El Niño and Your Plumbing: Info and Tips to Prepare

Weather experts everywhere have predicted that we’re indeed heading into an El Niño year, perhaps the biggest one yet. The last El Niño we experienced was back in winter of 1997-1998. With our recent dry spell throughout California it almost seems unbelievable that we’ll experience a downpour of rain. But the buzz is all around us and the science is something to take note of. According to the National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center, California is in for an abnormally high amount of rainfall in the early part of 2016, from January to March. While all of California will likely be affected, Southern California stands to bare the brunt of the wet weather with a predicted 60 to 69 percent above normal rainfall. El Niño brings heavy precipitation to drier regions that typically don’t see a lot of rain. Conversely, zones that are prone to higher amounts of rainfall experience the exact opposite seeing cooler, yet drier weather patterns. This weather phenomenon happens when a warm current evolves in the central equatorial region of the Pacific Ocean. This shift inevitably affects weather patterns the world over. For some more great info on this tops check out this article from the LA Times.

So what does it all mean for us here in Southern California? That we need to do our best to be prepared. Part of this preparation involves your plumbing. Here are some ways you can prepare your home for El Niño:

1. Gather Emergency Supplies

If your home is in a potential flood zone, or prone to flooding, it’s a good idea to keep some supplies on hand to help prevent further issue or damage in the event a flood should occur. Items such as sandbags, heavy plastic sheeting, and a quick dam flood barrier in varying lengths can be hugely helpful in controlling a minor flood in one’s home. Keep these items in a safe, and in an easily accessible place where they can remain dry in the event of a flood. Hopefully you won’t need these items, but better safe than sorry!

2. Have a Whole House Plumbing Inspection

If you have any slow running drains or toilets, this could mean there’s a blockage. Outdoor trees have been heavily affected by the recent drought, meaning their roots have grown in search of a water source. The nearest pipes surrounding your home could have become that ‘water source’ and the trees roots may have found their way within those pipes, which can cause blockage. This can be a disastrous problem if left untreated, and the anticipated heavy rainfall will only make it worse. Have a local plumbing expert come out and inspect your pipes for potential tree root blockage. If there is a blockage, this can be remedied with a high pressure clean out of the pipes call Hydro Jetting.

Another reason to have a whole house plumbing inspection is for leak detection. If a leak of any kind is present issues can amplify quickly, especially during wet weather.

3. Have All Drains Checked and Cleaned

Make sure all drains (storm drains or otherwise) are flowing properly to prevent flooding in your yard and or pool areas. You’ll also want to make doubly sure that your sump pumps and catch basins (that eject water) are thoroughly cleaned before the rainy season hits.

As additional advice, we also suggest taking the following precautionary measures to help you prepare for the upcoming El Niño season:

  • Invest in some water alarms/leak detectors
  • Have your HVAC inspected by a professional
  • Make sure to have your roof checked for any potential leaks, and have them fixed asap
  • Check the wood trim around your home for cracks, repair and seal these to prevent mold and wood rot
  • Make sure rain gutters are clean for rainwater to flow freely
  • Invest in a hefty doormat that can clear your shoes of mud and debris
  • Plan to wear more non-slip shoes
  • Have your car tires and windshield wipers thoroughly checked, replace if necessary

What are you doing to prepare for El Niño? Please share with us on our Facebook page so others can take note.

If you think you might have a water leak but can not find it, let North County Plumbing help. Call us today!

North County Plumbing has been in the service business since 1970 providing quality plumbing services including leak detection and drain service in northern San Diego County. Our qualified technicians are available 24 hours a day to help with emergency plumbing repair services… with no overtime charges! If you found this blog helpful, you may want to check out our post “What is a Slab Leak”?

Contact: 1330 N. Melrose Drive, Suite C, Vista, CA 92083 | (760) 735-4900 | (858) 484-4600

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