If you plan to use a back-up generator, make sure it is properly installed with an approved automatic-interrupt device.

Returning After a Flood

As the flood waters recede and people return to start the clean-up, they need to be aware of possible hidden electrical hazards present.

  • Avoid any downed power lines and report these to your local utility company immediately.
  • It is highly recommended and sometimes a requirement of the utility company, that a licensed electrical contractor has made an inspection of the electrical system and replaced all flood-damaged parts before the power will be re-energized.
  • Do not touch a circuit breaker or replace a fuse with wet hands or while standing on a wet surface; use a dry plastic/rubber insulated tool to reset breakers and use only one hand.
  • Do not turn on switches or plug in an appliance until you know it is safe to do so.
  • Use portable ground-fault circuit-interrupter (GFCI) protected devices to help prevent electrocutions and shock injuries.
  • If any devices such as circuit breakers, fuses, GFCI receptacles, plugs and switches have been submerged, discard and do not attempt to use.
  • Portable generators
    • Use outside only, keep away from open doors and windows; CO fumes can be deadly indoors.
    • Use the appropriate sized and type cords to carry the electric load; overloaded cords can overheat and cause fires.
    • Do not plug a portable generator into an outlet; instead directly connect it to the main panel through a professionally installed generator panel. Caution: if the backup generator is wired into the electrical system incorrectly it can damage equipment, cause fires and possibly harm utility crews and neighbors.

Replace or Recondition?

Very few localities allow the use of reconditioned electrical components that were damaged by flood water; most equipment will need to be replaced. When water and dirt get inside of electrical wiring, devices, motors and appliances, there may be corrosion and insulation damage that occurs; this damage may not cause an immediate concern but could become a future hazard. Electrical equipment that may need to be replaced:

  • All electrical equipment, panelboards, switchboards, circuit breakers & fuses, receptacles
  • All electrical wiring, conductors and cables except those made for direct burial or wet locations
  • Receptacles, switches & controllers, thermostats, light fixtures, electric heaters and ceiling fans
  • Furnace burner and blower motors, ignition transformers, elements and relays for furnaces
  • Water heaters, appliances, electronics

Repairing electrical systems after a flood can be a daunting and costly task - immediate and future safety is the most important factor to consider. If repairs are not done correctly and in accordance with electrical codes, the electrical system may be further damaged and present an on-going danger. For your safety and for the safety of those around you, contact a licensed electrical contractor to inspect the water-damaged electrical equipment and make the necessary repairs.

NEI Electric assures compliance with the National Electrical Code, state and local building codes and OSHA regulations. We are a full service electrical contractor with experience you can trust. Connect with the Best...Connect with NEI Electric.

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