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April Showers Can Bring Plumbing Headaches

April rains can be a welcome sign of renewal, providing essential water and nutrients plants need to grow and flourish. Rainwater also helps to flush out salts and pollutants from the soil, promoting healthy root development and beneficial organisms. But heavy rainfall can cause significant problems for your home’s drain and sewer system. Some issues you can prevent or fix yourself, while others need the attention of a professional.

How April Showers Can Affect Your Home

Plumbing problems caused by April showers are often related to one or more of the following:

Higher water volume

Heavy rainfall can significantly increase water flow through the sewer and drainage system. If the system can’t handle the increased volume, backups and overflows may occur. If there is already a blockage or partial clog in the sewer lines, the additional water can make a backup or overflow more likely.

Debris buildup

During heavy rainfall, leaves, twigs, and other debris can get washed into the sewer and drainage system. Over time, this debris can accumulate and cause blockages, leading to backups and overflows.

Tree Root Infiltration

In wet conditions, tree roots grow more rapidly and may penetrate underground sewer pipes. Once they invade the sewer lines, they continue to grow, causing blockages, broken pipes, and other issues.

Soil Saturation

As the ground becomes saturated with water from spring showers, it puts more pressure on underground pipes, potentially causing them to shift or break, leading to leaks and other types of damage.

Soil Saturation

As the ground becomes saturated with water from spring showers, it puts more pressure on underground pipes, potentially causing them to shift or break, leading to leaks and other types of damage.

Aging infrastructure

Many sewer and drainage systems are old and in need of repair or replacement. Heavy rainfall can worsen existing problems, such as cracks or leaks in pipes, and may cause them to fail.

DIY tips for keeping your sewer and drain system healthy.

The plumbing and sewage pipes network is concealed behind walls and below ground level, making it easy to neglect and difficult to spot problems. Ensure your plumbing system functions efficiently through proactive preparation, including addressing issues before adverse weather conditions occur.

By following the tips noted below, you reduce your risk of encountering drain, sewer, and other plumbing problems triggered by heavy spring rains and other potential plumbing issues.

  • Never flush diapers, wipes, paper towels, napkins, or other trash.
  • Do not pour grease into the kitchen drain – or any drain. Let it solidify and put it in the trash.
  • Keep drains flowing by regularly pouring a cup of baking soda and a cup of vinegar down the drain. Wait 30 minutes, then pour hot or boiling water down the drain. Avoid chemical drain cleaners, as they can damage pipes.
  • Keep gutters and downspouts clear of debris and ensure they direct water away from your home. Heavy rains can wash leaves, twigs, and other debris into sewer pipes, and water pooling near the foundation can cause damage.
  • Install a backwater check valve to ensure water and sewage flow only from your property.
  • Install sewer traps with tight plugs to prevent sewage water or gas fumes from entering your home.
  • If tree roots have infiltrated your sewer lines, try to remove them using a plumbing snake. If professional help is needed, hydro-jetting is often an effective option.
  • Have a professional replace old pipes with trenchless technology. Trenchless technology uses specialized equipment to install or replace underground pipes without disturbing the ground above.
  • Schedule regular maintenance inspections by a professional. They can use video technology and specialized equipment to identify and correct blockages, cracks, and other issues.

Drain & Sewer Line Repairs

If you need help fixing a sewer or drain problem, or if you have a problem you are unable to resolve, it’s best to call a licensed plumber. A professional plumber can assess the situation and provide a solution that will correct the current problem and help prevent future issues.

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