The Best Way to Prep Plumbing Before a Hurricane Evacuation

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The Best Way to Prep Plumbing Before a Hurricane Evacuation

Securing Your Home Plumbing for a Hurricane Evacuation

As hurricane Beryl razes southeast Caribbean before heading toward Mexico, it’s a stark reminder of what we in Pinellas, Pasco, Hernando, and Citrus Counties may face this hurricane season. Because, when a hurricane approaches, ensuring your home is secure extends beyond boarding up windows and bringing in outdoor furniture.

One crucial aspect that often goes overlooked is your plumbing system. Yet, properly securing your home’s plumbing can prevent significant damage and costly repairs. So, in this blog, the experts at Billy the Sunshine Plumber offer this step-by-step guide to help you prepare your plumbing in the event that you must evacuate in the face of a hurricane.

1. Turn Off the Main Water Supply

Why: Shutting off the main water supply prevents contaminated water from entering your plumbing system if there’s a breach in the municipal supply lines during the storm.

How: Locate your main water shut-off valve (it’s usually found in the basement, garage, or outside near the water meter). Once located, turn the valve clockwise until it’s completely closed. And, if it’s a lever-type valve, turn it perpendicular to the pipe.

2. Drain Your Pipes

Why: Draining the pipes helps to reduce pressure on the pipes during the storm.

How: After turning off your main water supply, open all faucets, both hot and cold, starting from the top floor and working your way down. And then flush all toilets to drain the water from the tanks and bowls.

3. Turn Off and Drain Water Heaters

Why: This prevents the water heater from overheating or being damaged if the power fluctuates or goes out.

How: First, turn off the power to the water heater at the circuit breaker. And then, close the water supply valve to the heater. Finally, attach a hose to the drain valve at the bottom of the heater and run it to a drain or outside area and open the valve to drain the water.

4. Secure Outdoor Plumbing

Why: Outdoor plumbing fixtures and irrigation systems are particularly vulnerable to storm damage.

How: First, disconnect and store garden hoses. And then, turn off the water supply to any outdoor faucets and irrigation systems. Finally, drain the irrigation system by opening the drain valves or using an air compressor to blow out the water.

5. Inspect and Seal Exposed Pipes

Why: Exposed pipes are more susceptible to damage from debris and strong winds.

How: First, check for any exposed pipes outside your home and in unheated areas like basements and attics. And then, use pipe insulation or foam sleeves to cover exposed pipes. Also, apply weatherproof tape to seal any gaps or cracks in the insulation.

6. Consider Installing a Backflow Preventer

Why: A backflow preventer stops contaminated water from flowing backward into your clean water supply, which can happen if the municipal water system is compromised.

How: Contact the licensed plumbers at Billy the Sunshine Plumber to discuss how you can install a backflow preventer on your main water line if you don’t already have one.

7. Secure and Protect Sump Pumps

Why: Sump pumps can prevent home flooding, and ensuring they are operational can save your home from extensive water damage.

How: If you already have a sump pump, check that it is working correctly by pouring a bucket of water into the sump pit. And then, ensure the discharge pipe is clear and directs water away from your home’s foundation. Finally, consider installing a battery backup for your sump pump in case of power outages. And, if you don’t have a sump pump, but are considering getting one, contact Billy the Sunshine Plumber to discuss your options.

8. Check Your Plumbing for Leaks

Why: Fixing leaks before a storm can prevent minor issues from becoming major problems during extreme weather.

How: First, inspect all visible pipes and fixtures for signs of leaks or corrosion. And then, repair any leaks promptly, either by tightening connections or replacing damaged sections.

9. Inform Your Household

Why: Everyone in your home should know the emergency procedures in case they need to act quickly. Because this will help keep not only your home, but those who live in it safe during a hurricane evacuation.

How: Show family members or housemates where the main water shut-off valve is and how to use it. And then go over the steps covered in this blog.

Secure your home’s plumbing before a hurricane as part of your overall evacuation plan

Securing your home plumbing is an important part of your overall hurricane preparation strategy. And, by following these steps, you can minimize the risk of water damage and ensure your home is ready to withstand the storm. Also, feel free to share this guide with friends and neighbors to help everyone stay safe and prepared! And remember, Billy the Sunshine Plumber is always here to help.

Billy the Sunshine Plumber has been the Tampa Bay 24-hour plumber of choice since 1924 when he first opened for business. Plus they are open 24/7/365 in Pinellas, Pasco, Hernando and Citrus counties. So, days, nights, weekends, or holidays, Billy the Sunshine Plumber is always there for you.

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