View Full Version : What should I do now

04-19-2007, 04:43 PM
What should I do now that my Son's tools went through another flood.

The Bound Brook, New Jersey area was flooded again and my Son had a minimum of four feet of water in the basement. After our pumping out and cleaning up good old Dad will have to see what he can do about cleaning up the tools. Fortunately it's all small equipment like a radial arm saw and power tools.

I know there were other posts about this but what would the first thing to do to salvage what's there.

Thank you in advance. You always come through.


04-19-2007, 04:52 PM
WD-40 was designed as a water displacement chemical and it is non-reactive when sprayed into electrical devices and blown out then allowed to dry.. It is also one of the miracles that the church requires for sainthood.

The church, or perhaps some higher authority, also invented green scotch brite pads knowing that the wrath of nature could affect virgin metals adversley.

ATF also has a very high detergent capability and soaking lightly rusted tools in it overnight, then light use of the above mentioned 3m pad will yield excellent results.

There is also some magic that can be had with a modified battery charger and a bucket full of chemicals. Someone else can describe this better than I since I am not a sorcerer.

04-19-2007, 09:58 PM
Make sure that you allow any electrical items to dry THOROUGHLY before applying power. They should be OK if you let 'em dry out.

04-20-2007, 12:26 AM
It might also make sense to oil any bearings you can get at.Dry bearings can ruin a power tool pretty quick.

04-20-2007, 12:40 AM
Anything that was submerged,assuming freshwater should be hosed off to remove sand,sediment,sewage etc before going too much further.

Then Like said break out the WD,scotchbrite and the window fans.Open all covers,doors and switch boxes and let dry.A couple heat lamps under motors/switchgear won't hurt either.

Good luck.

04-20-2007, 01:17 AM
Fresh water won't hurt tools except for promoting rust. It won't even wash out grease in bearings or the oil in oilite bearings.

As said, rinse the tools with clean water, preferrably deionized water and let dry. Not just let sit until they look dry after a few hours, let the tools dry for a few days before doing any more. It would be a good idea to relubricate just to be on the safe side.

Your Old Dog
04-20-2007, 05:17 AM
If you opt for the WD-40 route and buy the large cans, remember the water will go to the bottom of your vessel and anything metal left in the very bottom will still rust as that's where the water gets trapped!

I once used oven cleaner on some pistol parts and then did a thorough rinse and then left them in the WD-40 vat for storage till I was ready to work on them. When I removed the parts they were all rusty? !

A.K. Boomer
04-20-2007, 10:28 AM
If many of these tools are just standard run of the mill stuff and you dont want to expend much energy to fix then I do what everybody said but keep in mind that if they have ball bearings (or rollers) then they most likely either have a shield or a seal, A seal is no guarantee that water did not get in, and if it did then it can be even worse than not having one because it wont allow it to dry out, so at the very least dont let the tools sit for any long length of time, use them or just fire them up once in while to ensure that the bearings and water sit in different places once in awhile, If its a real high quality tool and you want to be sure then you need to disasemble and take bearings out --- the seals pry out and then you can clean and repack bearings, take it from me -- Even a sealed bicycle wheel bearing will trash if you get caught in a rain storm and some moisture gets in and then you let the bike sit over winter...

04-20-2007, 03:54 PM
Thanks to all of you for the help. I spent the last four days getting things cleaned up for him.

On Tuesday this past week we pumped out his basement and sprayed the walls with a clorox mix then got out quickly. Wednesday I went over and vacuumed the floor, opened the windows and was able to turn a fan on. The electrical panel was just touched by water and the State Inspectors tagged it. We have to change all of the breakers and buss bar. Ya, go out and find a buss bar. Had to by a new panel. At least they gave us 60 days to do it.

Yesterday I had a contractor come over to do the boiler gas valve and check the controls. PSE&G finally changed the meter and regulator and turned the gas on. The boiler fired up and much steam came out from the wet insulation.

All we have left is to change the water heater and then the breakers.

And oh yes, the tools.

Everyone is ok, and good old Dad is tired.