How Rain Affects Your Plumbing System

Living in the Niagara region means that we are no stranger to lake effect weather, whether it is white and cold or warm and wet, we get it all. During the spring and early summer, rain is prevalent, especially this year, which can be hard on your plumbing system. 

Pressure on your pipes

Rain turns the ground around your pumps to mud which weighs considerably more than dry soil. This means that your pipes that run underground will suddenly have more exterior pressure and weight on them than usual. Your plumbing system is flexible and built for changes like these, however, too much rain too quickly can mean that your pipes are suddenly burdened with more than they can handle. The more external pressure placed on your pipes the more likely they are to shift and possibly rupture causing a flood. 

Pipe Blockages

As we mentioned, the additional pressure placed on your pipes by excess rain can cause them to shift. This shifting can sometimes cause cracking if they are forced into a position that they were not meant to be in. The problem with this is that these cracks can allow rocks and sediment to seep into the pipes and cause a backup, which means water in your home. In the spring and summer, keep an eye out on your lower levels for signs of moisture as this can be a sign of a larger issue. 

Tired Sump Pumps Spell Trouble

More rain equals more water runoff. We know that because of gravity, rain runs downhill. If you are located in a floodplain or at the bottom of a slope, you likely have a sump pump that works to collect water and pump it back up and away from your home. When we receive excess rain, your sump pump can get overworked and become unable to keep up with the amount of water runoff. This means your more susceptible to flooding in your crawlspace or basement. Ensure that you have a sump pump powerful enough for the size of your home, that you perform regular maintenance, and that there is a backup source of power in case of a blackout. 

In order to help prepare your home for rain, we suggest that you contact a licensed plumber to perform annual maintenance and check for any aspects of your plumbing system that may be in need of repair or replacement before they become a larger cause for concern. At Wellbrook, our experienced technicians are well versed in both above ground and underground plumbing systems, which means that you can sail through the rainy season without worry.

Common Summer Plumbing Issues

For many people, summer means the kids are home from school and more people are at home during the day. For your plumbing system, this means more pressure, and on the rare occasion, foreign objects that aren’t meant to be in your pipes.  

Common clogs 

Having the kids home for the summer is great but it can mean that your plumbing system is going to get a workout. Make sure that your kids understand some simple things like how much toilet paper is too much (the most common source of clogs is too much toilet paper) and what you can and cannot flush down the toilet. Following these simple guidelines could mean the difference between smooth sailing and a plumbing problem. 

Check your connections

Summer means more laundry (Thank you beach trips!), more dishes, and more toilet flushes. Make sure that you’ve checked your plumbings connections so that the extra work doesn’t cause any leaks. Check the washing machine and dishwasher connections to make sure that everything is in tip-top shape. 

Sprinkler System Failure

Underground sprinkler systems have sat unused for the winter so when you get them back up and running again, there could be leaks that affect not only your pipes but your water bills! Portable sprinkler heads need to be cleaned before the first use of the season to remove any build p that can cause the water to back up in the hose. For any kind of sprinkler system, ensure that you have checked the heads for damage to ensure that water isn’t being wasted by spraying in every direction other than where you are hoping to water. 

Water heater

Headed away for a few days this summer? Turn down your water heater while you’re away. Your water doesn’t need to be heated while there isn’t anyone there to use it. This helps extend the life of your water heater, which is on average 8-11 years. Plus, your wallet will thank you as well. 

Summer should be so much fun, don’t let one of these plumbing problems dampen your vacation. Call Wellbrook Plumbing if you’re noticing any moisture in and around your appliance connections, if you end up with a kids toy down the drain, or if your sprinkler system is serving you with less than ideal water pressure so your summer plans don’t get washed away.