ELMWOOD, La. (WGNO) — As the saltwater intrusion threat looms, you may be wondering if you will be able to use the appliances within your home.

Carter Kidd, the store director at Lifestyles Appliances in Elmwood, says some home appliances will be affected by saltwater while others won’t be.

“If your machine is a stainless-steel dishwasher, you’re going to be okay,” Kidd explained. “Like I said, there are certain machines that are designed to have salt in them, and so since it’s not full saltwater, our manufacturers have told us that it should be okay. Your washing machines and dishwasher shouldn’t have any issues with them.”

Kidd says it’s mainly appliances containing metal components that will be affected, like refrigerator water filters and ice-making machines.

“If you have a refrigerator with any kind of ice or water in it, you’re going to want to just go ahead and turn off the water, if you can, to that unit. Same with under-the-counter ice machines,” Kidd said.

If saltwater does enter your refrigerator water filter or ice-making machine, filter replacement is necessary.

“I would replace the water filter inside, and I would flush out a gallon of water through wherever your dispenser is just to flush all the water out because as saltwater dries, it’s going to leave behind some salt deposits,” Kidd said.

To protect your dishwashers and washing machines, keep up with monthly maintenance.

“What we would recommend is that they do sell cleaning tablets that you’re supposed to use once a month without saltwater, so with more saltwater coming in, we just recommend you maintain the internal cleaning of the machine. Just once a month in a dishwasher or washing machine,” Kidd said.

However, Kidd cautions the saltwater threat to appliances is somewhat unchartered territory for manufacturers.

“[The manufacturers] account for these variables, but it’s also something that’s not necessarily normal,” Kidd said. “We’re all kind of learning as we go if that makes sense. Like I said, leaning on contacts from places where this has happened due to a disaster.”

If you do start to notice issues with your washing machine or dishwasher amid saltwater intrusion, it’s recommended to cut the water supply to the appliance and call your service provider.

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