If you’re wondering whether rain can affect your plumbing then the simple answer is yes. It has the potential to cause issues. This is especially true when you haven’t had rain in a while and the ground is particularly dry. Although you may think that dry ground will absorb water better, the opposite is actually true.
That means, one of the biggest issues your plumbing may face when it rains is too much water in a short space of time. Let’s take a look at the most common plumbing issues when it rains:
When you get a lot of rain in a short space of time and there has been a dry spell, the ground is not ready to absorb the water. This means it sits on the surface and should head for the nearest drain.
However, if the water is flowing too fast for the drain to handle or the drain is blocked, then the water will pool and look for another escape route.
The most obvious in many cases is your home. In short, if the rain is heavy enough and the drains can’t handle it, you are likely to find water entering your home and potentially flooding it. That’s going to warrant a call to the emergency plumber and your insurance company, make sure you have flood damage included in your cover.
Even if it doesn’t enter your house, you’ll find pools of water across your yard causing damage. They can also make it difficult for you to go anywhere.
Water Backing Up Through The Pipes
When it rains the water hits the ground and then disappears into the drains system. It gets carried away by the pipes to be recycled and used in providing water to houses.
However, heavy downpours can result in sticks, leaves, and other debris being swept into the drains, causing them to clog. This will then prevent the wastewater in the pipes from entering the main drains. It will start to build up and ultimately the water can come out of the toilet, shower, and even sink.
It should be noted this won’t happen while the rain is pouring down, it takes time for the clog to build and completely block the pipes. But, you will start to see water draining from appliances much slower. This tells you that there is an issue and it could well be connected to the last heavy downpour you experienced.
Another serious concern is damaged pipes. Heavy rain forces a large volume of water into the pipes in a short space of time. This increases the pressure on the walls of the pipe and can cause them to burst or crack. When this happens the wastewater will start to collect in your yard, under the soil.
It can lead to clogs and water overflowing into your home. You’ll also notice a distinctive aroma in the yard and patches of grass near the broken pipe will be doing better than the rest of the yard.
It should be noted that heavy rain can also affect your supply pipes, especially if they are old. The heavy rain will pool and can sit around a supply pipe. The greater the volume of water the more pressure the pipe will be under. It can be enough for old or damaged pipes to crack and start leaking.
You’ll notice a drop in water pressure and potentially see water spraying from the leak. That depends on where the leak is. Shutting off the water and replacing the damaged section of the pipe is the only way to resolve the issue.
You may feel that you don’t often have heavy enough rain to be concerned about this issue. Unfortunately, that makes it more likely to happen as you aren’t prepared for it.
The best thing you can do is check the age of your pipes and their condition. Supply pipes can be visually inspected and pressure tested and waste pipes can be inspected with a sewer camera. Any issues need to be identified and dealt with straight away, ensuring you don’t have an issue when it rains.
Naturally, you should inspect all drainage points to ensure that there are no clogs already in the pipes. These can cause drainage issues and are highly likely to be an issue in heavy rain.
Remember, if in doubt it is better to get your plumber to look at it today than to have to dry your flooded house out tomorrow.