Hurricane & Tropical Storms
All Floridians know about it, all tourists and snowbirds are weary of it… but it’s part of Florida living!
One minute it’s perfection, the next you’re in the midst of a summer storm!
Do we mind being blown all over the place by heavy winds, rains, & very grumpy swirling vortexes of bad weather coming from the warmer waters???
Quite honestly, if you’re a true Florida native, you’ve had your fair share of bad weather. So this post may just be a helpful reminder to you! If you’re new to the Sunshine state, or are curious how to prep your plumbing for the upcoming hurricane season- we have an expert to help you out with just that!
On that note, here’s Byron to give you some tips on hurricane season plumbing prep!
Hey all! Hurricane season is here! It’s extra important to protect your family, home, and investments during this time of year, let me help you do that by sharing what I know to assist you along the way.
On Well Water?
If you are, remember that if you lose power that means you have lost water as well. Make sure you have a way to connect a generator to the well system, if possible, so you can continue to have water!
No Water Available?
If you DO lose water there are a couple different places that hold water in case of emergency. It is a good idea to test these and see if they are working.
1. Toilets: the toilet tank will hold water enough for one flush, if the parts are working well. If they have a slow leak they will be out of water in no time. If your toilet turns on by itself that is a sign that it leaks.
2. Tubs: a tub can be filled with water for reserve before a hurricane. Most tubs hold quite a lot of water. You can then bucket the water out of the tub and pour it into the toilet tank to get extra flushes. If the tub leaks however, the water will be gone before you really need it. Double check that it holds water by filling it part way at night, and then see if it is at the same level in the morning.
3. Sinks: a sink can be used in much the same way as the tub, but they hold significantly less water, and therefore have a smaller impact.
4. Water heaters: the water heater holds however many gallons that it says under “capacity” on its label. Many are 40-50 gallons. This water could be drained in an emergency through the drain valve at the bottom of the water heater. However, many water heaters are not maintained and build sediment up at the bottom which can block off the water flow, decrease the capacity of the tank, make the water that comes out very murky, and of course, cost more money in the long run.
Best thing to do to be prepared for an emergency with your water heater is to have a special valve installed that allows for good flow to come out so the chances that sediment blocks it decrease. Annual or even biannual flushes are good to keep the sediment down.
IMPORTANT NOTE! If you ever do have to use the water from your water heater, remember to turn the power or gas off to it! If a water heater heats empty, parts will break! Even if the power is off, turn off the breaker so that it doesn’t automatically turn on and wreck the elements.
5. Reverse Osmosis: for those that filter their water through reverse osmosis, remember that as it makes water it stores it in a small tank. Once this tank is run out, it will take a while to refill it. If you are planning to fill containers with drinking water from your R.O. unit, make sure to start filling them a few days in advance so the R.O. can keep up. Or you can always install a reverse osmosis unit that is designed with a pump, and will make water on demand instead of storing it.
For those that have outside whole house water filtration units it is tough to tell what to do with them. They are heavy and will not blow away very easily, but something could get windborn and hit them causing damage. I personally will leave mine outside and take my chances. The other option is to have a plumber come out, disconnect them, and bring them into the garage or a safe storage unit on the property.
Hurricanes we see you coming! And we’re preparing for you! If you have any other plumbing preparation questions don’t hesitate to reach out to us! And be safe out there!