Electrical safety and floods

Floodwaters can damage electrical installations. Deposited mud and debris can conduct electricity, making the installation unsafe during and after a flood.

Floodwaters can also lead to corrosion of electrical connections and significantly increase the risk of the connection failing or causing a fire.

An installation that has been inundated with floodwater requires careful inspection by a licensed electrician before supply can be restored.

This following information explains what you can do to stay safe around electricity during severe flooding.

How should I prepare for a flood?

  • Where possible raise all electrical appliances before the flood
  • If you have some warning you will be flooded, contact us on 132 004 to have your supply disconnected beforehand. Please call as early as possible to allow time for us to respond
  • If your supply hasn't been disconnected, turn off all switches and main switches before the flood

What should I do during a flood?

  • Don't stay inside a building that is inundated when the power is connected
  • Don't use any electrical appliances that have been wet or damaged
  • When operating a domestic portable generator refer to the manufacturer’s operating instructions
  • If you're in a boat, be aware rising floodwaters reduce the clearance of overhead powerlines and assume powerlines are live
  • Be aware floodwaters can damage the electricity network
  • Always stay well way from the electricity network, including poles, substations, fallen powerlines and any objects in contact with them. Electricity can arc to surrounding objects, which means that you can be seriously injured by electricity without actually touching the powerline
  • If parts of the electricity network or fallen powerlines are covered in floodwater stay as far away as possible because water conducts electricity. Call us immediately on 132 004 as you may need to evacuate if in close proximity to buildings
  • If you receive a shock or tingling sensation from any electrical appliances, plumbing, metal, sink or bath, avoid all contact with the appliance or objects in question. Call us on 132 004 to report the problem as soon as you can and seek medical advice

What should I do after a flood?

  • If you are located in a flood-affected area, please ensure your CablePI is plugged in and switched on. When it's working correctly it'll show a solid green light. An alarm or flashing amber light indicates a problem. If this occurs, stay away from sinks, taps or other metallic objects in your house and immediately call us on 132 004
  • If you don't have a CablePI, use our online form to get one for free
  • Should you experience tingling taps, flickering lights or notice any other indications that something might be wrong, please contact us immediately on 132 004
  • Have your home inspected by a licensed electrician and repairs carried out before contacting us to have power restored. For safety purposes, an electrician will have to provide us with a Certificate of Electrical Compliance before reconnection
  • Don't plug in or use appliances that have been in the floodwater until they've been checked by a licensed electrician. If you're unsure if equipment has been damaged, please have it inspected before you plug it in
  • If your house has had flooding that may have affected electrical wiring (including out buildings) and circuit breakers have been turned off, tripped or rewirable fuses blown, you need to get an electrician to confirm it's safe to energise or remain energised