When a hurricane is headed toward our area, most local homeowners think about the integrity of their roof, windows and possibly the trees surrounding their house. Most people do not spend a single second worrying about how their home plumbing will hold up to the wrath of a hurricane. Unfortunately, a hurricane or even a harsh storm has the potential to damage your home plumbing system. The incredible force of rain and wind during such a storm can cause water pipes to break and gas lines to rupture. An abundance of water can even cause the drainage system to overflow. If the sewer system floods, the water supply might be contaminated. In other words, it is in your interest to protect your home plumbing before the next hurricane strikes. Here's how to do it.
1. Turn off the Main Water Valve
Ideally, you will turn off the main water valve just ahead of the storm's arrival. Even if you plan on leaving your home, it is in your interest to turn off the main water valve. Turning off the valve stops contaminated water from moving into the plumbing system. If your home operates on gas, turn off the gas. However, it is unnecessary to completely disconnect the gas.
2. Inspect the Storm Drains
Take a close look at the storm drains. If there are any obstructions, remove them so the drain can accommodate the extra water runoff. Removing obstructions also helps reduce the stress placed on underground pipes as a result of soil that has been water-logged.
3. Mind the Pumps
If you own a pool, turn off the pump. Remove all the hoses and put them in a safe space. There is no need to drain the pool as the additional groundwater stemming from the storm could cause a pool without the necessary water weight to float and possibly lift right on up out of the ground. If you have enough time and chlorine on-hand, add extra chlorine to the water to minimize the chances of contamination.
Take a close look at the sump pump ahead of the storm's arrival. If there are any clogs, fill up the reservoir with several gallons of water. This infusion of water should activate the pump to ensure it functions as it should when the storm arrives.
4. Clear all Drains Near Your Home
Take a close look at the storm culverts near your home to ensure they are clear and ready to accommodate water. Inspect all the drains by the curbs to guarantee they are void of debris and prepared to handle the water runoff resulting from a massive downpour. These essential preventative pathways are essential in taking the pressure off the subterranean pipes that will soon be over-stressed from the water-laden soil.
5. Secure Your Home's Water Heater
It is prudent to shut off the electricity or gas that powers the water heater in your home well ahead of the storm's arrival. After all, your home plumbing system should not have to deal with the additional pressure of warming and storing water amidst a storm's flooding. Though the water in your water heater tank will not be heated, the appliance might serve as a potentially helpful source of potable water.
6. Add a Backwater Check Valve
Our plumbing crew is here to help you prepare for the next hurricane with the addition of a backwater valve. The addition of this valve helps guarantee the water in your home plumbing system resulting from the storm will move away from your property rather than contaminating the supply of water in your home. The backwater valve should be maintained with regularity to guarantee it will work at full capacity when the next storm arrives.
7. The Proper Sealings
The service lines throughout your home must be properly sealed before the storm arrives. Everything from the water line to the gas line and the electrical line should be sealed. Sealing these essential service lines waterproofs them. If these lines are not sealed in the proper manner and they enter your home through the foundation wall, there is a chance the foundation will flood during the storm. If you need any assistance sealing your home's service lines, do not hesitate to reach out to Erica’s plumbing and crew for assistance.
When it comes to gear up for a hurricane, neglect protecting your plumbing system at your peril. Without adequate preparation, your water pipes can break, drainage can overflow, and water supply can get contaminated. Fortunately, the tips mentioned above will help you understand what you can do to keep your home’s plumbing system in great shape even after withstanding the storm. Getting experts and professionals to seal your home will be helpful too.
Schedule Your Inspection with Erica's Plumbing, Air Conditioning and Restoration Today
Our plumbing team is here to protect your plumbing system so it can withstand the wrath of a hurricane. Reach out to us today so we can prepare your home or business plumbing system before the next storm arrives. Once the necessary plumbing preparations, maintenance, and repairs are made, you won't have to worry about your plumbing system even if a powerful hurricane hits the area. Give us a call at (561) 245-7435 to schedule a service. You can also contact us online by filling out our convenient online contact form.