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Plumbing Checklist for Your Hurricane Season Prep

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When is Hurricane Season? 

The Atlantic hurricane season typically starts in the summer and ends during the fall. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the 2023 hurricane season will be fairly standard. In total, 12-17 storms are predicted, with five to nine possible hurricanes. 

Although an El Nino season can mean an easier hurricane season, it may cause more difficult hurricane season prep for others because of high winds from warm water. Luckily, El Nino doesn’t really affect the Gulf!

How Can Hurricane Season Affect My Plumbing? 

But why does this matter? How can the upcoming hurricane season affect your domestic plumbing system? The answer to this question has a few answers. If there’s a water leak caused by damage from the hurricane, it could affect your water heater. This would mean you wouldn’t have warm/hot water, or it may take an extra long time to heat if your water heater either has a leak or water has leaked into the water heater itself–not to mention leaks themselves being potentially very harmful to the health and safety of you and your home too! Hurricane damage can also cause slow toilet drainage, which no one wants. 

Preparation

How can you prepare for the hurricane season? How can you prevent damage to your home? You can take several steps to ensure your long-term housing investments are as protected! Hurricane season prep includes prevention against debris, water pressure changes, tree roots and damage caused, and damage to your sump pump and septic tank. 

Debris

One of the most common concerns homeowners (and tenants!) have is the possibility of damage from hurricane debris on their property. Here are some possible debris issues and tips to prevent damage to your home:

  • Ripped doors: secure any unlocked or loose doors by ensuring they are latched and locked. 
  • Damaged outdoor and patio furniture: move any unsecured furniture, bird feeders, decorations, trash cans, or any other loose objects inside–in your garage, basement, living room, etc.–where they can’t blow away or get damaged themselves. 
    • If you keep things outside, ensure they are tied down–including tying down trash can lids. 
  • If you can, pick up any trash or other debris before the storm so it won’t get worse or damage other things. 

Water Pressure

Although you may want nice, strong water pressure during the storm, you’ll want to turn off all water suppliers. Before the hurricane storm, make sure to turn off:

  • Your water heater. Water heaters left turned on may burst, leak, or be otherwise damaged. 
    • This includes your gas water heater, too! Make sure the pilot light is off–if it is, then so is your gas supply. 
  • Your water meter. Turning this off will prevent any leaks or water damage that may happen. If there’s no water supply, there’s no water to be leaked!
  • Pool pumps. Turning off your pool pumps will also prevent any damage outside your home. You’ll also want to unscrew/remove any hoses and secure those inside. 
  • If there are other water, gas, or heating suppliers to your home, ensure those valves are also shut off. 

Sump Pump

There are a few types of sump pumps: electric and battery-operated. If your sump pump is electric, make sure that the cord is both plugged in and in good condition. If your cord is damaged, you’ll want to have it repaired. 

If your cord is battery-operated, make sure the batteries are in good condition or have been replaced. The sump pump manufacturers should have a recommendation for how often you should replace the batteries! You don’t want your sump pump to be damaged or go off during a hurricane. Lastly, in either case, check that your sump pump is upright. 

Septic Tank

Unlike the sump pump, you’ll want to ensure your septic tank is sealed so water doesn’t leak into it. Septic tanks are also different, as instead of checking their power source, you’ll want to ensure their position–check to see that your septic tank is at least half full of its effluent to prevent damage by either floating or collapsing in on itself. Preparing your septic tank is essential, as it supports your toilet system–you wouldn’t want a backed-up toilet during a hurricane. 

Right Before & During the Storm

While preparing for a hurricane or storm is all well and good, what can you do during a storm? It’s hard enough waiting around to see if any damage will happen! But there are some things you can do to help yourself and prepare. 

First of all, fill your bathtub with water! But don’t bathe in it just yet. This will ensure you have some sort of water supply after the hurricane. The next thing you can do is fill as many bottles of water as possible and keep them in the fridge–and then leave the fridge closed! You’ll want these if your water supply is cut off for an extended period after the storm. After the storm, if your water supply is cut off–not just shut off–you’ll have to boil any water you want to drink. Luckily, you only need to do this for water you want to consume, not water you want to wash yourself or your clothes with. Moreover, keeping the fridge door closed will keep it cool in case the power supply goes out. 

During the storm, you’ll want to minimize your use of water. For one, you’ll have turned off the water suppliers, so you don’t want to keep using a stopped system! Next, you’ll want to preserve the little water you may have–yes, this means even flushing toilets! It may seem gross, but it’ll save you and your plumbing system difficulties in the future. 

Let Goodbee Help You Check These Off Your Hurricane Checklist! 

No matter where you are in the process–just starting to prepare for hurricane season and wanting some help or as a seasoned expert–Goodbee can help you best safeguard and protect your house. Schedule your service today to get started with Goodbee Plumbing!

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