We are a couple of months into hurricane season. For those of you who may not know, hurricane season in Florida begins June 1 and ends November 30. Yes, half of our year involves hurricane season. On the flip side, we get to live in paradise! With a few months still to go in the season, we wanted to offer some tips on how to properly prepare your plumbing.
TIP 1: CONFIRM THAT ALL DRAINS AND TOILETS ARE WORKING PROPERLY
It is important to make sure that all toilets are flushing properly and all sink and tub/shower drains are draining properly. If any of your toilets are not flushing properly or if any of your drains are draining slowly, you need to do a little investigation. It could be as simple as not enough water in your toilet tank or some hair caught in the bathroom sink drain. If, after investigating, you cannot find a simple solution, then we suggest calling a plumber to take a look. If you have a leaky or broken pipe, you will want to have it repaired or replaced immediately. This is, of course, a concern at any time, not just during hurricane season.
However, during hurricane season it is even more important that your pipes are leak-free as flooding frequently occurs with a hurricane. If you have plumbing cracks, your home’s water system could be compromised even more during flooding due to its weakened condition.
TIP 2: SHUT OFF YOUR MAIN WATER VALVE
Even without cracks in your home’s plumbing, a town’s water supply can be contaminated due to flood water during a hurricane. In order to prevent this, we recommend turning off the main water valve to your home. If you have ever been through a hurricane, then you know that bottled water sells out quickly in stores when hurricane warnings begin. We recommend buying water throughout the season, prior to any storm warnings. When a storm approaches, you will already be prepared and will not be fighting your neighbors in the water aisle of the grocery store! (Bonus tip – always keep extra toilet paper on hand too!)
We also recommend filling your bathtub when a hurricane is imminent, prior to shutting off your main water valve. This will give you a supply of water to use to fill the toilet tanks if you lose your water supply so that you can still flush your toilets. It will also give you an emergency ration of water for drinking, if necessary. You may want to keep some water test strips on hand to make sure any water you drink, other than bottled water, is safe. If your county or town puts a “boil water order” in effect, please follow it! They aren’t trying to make your life harder. They are trying to keep you healthy and safe.
TIP 3: HAVE YOUR SEPTIC TANK CLEANED REGULARLY
If you have a septic system, have your septic tank cleaned regularly! With heavy rain or flooding, septic systems can get backed up. If you are riding out a hurricane, the last thing you want to worry about is sewage in your home or yard. And, if you are evacuating, you definitely don’t want to come home to a septic disaster. If you haven’t had your septic system cleaned recently and a storm is predicted, try to get it cleaned right away.
TIP 4: SHUT OFF THE ELECTRICITY OR GAS TO YOUR WATER HEATER
You don’t need to do this leading up to a storm, but if a hurricane comes, you may want to shut off the electricity or gas to your water heater. It will help protect your water heater from extra stress and pressure during the hurricane. Also, it is helpful to remember that your water heater is full of water! In an emergency, you have a tank full of water at your disposal.
AFTER THE STORM
If your home sustains plumbing damage during a hurricane or if you had previous plumbing damage that you were unable to get fixed prior to the storm, then give us a call at Sun Plumbing. We are located in Melbourne, FL, and have been serving our surrounding communities for over 45 years. With expert plumbers on hand to serve you, you can rest assured that your plumbing repairs will be handled quickly, efficiently, and professionally. After all, at Sun Plumbing, we are “as dependable as the sun!”