Serving Greenwood, Fishers, Carmel, Indianapolis & Surrounding Areas

May 18, 2023

How to Keep Your Plumbing Safe during Storm Season

Heavy rainfall, thunderstorms, and other severe weather events can put a strain on your plumbing system and potentially lead to plumbing issues if not properly prepared. To help homeowners in Indianapolis, Greenwood, Carmel, Fishers, and all of Central Indiana navigate storm season and keep their plumbing safe, we’ve compiled a list of tips that are not only practical but also relevant to the local climate and weather patterns. In this blog post, we’ll provide valuable insights and actionable advice on how to protect your plumbing system during storm season, ensuring that your home remains safe, dry, and well-maintained.

Tip 1: Install or Check Sump Pump

If you have a basement or a crawl space, a sump pump is a crucial piece of equipment to protect your home from water damage during storm season. A sump pump is designed to pump excess water that accumulates in your basement or crawl space out and away from your home, preventing flooding and water damage.

If you already have a sump pump, it’s important to check it before storm season arrives. Test the pump to make sure it’s functioning properly and clear any debris or dirt that may have accumulated in the sump pit. If your sump pump is not working correctly or if you don’t have one installed, it’s advisable to invest in a reliable sump pump and have it installed by a professional plumber. A sump pump can provide an added layer of protection to your home during storm season, helping to prevent basement flooding and water damage.

Tip 2: Inspect and Repair Leaks

Leaking pipes or fixtures can become exacerbated during storm season, as heavy rainfall and increased water pressure can put additional stress on your plumbing system. It’s essential to inspect your plumbing system for any existing or potential leaks and have them repaired before storm season arrives.

Check for any visible signs of leaks, such as water stains, damp spots, or mold growth, and address them promptly. Don’t forget to inspect areas that are often overlooked, such as under sinks, behind appliances, and in basements or crawl spaces. If you notice any signs of leaks, contact a professional plumber to identify and repair the issue. Fixing leaks early on can prevent further damage and ensure that your plumbing system remains in good condition during storm season.

Tip 3: Protect Outdoor Plumbing

Outdoor plumbing, such as hoses, spigots, and sprinkler systems, are particularly vulnerable during storm season. Freezing temperatures, heavy rainfall, and other severe weather events can cause damage to outdoor plumbing if not properly protected.

Before storm season arrives, take the time to protect your outdoor plumbing. Disconnect and drain hoses from spigots to prevent freezing and potential damage. Store them in a dry place until they are needed again. If you have a sprinkler system, consider having it professionally winterized to prevent freezing and damage to the pipes and sprinkler heads.

In addition, make sure that outdoor spigots are properly insulated to prevent freezing. You can use foam insulation sleeves or wrap them with towels or blankets to provide added protection. If you have any outdoor plumbing fixtures that are not in use during storm season, such as an outdoor kitchen or shower, consider shutting off the water supply and draining the pipes to prevent freezing and potential damage.

Tip 4: Be Mindful of Water Usage

During storm season, it’s important to be mindful of your water usage to prevent overloading your plumbing system. Heavy rainfall can cause stormwater runoff, which can overwhelm the municipal sewer system and cause sewage backups in your home.

To prevent this, try to limit your water usage during and after heavy rainfall. Avoid taking long showers, running the dishwasher or washing machine excessively, or flushing the toilet unnecessarily. Additionally, make sure that your gutters and downspouts are properly directing rainwater away from your home to prevent excess water from infiltrating the sewer system. Being mindful of your water usage can help prevent plumbing issues and sewage backups during storm season.

Tip 5: Have a Backup Power Source for Your Sump Pump

If you rely on a sump pump to protect your basement or crawl space from flooding, it’s important to have a backup power source in case of a power outage during a storm. Storms can sometimes knock out power, leaving your sump pump without electricity to function.

Investing in a battery-powered backup sump pump or a generator can provide peace of mind during storm season. A battery-powered backup sump pump can automatically kick in when the primary pump loses power, ensuring that your basement or crawl space remains protected even during a power outage. Similarly, a generator can provide power to your sump pump and other essential appliances during a storm-induced power outage. Consult with a professional plumber to determine the best backup power source option for your specific needs.

Tip 6: Avoid Pouring Grease or Food Scraps Down the Drain

It’s important to avoid pouring grease or food scraps down the drain, regardless of the time of year, as it can lead to clogged pipes and drain issues. However, during storm season, it’s particularly crucial to be mindful of what goes down your drains.

Heavy rainfall can cause stormwater runoff, which can overwhelm the municipal sewer system and increase the risk of sewage backups. Pouring grease, oil, or food scraps down the drain can contribute to the buildup of debris and lead to clogs in the pipes, exacerbating the risk of sewage backups during storm season.

Instead of pouring grease or food scraps down the drain, dispose of them in the trash or recycle them properly. Use drain strainers to catch food particles and prevent them from going down the drain. Properly disposing of grease and food scraps can help prevent plumbing issues and sewage backups during storm season.

Tip 7: Know the Location of Your Main Water Shut-Off Valve

In case of a plumbing emergency during storm season, it’s crucial to know the location of your main water shut-off valve. If a pipe bursts or a plumbing issue arises during a storm, knowing how to quickly shut off the water can help minimize damage and prevent further issues.

Take the time to locate your main water shut-off valve before storm season arrives. It’s typically located near the water meter, in the basement, or near the front of the house. Make sure that everyone in your household knows the location of the shut-off valve and how to turn it off in case of an emergency.

Tip 8: Consider Installing a Backflow Prevention Device

Installing a backflow prevention device can be an effective way to protect your plumbing system during storm season. Backflow occurs when there is a reversal of water flow in your plumbing system, causing contaminated water to flow back into your clean water supply. This can occur during heavy rainfall or flooding when there is a higher risk of contaminants entering your plumbing system.

A backflow prevention device can help prevent this from happening by keeping contaminated water from flowing back into your clean water supply. There are different types of backflow prevention devices, such as a backflow preventer valve or a backflow preventer assembly, and the type you need will depend on your specific plumbing system and local regulations.

It’s best to consult with a professional plumber to determine the most appropriate backflow prevention device for your home and have it installed properly to ensure its effectiveness in protecting your plumbing system during storm season.

Tip 9: Regularly Inspect and Maintain Your Plumbing System

Regular inspection and maintenance of your plumbing system is essential to keep it safe during storm season. Inspect your pipes, faucets, and fixtures for any signs of leaks, cracks, or damage. Look for water stains, moisture, or mold growth, as these can indicate plumbing issues that need attention.

Additionally, make sure that your plumbing system is properly insulated to prevent freezing during storms. Insulate exposed pipes in unheated areas of your home, such as the basement, crawl space, or attic. This can help prevent frozen pipes and potential damage during cold weather.

Schedule regular maintenance checks with a professional plumber to ensure that your plumbing system is in good condition and functioning properly. A plumber can detect and address any potential issues before they turn into costly repairs or emergencies during storm season.

Storm season in Central Indiana can bring about potential risks to your plumbing system. However, by following these tips and taking proactive measures to protect your plumbing system, you can minimize the risk of plumbing issues and costly repairs.

We have been serving the residents of Central Indiana for over 20 years and we are dedicated to serving our fellow Hoosiers. If you are located in Central Indiana, we can provide you with a thorough inspection of your plumbing system, along with an honest opinion regarding the best options for your home. We also offer annual maintenance plans to help keep your HVAC and plumbing systems running smoothly and consistently, no matter the season.