Can rain affect plumbing?

When the skies open, a common question we hear is ‘can rain affect my plumbing?’.

Unfortunately, the answer is yes.

Your septic tank could flood

During increased rainfall, septic tanks can saturate and become unable to drain properly.

If this happens, try to reduce the amount of water you’re using indoors; sorry, that will mean not flushing the toilet, forgoing showers and avoiding the dishwasher!

A plumber will need to diagnose the problem and clear or pump the drain if it is blocked. If they determine that the tank is not full of solid wastes, they may need to put a camera into the pipe to find out if it is damaged, overgrown with tree roots or has collapsed, which does eventually happen to old cast iron pipes or if cars are parked on top of the septic tank.

Pipes under pressure

Rainwater that settles on the ground softens soil and shifts rocks. This movement puts strain on buried pipework, and if they break, they’ll need replacing.

When it’s rainy and cold, the temperature can cause the water inside your pipes to freeze, shutting off your water supply. The increased pressure can trigger pipes to splint and joints to pull apart, which is why insulating or lagging your pipework is so important – both inside your home and outside.

Underground water pipes to properties are buried to a minimum depth of just under one metre to protect them from the cold, so call in a professional if you think they need tending to, as doing so yourself could be dangerous.

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