Following months of dry weather, the Olympia area recently endured rain and storms that affected area plumbing systems. Local home and business owners are familiar with the plumbing problems heavy rainfall can cause. As much as 4 inches of rain fell on the Olympic Peninsula in late October 2021. And, across Thurston County, there was heavy rain along the coast and in the mountains, high winds, and a number of rivers over flood stage, according to The Olympian.
During the final week of October, 2.89 inches of rain fell in the Olympia area. That’s wetter than the average 1.23 inches for the month, and the region outpaced that with 4.64 inches.
With wet conditions expected to continue, you may be wondering how this may affect your plumbing. Below, we will explain:
How to Fix Plumbing Problems During Heavy Rain
Common Rain-Related Plumbing Problems
- Indoor Drains Blocked by Debris: Heavy rain can push soil, leaves, and trash into your sewer lines, causing a blockage that leads to water pooling in your household drains and in your sink, shower, or bathtub. Clogged drains can even cause sewage to back up into your home.
- Cracked/Burst Pipes: When heavy rain accumulates and mixes with dirt, there is immense pressure on pipes. Old, damaged pipe is most susceptible. With thick mud pressing on underground pipes, they can fail, causing the water you drink, bathe, cook, and clean dishes with to become contaminated.
- Shifting Pipes: As the soil around underground pipes softens, a lack of support allows pipes to shift out of position. A pipe can then crack, causing a plumbing failure in your home and flood in your basement or crawlspace. If you know this has happened, shut off your main water valve and contact a plumber for emergency help.
- Outdoor Drainage Issues: If your yard has low points, rainwater can easily pool there and cause flooding. Persistent water problems can make your driveway, deck, or foundation unstable. You can resolve this by having a professional install proper drainage that channels away rainwater.
- Toilet Trouble: Your toilet is an integral part of your plumbing system. A plumbing problem related to heavy rainfall may manifest as your toilet gurgling, a sign of a backup or clog somewhere in a drain line. If you have a septic system and rainwater fills up the tank, it may be forced back up into the toilet, as there’s nowhere else for it to go.
How to Stop Heavy Rain from Affecting Your Plumbing
By scheduling routine plumbing service, issues with underground pipes and septic tanks can be spotted early and fixed, so plumbing failures can be avoided. Clear outside drains of debris before a rainstorm, or install a drain guard to prevent leaves, twigs, and rocks from entering the drain and causing a blockage. After the storm, check your plumbing system by testing faucets, toilets, and showers; if there is low water pressure, a leak or other problem may exist. Also, look for mold in and around your home as well as for evidence of shifting ground, shrubs, or trees. Call a plumber immediately if any of these issues are present.
Schedule Maintenance with Black Hills Inc. Home Services
When heavy rain threatens the Olympia area, our licensed technicians can help prepare your plumbing system and address any plumbing problems that result from extreme rainfall. Our team is equipped to provide quick re-piping, drain cleaning, sewer line repair, and video pipe inspection services. You can always expect professional, on-time service; quality work done at the quoted price; and each job to be completed right the first time. Call 360-705-8590 to request plumbing maintenance/repairs today!