12:56PM | 01/13/99
I returned home on the 1st of the year to 4 1/2 feet of water in my basement. This covered my workbench and was drownding my tools. My bench grinder doesn't work, but most of them still do. Can anyone tell me about what the damage both to their life and performance could be. If my new tools are doomed in the next few months, I need to talk to the insurance company about it. Here is a list of the swimmers:

16 gal wet/dry shop vac
Craftsman 3" belt sander (7 amp, double ins)
Skilsaw (2.3 hp)
14.4V Cordless Drill
3/8" Craftsman Drill (double ins.)
Dremel Scroll Saw

Thanks for the advice!


01:07PM | 01/14/99
Definitely talk to the insurance company.
If you can find the paperwork that came with
your tools, or get new copies from the
manufacturers, there will probably be
disclaimers about not submerging them.
Ask the manufacturers about water damage if

Water does very bad things to the windings
of motors. The insulation is a very thin
varnish over bare copper wire. My guess is
that as the windings warm up, any residual
water expands and shoves them around until
they short, which makes it run hotter, and
on it goes. The other issue is ball
bearings. If they sit in water, you can
get little patches of corrosion here and
there. It may not look like much, but once
it's there, there's no way to know if the
etched bearing will last another 20 years
or another 20 minutes. I've seen a similar
thing happen long ago in a pump room. They
junked all the motors, and replaced all the
bearings in the pumps. Not cheap, as these
were in a municipal sewerage plant, and the
motors were many hundreds of horsepower. The
bearings were the size of a dinner plate,
and the balls a little larger than golf

-- J.S.

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