Hurricane Sandy - Table Saw Under Water

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Forum topic by ctalbanese posted 11-08-2012 09:08 PM 1627 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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9 posts in 2819 days

11-08-2012 09:08 PM

I live on the south shore of Long Island and my basement recently took on about 3 feet of water during Hurricane Sandy. Luckily, I was able to move just about everything out of my basement shop to higher ground, but my Ridgid R4511 granite top table saw proved to be too much to handle in a short amount of time. The water came up just below the table saw top, so the motor was completely submerged. It’s been over a week and I was thinking I would try turning it on when I got power back. Does anyone have any other suggestions? Thanks.

-- Chris

14 replies so far

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1251 posts in 2252 days

#1 posted 11-08-2012 09:12 PM

That sucks. i were you, i would wipe down all the metal parts with WD-40 to displace the water, not sure about the motor maybe blow dry it with air and hope for the best.

-- Joel

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17759 posts in 3204 days

#2 posted 11-08-2012 09:14 PM

Chris – very sorry to hear that you took the brunt of Sandy. Luckily i made out ok up here in CT. I dont have any real suggestions or experience with turning power back on to a once submerged motor. Hopefully someone else will chime in and hopefully we dont see another storm of that caliber for some time.

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

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1276 posts in 2308 days

#3 posted 11-08-2012 09:14 PM

It probably wouldn’t hurt to blow it out with compressed air and turn the mechanism by hand before trying power. With any luck, the various bearings had enough lube inside to repel water. While you’re hand turning, look closely for evidence of water still inside, and feel for crunching in moving parts that may indicate a corroded bearing.

Make sure the switch and any wiring or capacitor housings are dry inside, too…

Sorry to hear about your storm damage.

Was the saw unplugged when it when it went under? If not, you may have damage and/or corrosion inside the switch.

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9 posts in 2819 days

#4 posted 11-08-2012 09:25 PM

Yes, the saw was unplugged when submerged. Thanks for the suggestions, I’ll work on this when I get power back, whenever that may be! A lot of people in the area got a lot more damage than me, so I can’t complain too much. I guess these things have to be expected somewhat when choosing to live so close to the water.

It might be worth noting that the water in my basement was mainly freshwater, not salt water. Although the saltwater made it almost to my door, it never actually made it into my house. I’m guessing the pressure from the storm surge made the water table rise which in turn punched a hole in my foundation where the floor meets the wall. The water was shooting up about 6’ into the air. It was something to see.

-- Chris

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176 posts in 2504 days

#5 posted 11-08-2012 09:28 PM

Well, the granite top will be fine.

-- "Of all the things I have lost in life, I miss my mind the most."

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4032 posts in 3169 days

#6 posted 11-08-2012 10:01 PM

The motor is not necessarily ruined, but it needs to be completely dried before applying power. Not sure if WD-40 will attack the insulation or not. I do know there are processes to remove water that do not damage insulation, but they often involve freon or similar liquids.

I WOULD NOT apply power before warming that motor at low heat, below 160 degrees, and blowing dry air through it for at least a day or two.

Just remember, once you apply power, if there is any moisture trapped inside those windings and it generates an arc, then the motor is officially junk.

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19706 posts in 2873 days

#7 posted 11-08-2012 10:11 PM

Dang, sorry about your saw, but glad you and yours are ok.

Where abouts on LI are you located. I was born and used to live in Bay Shore. My mom (83), now lives in Brookhaven Hamlet. She lost 5 trees, but no flooding. Like most she lost power and just got it back yesterday.

I hope things return to normal (or better) for you soon.

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

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1678 posts in 2831 days

#8 posted 11-08-2012 10:44 PM

Well, I left my cell phone outside during a torential rainstorm. It initially appeared to be long gone. I read a tip to bury the phone in rice for 24 hr, which would absorb all traces of moisture from within the phone. Sounded crazy, but worth a shot. Long story short, it worked.
I actually think the switch and capacitor is probably more at risk than the motor. I wouldn’t be surprised if the motor was AOK. Luckily, switches and capacitors are pretty cheap if they were damaged.

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3104 posts in 2484 days

#9 posted 11-08-2012 11:17 PM

It’s not the water, it will dry out. It’s the silt that got into everything. Claim it on the ins and get a griz.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

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11 posts in 2226 days

#10 posted 11-08-2012 11:29 PM

If your saw is not covered by your homeowners insurance, I would spray everything down with WD-40 and cover the saw in a plastic tent with a dehumidifier set on high. I would leave it this way for a week.

-- The WoodRasp - "Let your inspirations inspire me, and mine inspire yours”

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916 posts in 2635 days

#11 posted 11-08-2012 11:45 PM

I’d pop the motor open just to make sure no water go inside. If it’s wet, set it in front of a little space heater to dry it out. If the bearings got wet, replace them. Put it back together and you’re good to go.

-- Visualize whirled peas

View a1Jim's profile


117328 posts in 3775 days

#12 posted 11-09-2012 12:01 AM

I know you can spray WD40 in a cars distributor cap to displace water but I’m not sure about motors. perhaps some naphtha.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

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2828 posts in 3483 days

#13 posted 11-09-2012 12:43 AM

Back in the 70’s, I worked for an appliance dealership and we had a bad flood in our town. A lot of our customers had their basements flooded. We couldn’t do much about refrigerators, freezers and water heaters because of the insulation inside of them, but I remember our service guy took a lot of the washers and dryers and took the motors out and put them in an oven on very low heat and dried them out. I don’t know what else they did, but I know they saved most of the motors in the washers and dryers.

-- John @

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2328 posts in 2625 days

#14 posted 11-09-2012 01:11 AM

I am really sorry to hear about the bad time you had with the hurricane sandy, my heart goes out to you and your family.

Huff has it right – take the motor off the mountings, open up the terminal box to let the moisture get out. Then put it in an oven no more than 170F for two days, or make a foil duct to get air from a space heater to circulate warm air around the motor for two days. Look at the copper coils inside, they should be bone dry, also silt free, use compressed air to get silt and dust out. The bearings might be okay, turn the motor by hand, if it seems smooth turn on the power after the drying process. Noisy bearings are a chore to replace but doable.

-- Love thy neighbour as thyself

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