Welcome to the Walley Plumbing Company blog, where we delve into the intricacies of plumbing issues and solutions. Today, we’re exploring a common concern for homeowners during stormy weather: plumbing backups. Storms can wreak havoc on plumbing systems, leading to costly damage and headaches if not properly addressed. In this guide, we’ll discuss the various ways storms can cause plumbing backups and offer tips on how to prevent them.

1. Overflowing Sewers: One of the most common causes of plumbing backups during storms is overflowing sewers. When heavy rainfall inundates municipal sewer systems, they can become overwhelmed, leading to sewage backing up into homes through drains and toilets. This not only poses health risks but can also result in significant water damage to property.

2. Blocked Drains: Storms can wash debris, leaves, and other materials into gutters, storm drains, and sewer lines. Over time, these materials can accumulate and block the flow of water, causing backups in the plumbing system. Regular maintenance of drains and gutters, including clearing out debris, can help prevent this issue.

3. Hydraulic Pressure: Heavy rainfall can exert considerable hydraulic pressure on underground sewer lines. This pressure can force sewage backward into homes through drains and other plumbing fixtures if there are any weaknesses or vulnerabilities in the plumbing system. It’s essential to ensure that your plumbing system is well-maintained and structurally sound to withstand the pressure exerted by storms.

4. Sump Pump Failure: Many homes rely on sump pumps to prevent flooding in basements and crawl spaces during storms. However, if a storm knocks out power or overwhelms the pump, water can back up into the home through floor drains or other plumbing fixtures. Regular maintenance and testing of sump pumps are crucial to ensure they function properly when needed most.

5. Backflow: In some cases, stormwater can enter the plumbing system through backflow, especially if there are cross-connections between stormwater and sewage lines. This can lead to contamination of the water supply and pose health risks to residents. Installing backflow prevention devices can help mitigate this risk and protect your home’s water quality.

Preventive Measures: To mitigate the risk of plumbing backups during storms, homeowners can take several preventive measures:

  • Install backflow prevention devices to protect against contamination.
  • Maintain drains, gutters, and sewer lines to prevent blockages.
  • Test and maintain sump pumps regularly to ensure they are in working order.
  • Consider installing a battery backup or generator for your sump pump to ensure it functions during power outages.
  • Inspect your plumbing system for vulnerabilities and address any issues promptly.

Storms can pose significant challenges for plumbing systems, but with proper maintenance and preventive measures, homeowners can minimize the risk of backups and water damage. At Walley Plumbing Company, we’re dedicated to helping our customers safeguard their homes against the elements. If you’re experiencing plumbing issues or want to learn more about how to protect your home during storms, don’t hesitate to contact us. Stay safe and dry!