With heavy rain falling across the country last week and thunderstorms predicted in Northamptonshire for the next couple of days, now is as good a time as any to consider how heavy rain can affect your home’s plumbing.
How can rain cause a problem with your plumbing?
When pipes are under more pressure because of extra rainwater, this can cause a crack in the pipe and make it possible for rocks, soil and other debris to enter and cause a blockage. So the problem rain causes is twofold - heavy rain puts an added strain on domestic drainage systems because of the extra weight, while rocks, leaves and other debris can exacerbate the problem if they build up in the pipes.
How can you look after your plumbing in the event of heavy rain?
To reduce the risk of a blockage, make sure your rain gutters are free of debris. If the rain can’t move through the downspout, it will cause a blockage. This makes the pipe heavier and means it could collapse from the weight.
To reduce flooding in your street, it’s also a good idea to clear out leaves and other rubbish covering the drains outside your home so that the rain has somewhere to go.
How can the rain damage your condensing boiler?
We often talk about how cold weather can cause problems with water freezing in your boiler and pipes, but have you ever considered how the rain may affect your central heating system? Unlike a boiler that has broken down due to cold weather, a condensing boiler that has been flooded with rainwater cannot be repaired, and this type of damage can void a guarantee an installer has with their supplier. It’s important to identify if your boiler is at risk so that a qualified plumber can work on your system and prevent rainwater from becoming an issue for you.
When heavy rain puts an added strain on your drainage system, water can run back into the internal pipework in your home. Again, this problem is made worse by leaves and debris in the pipework. Problems occur if the condensate pipe terminates at the rainwater downpipe and this overflows with the heavy rain, causing water to fill back up the condensate pipe and into the boiler itself. This causes the boiler to flood and can damage it beyond repair.
However, this can be avoided by fitting an external air break into the pipework before it enters the rainwater pipe. This means the two pipes are separated and the condensate pipe won’t overflow even if the downpipe becomes blocked. The image of a downpipe at this link shows what an air break looks like – without an air break, the condensate pipe on the left would feed directly into the vertical downpipe at an angle.
If you have had problems with rainwater damage to your plumbing in the past, or if you are concerned that there is no air break between your condensate pipe and your downpipe, get in touch with our friendly and professional team. Contact us using the form on the right or call 07983 138153.