How to Assess Appliance Safety After Hurricane Harvey

  • Schedule inspections for all water-damaged appliances four to five days after the appliances are dry
  • Replace refrigerator water filters if you have been without water or under a boil alert
  • Contact local health authorities for cleaning and remediation guidance for flood-contaminated appliances

LOUISVILLE, Ky.--()--Those impacted by Hurricane Harvey are in the hearts and minds of many as search and rescue is still underway in many parts of the region. Assessing home damage might be far off for some, but for those who have stayed in their homes or are able to return, safety must be a top priority as many dangers can still exist. To ensure your safety, water-damaged appliances from storms and flooding should be evaluated to decide whether repairs are necessary before resuming use.

“We have received calls from consumers affected by Hurricane Harvey asking what they should do with their flooded appliances and if they can be recovered,” said Greg Crite, manager of the Technical Assistance Group for GE Appliances. “First and foremost, owners should disconnect any flooded or submerged appliance from its power source. Under no circumstances should owners attempt to touch or reconnect the appliance to power until it has been inspected and repaired by a qualified service technician.”

Inspections by service technicians, Crite says, are important because of the potential hazards water damage can cause in electrical products and gas-powered appliances. In particular, dry ocean salt water is an electrical conductor and corrosive. Corrosion of clogged parts can cause a fire, explosion or electrical shock.

Consider these factors when evaluating water-damaged appliances after a major storm:

  • Disconnect water-damaged products from the electrical power source after the water recedes. Never attempt this in standing water.
  • Consult your nearest authorized service facility to arrange for an appliance inspection. Schedule the inspection four to five days after the products are dry.
  • Replace electrical and gas components exposed to salt or brackish water. There are no economically feasible methods to recondition them.
  • Check with your insurance company to see if they’ll help with replacement costs for your major appliances.
  • Change your refrigerator water filter if you have been without water or under a boil alert. In addition, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also recommends throwing out your ice, flushing the dispenser for three to five minutes, running the icemaker for an hour and washing and sanitizing bins.
  • Check with local health authorities or go to the CDC website at for additional decontamination recommendations. Products that are exposed to polluted floodwaters may have been contaminated and require special cleaning instructions.

For additional appliance service questions, contact the GE Appliances call center at 800-GE-Cares, or visit the FEMA and FTC websites for more information.

About GE Appliances

GE Appliances, a Haier company, makes moments that matter for our owners through our passion for making great appliances and providing unparalleled services. Owners have more choices than ever before under the Hotpoint, GE®, Haier, GE Café™, GE Profile™ and Monogram® brands. Our products include refrigerators, freezers, cooking products, dishwashers, washers, dryers, air conditioners and water filtration systems. For more information visit


GE Appliances
Kim Freeman, 502-452-7819

Release Summary

GE Appliances recommends how to evaluate water-damaged appliances to ensure owner safety.


GE Appliances
Kim Freeman, 502-452-7819