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Machine Maintenance in Flood Conditions

Category: Product Support

Recent flooding in our state may mean you have to tend to equipment that’s been submerged. Read this post to learn about important machine maintenance.


This document is provided for GUIDANCE only and should not be considered the definitive work on flooded machine reclamation.

Before inspecting the machine or performing any type of maintenance steam clean the entire machine in order to remove any type of contaminated material. Remove all guards and access covers in order to clean the entire machine. Do not attempt to move or operate the machine until all of the following procedures have been completed.  Furthermore, we highly recommend contacting an OEM Dealer Service Technician who can assist with these procedures and provide a thorough systems test procedure. OEM Dealer Fluid Analysis can also be employed to test for water content in various machine fluids.


Determine if the machine has been immersed or submerged in water by checking the engine oil level and inspecting the intake and exhaust for water. If the engine oil dipstick shows overfilling, it is more than likely waterlogged.

Any engine that has been completely immersed or submerged will likely need to be treated as a major overhaul project. This would consist of a complete disassembly with replacement of any rusted or corroded parts that could not be brought back to within reusability guidelines. All wiring harnesses, sensors, electrical, electro mechanical and electronic assemblies including the ECM(s) will need to be replaced. A complete engine replacement or a Reman replacement can also be used if desired.

Cooling System

Pressure wash the radiator in order to remove any corrosion producing substance. Inspect all hoses and lines for deterioration. Check the level of the coolant. If the coolant is above the correct level, drain the system, flush, and refill.


Clean the entire system. Pressure wash the condenser and evaporator. Clean all ducts, controls, and drain lines thoroughly. Inspect the compressor for any internal water before using. Replace parts as necessary.

Power Train

Inspect all components for water. If water is found, drain the fluid, clean all surfaces and replace the fluid. Inspect all bearing surfaces for corrosion. Clean as necessary. Grease all U-Joints thoroughly in order to remove moisture. Replace any maintenance free U-Joints or bearings.

Fuel System

Inspect the fuel tank and lines for any water. Drain the tank of any contaminated fuel. Flush the tank. If water was found in the tank, remove the fuel lines and remove any moisture. Remove the water separator from the engine and remove any water. Replace the fuel filter. Refill the tank with clean fuel

Hydraulic System

Most hydraulic systems are closed systems. Drain and flush the system. Replace all filters. Perform fluid analysis after refill for water content. If the machine has been submerged for a significant amount of time, inspect the cylinders and the pumps/motors for leakage. Some seal materials degrade in water. If the oil level in the tank is overfull, drain and replace the oil.


Inspect the ROPS, FOPS, or TOPS for any damage or corrosion. All sound suppression material and insulation will need to be replaced. Replace the seat cushions and seat belt(s). Clean and replace the compressor and control valve for the seat. Spray door hinges and other bare surfaces with silicon oil.

Electrical System

Disconnect all wire connectors. Remove any moisture from the pins. Inspect all wires and looms for any damage. Clean each wire and loom in order to remove any type of residue that would cause deterioration to the wire.

Note: Dielectric grease should NOT be used in electrical connectors. Dielectric grease should only be used on bolted connections such as the following: ring terminals, cable assemblies, battery posts, and spark plug connections.


Apply a large amount of grease to any fitting in order to flush the water out of any joint or connection.

Need More Help?

Contact the NMC Service Department via phone at 402-861-2994 or 888-517-0004; or via email at servicedispatch@nmccat.com.