salvaging audio equipment in flood areas

Discussion in 'General Audio Discussion' started by Smokin amps, Sep 12, 2017.

  1. Smokin amps

    Smokin amps AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I was watching the tv show Sunday Morning and they were interviewing several flood victims in Houston, TX.
    with all the clean up debris piled in the front yard. I noticed a Marantz receiver and a Technics SL1200 turntable and a beautiful upright piano siting in the pile. In addition to helping the flood victims in any way possible , I hope there are folks trying to salvage the vintage gear. My guess is that even if beyond repair from being submerged that there is still hard to find knobs, cabinets etc. I'd like to hear your thoughts about this.
     
  2. goodolpg

    goodolpg AK Member Subscriber

    Makes ya wonder for sure.
    Insurance companies might decree anything "totaled" HAS to be destroyed?
    Is "picking" trash at the curb considered looting?
     
  3. Eastham

    Eastham More Class A than ever! Subscriber

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    I mean, with a lot of cleaning you might be able to restore one back to working condition, starting with a bath in clean water and some anti bacterial cleaner, pots and switches will have to be flushed out with plenty of contact cleaner, transformer will need a few days to dry out completely and even then you'll probably more prone to issues down the line, at the end of the day it would have to come down to "how much is this device worth to you", personally, I'd just write them off and salvage what parts possible.
     
  4. darkblue94

    darkblue94 It wasn't me. Subscriber

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    I'm sure that many of us can remember the iconic advertisement for Marantz that showed the Marantz receiver salvaged from the rubble of a housefire. It fired (pun intended) right up and played just fine. I would advise against picking from the debris unless given specific permission by the property owner to do so and even then I'd say be extremely cautious as authorities are quick to pass judgement without investigation. Best to wait until it shows up in the recycle/salvage market.
     
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  5. goodolpg

    goodolpg AK Member Subscriber

    Inland gear might be wet with regular water, would gear closer to the coast possibly be immersed in salt water, which I would think could cause even more damage, if that's possible.
     
  6. Eastham

    Eastham More Class A than ever! Subscriber

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    Sea water would definitely be worse, all that silt, sand and salt inside the pot's, switches and such, crunchy...
     
  7. Smokin amps

    Smokin amps AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    If the gear has already been submerged , then maybe submerge again in distilled water & 97% alcohol and run it through a few cycles in a ultrasonic cleaner ??
     
  8. jobrewer1983

    jobrewer1983 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I love that promo!!
     
  9. blhagstrom

    blhagstrom Mad Scientist, fixer. Subscriber

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    The devastation is so intense that salvaging an old stereo is the last thing on their mind.

    They are salvaging their lives.

    A flood is perhaps the most destructive event anyone can experience.

    Insurance will pay what they need to and I doubt they care about salvage. Household contents have no real value except to the owner. Think yard sale price and add it up and the contents of your house is little.
     
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  10. ev13wt

    ev13wt Super Member

    Very likey. Saltwater is a disaster fast.
     
  11. xero-D-hero

    xero-D-hero Super Member

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    IME insurance co.s typically could care less what happens to any of the damaged items beyond documenting them as best as one can.
    Usually they pay roughly half what it'll cost to replace an item upfront & they pay the rest once the item is actually replaced (ie: a new one bought).
    And they typically wont pay to replace a damaged item with a used item,they will only replace w/a comparable NEW item.

    Example:
    The Marantz could be replaced by say a new Yamaha reciever,so they would pay half what the Yamaha's cost upfront.
    Then when you present them w/a receipt for a newly purchased Yamaha reciver they would pay the remaining portion.
    Ditto for the Technics TT,even though a new Technics TT would likely cost significantly more than the SL1200 would cost.

    As was said,this sorta tragedy just guts one's morale completely,and it can be extremely painful to go thru the whole process.
    Just imagine making a list of everything that was lost down to the most basic items like silverware toothbrushes nail clippers yadda yadda yadda.
    And one needs to document all those misc. household items as best as they can because they all add up,and eventually they will need to replaced.
    But listing it all is a VERY tedious process.

    BTDT (albeit a fire) and I feel for all who now have to go thru all that.
    And I feel even more-so for those w/o insurance as they're pretty much SOL.

    But yeah one could indeed salvage stuff like knobs or such if they felt compelled to do so.
    But my guess is they got bigger things to deal with after going thru this sorta thing.

    FWIW

    Bret P.
     
  12. Wolverine

    Wolverine AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I doubt picking through rubbish piles of flooded gear is going to yield any scores for anyone other than the dishonest sellers who will be putting this gear on E-Bay without fully disclosing the issues.

    Fresh water damage with a good cleaning might be possible if the item was not submerged in water for long periods and you could open it up and let a complete drying take place. I doubt caps are waterproof so would all need replacement.

    Saltwater damage is whole different ballgame and I doubt you could bring it back to life at least on any real basis that makes economic sense. Salt is actually attracted to electrical current and ultimately will end up in places a good cleaning probably can't get to.

    Most home insurance policies pay replacement cost on structures (as long as a certain percentage of the replacement value is insured - usually 80%) and they pay actually cash value for property. So if you could prove the equipment was in good working condition you would probably get reimbursed a average of what the working item is selling for on places like E-Bay.

    The problem for most affected by this catastrophic experience is not what their insurance company will pay its that it will not be covered at all unless they have Flood Insurance. So if you want to try and salvage some vintage gear and help these people out why not offer to buy the gear from them and put a little money in their pockets to help them get back on their feet. Win-Win
     
  13. benricci

    benricci Active Member

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    At a certain point, you gotta cut your losses.
     
  14. xero-D-hero

    xero-D-hero Super Member

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    That's not how it worked for us when we had the fire back in '04.
    They paid replacement value on the contents as well.

    And we could'nt use places like Ebay for a reference on prices @ all for any of the damaged items.
    Any used items had to be replaced with new items or all you got was the upfront percentage based on what a new retail replacment would cost.
    Now in some cases that works in one's favor in a BIG way,,,in other cases not so much...

    That was kind of a PITA with certain older items as often there were no new replacements available to use as a reference for a replacement cost.
    In those cases they sorta "negotiated" an agreed price to use for the replacment value on a per-item basis.

    Now I'm sure coverage & reimbursement methods/requirements vary policy to policy & company to company,so as usual YMMV.

    Often enough large collections of eletronics gear are going to need to be put on a stated value policy or they may not even be fully insured.
    And with a stated value policy one would typically use pricing from places like Ebay or such,along with purchase reciepts & appraisals and the like.
    But that type of policy is usually a rider on ones homeowner's/renter's insurance,and thus a whole other can-O-worms.
    A stated value rider is typically needed when the given item's value exceeds what is covered by the main policy.
    And IIRC it typically pays out just as it sounds.

    Example:
    If you have $20k worth of gear and the main policy only covers $1.5k worth of electronics you better hope you got that rider policy or you are SOL.
    With the rider policy if the covered items are considered a total loss,the insurance co. just cuts a check for the stated value and calls it a day.

    Which reminds me,my renter ins. is due this month,,,dang...

    GTGFN

    Bret P.
     
  15. mmickk

    mmickk Active Member

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    Location:
    South of Houston
    There might be another issue with trying to save some old equipment affected by flood waters around Houston. Several "SuprerFund" sites were also flooded and there is some talk that dangerous chemicals washing into housing complexes built up around them. In some cases one might carry in some rather nasty poisons and corrosives. Just a word of caution.
     
  16. Tom Brennan

    Tom Brennan AK Member

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    Some of you jaspers crack me up, thinking about some old shit and toxin covered audio gear. No doubt some are feverishly fantasizing about possible "scores".
     
    Ds2000 likes this.
  17. Blue Shadow

    Blue Shadow I gotta get me a new title

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    But they will do everything possible to not pay. First these floods require flood insurance, not homeowner's or renter's. Second, they have teams of people finding the loopholes to avoid paying as they should, it is the business and third, there is fraud, changing the engineering reports as documented in 60 minutes episode about Sandy insurance business.

    Good luck to all those involved in the recent disasters be it fire, flood or hurricane.
     

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