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Old 10-31-2008, 10:22 AM   #16
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underwater elec. panel


in which location was this, BTW ?

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Old 10-31-2008, 11:14 AM   #17
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what is BTW?
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Old 10-31-2008, 11:40 AM   #18
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what is BTW?
By The Way
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Old 10-31-2008, 11:49 AM   #19
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I thought you meant in which location of the house. Sorry. the flooding was northern Illinois, Cook County
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Old 10-31-2008, 01:33 PM   #20
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I would worry about galvanic corrosion on anything that was live. If you see any copper that looks green or scaly or slimy it needs to be addressed.
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Old 10-31-2008, 02:13 PM   #21
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I cannot say much about the wicking properties of the paper used in NM cable. A simple experiment could give you that answer. Take a length of NM, and put one end (several feet) of it under water for a few days. The, cut it open, and see how much got wet.
Even if it did get wet, you won't get a short, since the plastic insulation will not be penetrated. I cannot say what would happen over time though.
The reason I was asking this is because this summer central Iowa swamped also, one of the news programs was talking with a HO that was taking them through the rebuild process...and that's one of the things the city inspectors were telling everyone. I had not heard of this either...it makes some sense....I was just wondering if there was a standard protocol and thought some of the pro-sparkys here could share their thoughts.
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Old 10-31-2008, 02:21 PM   #22
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The reason I was asking this is because this summer central Iowa swamped also, one of the news programs was talking with a HO that was taking them through the rebuild process...and that's one of the things the city inspectors were telling everyone. I had not heard of this either...it makes some sense....I was just wondering if there was a standard protocol and thought some of the pro-sparkys here could share their thoughts.
Actually, I've always wondered why paper is used in NM cable. Why use something that's actually flammable?
I think the purpose of the paper is to keep the wires from rolling over each other, and keeping the cable more or less flat, easier to pull?
But I would prefer some kind of plastic over paper. Then, paper has been used ever since NM cable came along, so it must not be an issue with fire.
Not all that much of an issue with getting underwater either I guess.
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Old 10-31-2008, 06:34 PM   #23
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seems i was too late to reply to your problem,hope its not going to hit your wallet too much ethier way water and electric does't mix best to be on the safe side but you should't have rewire your home just a dry out should do as long as you earth line not efected
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Old 10-31-2008, 06:57 PM   #24
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Think of an old-fashioned vaporizer which used two electrodes inside a plastic/bakelite tube, with a small hole at the bottom for water to enter, and a larger one at the top to allow steam to escape.
The vaporizer would usually draw between 3 and 5 Amps, but if you were to add salt to the water, it would draw much more, and eventually trip the breaker / blow the fuse. If you have very soft water (few minerals) you would need to add salt to the vaporizer to get it to generate enough steam.

I would expect most of the current from the submerged panel to flow through the water in the immediate area of the panel, between buses or from one bus to ground. There wouldn't be much current through the load breakers, and not enough through the main to trip it.
A GFCI breaker would probably trip, since there would most likely be an imbalance of current between hot and neutral.

I cannot say much about the wicking properties of the paper used in NM cable. A simple experiment could give you that answer. Take a length of NM, and put one end (several feet) of it under water for a few days. The, cut it open, and see how much got wet.
Even if it did get wet, you won't get a short, since the plastic insulation will not be penetrated. I cannot say what would happen over time though.
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Old 10-31-2008, 09:28 PM   #25
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....But I would prefer some kind of plastic over paper....
Then you should specify and install type UF cable, instead of using NM. All plastic, no paper.
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Old 10-31-2008, 10:57 PM   #26
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Then you should specify and install type UF cable, instead of using NM. All plastic, no paper.
Well, I may be a bit on the obsessive side, but I'm not on the wealthy side<g>!
I really used to hate working with UF. It was soooo hard to strip the outer jacket.
Now, so much easier
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Old 11-01-2008, 06:34 AM   #27
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Water, does not conduct electricity.

Its the minerals in the water that conduct.

The reason you can be electrocuted in a tub or shower is.
A. the water isn't distilled.
B. It only takes a few milli amps to electrocute a person.
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Old 11-01-2008, 10:32 AM   #28
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Water itself in a pure(r) form is not very conductive. It's the contaminants that water may contain that become the conductive particles within water. 7 feet of water in a basement is surely to have 'foreign contaminants' that can be conductive, but apparently the concentration wasn't enough to create a low enough resistive path for the panel to short out.

actually water, in its pure form is not conductive at all. It is the mineral in the water that carry the current.

Saw a seminar from where the presenter drank from a glass of water with a hot wire in the water as he held the neutral. Very well purified water.
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Old 11-01-2008, 10:38 AM   #29
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Actually, I've always wondered why paper is used in NM cable. Why use something that's actually flammable?
I think the purpose of the paper is to keep the wires from rolling over each other, and keeping the cable more or less flat, easier to pull?
But I would prefer some kind of plastic over paper. Then, paper has been used ever since NM cable came along, so it must not be an issue with fire.
Not all that much of an issue with getting underwater either I guess.
AC cable also uses paper as a wrap as well. Paper is often an excellent insulator (obvioulsy as long as designed as such without other non-inusulating contaminants within). It just isn't very durable.

as to flammable; paper can be treated so as to make it quite non-flammable. Don;t know if the paper in NM or AC is treated as such but do you have any idea what the temp required to initiate fire in paper is? It is quite high. If the wire is that hot, the paper is not your only worry. Ther plastic insulation would have melted long before and the paper may be the only thing preventing a short circuit.
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Old 11-01-2008, 10:46 AM   #30
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i pulled some paper from a scrap of NM, it burns..... good point on the paper being the only...etc.!!!

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