How to Protect Your House’s Plumbing During Hurricane Season

As we are already experiencing the impact of the first hurricanes and tropical storms of this year’s hurricane season, we want you to be fully prepared and informed as home flooding, as a result of powerful storms, can be a devastating experience. But if you are prepared before the storm arrives, the impact will be less. Anyone living in flood-prone areas should consider relocating to a safer area until the storm has passed. For this reason, JCN Plumbing recommends that homeowners follow these important guidelines before the storm arrives, especially in the area of Miami where we are located.

  • Inspect the basement sump pump, if you have one. Ensure it is discharging water properly and is not clogged with debris. Do this by pouring a few buckets of water into your sump pit. In a matter of seconds, the pump should discharge the water and shut itself off.

  • Inspect all floor drains throughout the house, including those in the garage, driveway, basement, and patio. Make sure the covers are unobstructed and the drains aren’t clogged.

  • Check all downspouts and roof gutters to ensure they are securely fastened, free of debris, and draining properly.

  • Make sure yard culverts and street drains are free of debris and can carry water away as fast as possible.

  • Consider installing a battery backup pump that will operate in the event of a power failure.

If there is an advanced warning of a major storm, the water in your home's plumbing system can be protected from contamination and made available for use.

  • Water stored in your home’s plumbing system is safe for a few days. After a longer time, it must be disinfected before it is used for drinking or cooking.

  • Turn off electricity or gas to the water heater, so that there is no risk that the heating unit could come on while the tank is being emptied. Draw water as needed from the drain valve at the bottom of the tank.

  • Shut off the main water valve coming into the home. This prevents contaminated water from getting into the house.

  • Open a faucet at the highest point in the house (such as an upstairs bathroom) to allow air into the system. Then draw water as needed from the lowest faucet in the home.

  • Water in the water heater or a pressure tank represents many gallons of safe water for use in an emergency.

  • If there is enough advanced warning of the emergency, assure the freshest water supply by flushing the tank and allowing it to refill with clean water.

  • Sinks and bathtubs can be filled with water for emergency use. Water stored this way is perfect for cleaning dishes, bathing, or flushing toilets. However, due to the difficulty in getting tubs and sinks clean, this water is not recommended for drinking and cooking unless it is first disinfected

Upon returning to your home after a hurricane or flood, tap water may be unsafe to drink. Bacteria, viruses, debris, or chemicals may have gotten into the water. Water treatment plants may be damaged and unable to clean the water. Here's what you can do:

  • If you don’t know whether the water is safe to use, boil water before using it for any purpose (example: Bathing, brushing teeth, cooking, drinking).


Once your community declares its water safe, be sure to flush your home’s water system by opening all faucets for several minutes.

JCN Plumbing Is Your Residential and Commercial Emergency Service Specialist

As an emergency plumbing company, JCN Plumbing specializes in emergency services in Miami and Broward. If you experience a plumbing emergency such as unexpected water leaks, clogged drains, toilets, or showers, call (305) 770-6860.