Important Flooding Precaution about Your Home’s Gas Furnace

gas-furnace-open-controls

You don’t want any of these controls on your furnace exposed to flooding!

Corpus Christi has just been hit with one of the worst disasters in its history: a powerful hurricane that slammed into the coast and inflicted immense damage to homes and residents. The rebuilding and recovery effort will be long and hard. We’ve been members of this community for years, proud to serve homeowners and their families, and we’re in this with everybody in the recovery effort.

If your home has suffered from flooding during Hurricane Harvey, you probably have a million things to worry about, from salvaging possession and water damage. We’d like to bring your attention to a piece of equipment in your home that we know a little something about: the gas furnace. This might not be a part of your house that’s immediately on your mind since the time when the furnace normally receives use is still a long ways off—and you’ve definitely got other pressing concerns! However, a flooded furnace presents some potential safety hazards if you attempt to use it later when the flooding has receded. Here are some things to consider if you have a flooded gas furnace in Corpus Christi, TX.

The Flooded Furnace

Let’s start with the important warning: if the gas valve of your furnace has been submerged, do not attempt to use the furnace until it has been professionally inspected and repaired/replaced. It isn’t safe—even trying to relight a pilot might result in an explosion hazard and serious burns—and you don’t want to take the risk. It’s a requirement of all furnace manufacturers that the gas valve must be replaced once it has been under water.

Keep in mind that a gas furnace may use natural gas to generate heat, but it also use electronic components for the blower fan and its controls (and often for ignition). If any of these are submerged in water, they are likely ruined and can pose electrical fire risk and electrocution dangers if used after flooding. A submerged blower unit will almost certainly need to be replaced.

The big question you’ll have is whether the furnace needs to be replaced. It depends on how much flooding it sustained. You may be in a situation where only the gas valve needs to be replaced. But water damage to any gas-using appliance often means the entire unit must be replaced to avoid safety issues. Gas equipment is designed to handle the stress of water. Water also creates the danger of corrosion, and in a furnace corrosion usually means the system is done and a new furnace must be installed. (The weakening effects of corrosion often lead to the escape of carbon monoxide from the furnace.)

No matter what work a furnace may require in the wake of flooding, it should never be done as a DIY project. This applies to natural gas appliances—no matter the conditions! If you are unsure about the state of your home’s furnace in the wake of the flooding in Corpus Christi, make sure you have professionals inspect the heater first.

Everyone at Justice Air Conditioning & Heating hopes you and your family are safe!

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