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Does Your Plumbing Still Work When the Power Goes Out?

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A power outage is an inconvenience, to say the least. South Florida homes are familiar with power outages that may occur during the hurricane season. Things seem to grind to a halt when you’re left with no power. Sure, our TV’s don’t work, our main appliances switch off and the lights go out. But how far-reaching are the effects of a power outage and how does it affect your plumbing and what can you do to keep your plumbing system running as smoothly as possible?

What Part Of My Plumbing System Will Still Work?

Your plumbing system is largely dependent on power and electricity. However, there are some features of your home that will still function relatively normal.

  • Toilets

    Your toilet should work normally during a power outage, provided it does not use a pump to operate. The tank of the toilet will fill up after each flush while there is still water in the pipes.

  • Sinks

    If your home is supplied with city water, your sinks will still work as usual. Hot water to the sink will largely depend on the type of water heater your home uses.

  • Tank-Style Water Heaters

    Traditional tank-style water heaters will keep the water warm for about one to two hours. This is because they have a larger reservoir of water.

What Won’t Work When The Power Goes Out?

If your home uses well water, you will not receive water during a power outage. It is the well-pump itself that is powered by electricity so without it, there will be no water flow. However, if you have a reservoir on your property, you will be able to use the remaining stored water.

  • Pump-Assisted Toilets

    In cases where your toilet makes use of a pump and not gravity. Pump-assisted toilets may flush for a period of flushes after the power goes off, but thereafter the tank won’t fill up because there is no water being pumped into the system. You’ll need to fill the toilet up manually to have it flushing normally. You can do this by pouring a bucket of water into the tank.

  • Pump-Assisted Sewer Systems

    If your sewer system relies on an electric pump, you should not flush the toilet too many times. With the power being out, it could lead to a back-up of wastewater that could potentially overflow into the house.

  • Tankless Water Heaters

    Although convenient when the power is on, as usual, tankless water heaters do not work when there is no power source. Electricity is needed to power the ignition. On the contrary, there are many benefits of a tankless water heater. Unlike tank-style water heaters, there is no room for a warm shower soon after the power switches off.

The Plumbing Solution To Power Outages

Aside from being an inconvenience, when it comes to important elements of your plumbing system such as the sump pump, you generally want things to run as normal as possible during a power outage to prevent the backflow of water and clogs. Back-up generators are a great way to ensure that your water heaters and other appliances operate during a power outage. While your plumbing system continues to function, your water heater continues to heat up and your sewage system has a back-up energy supply.

Whole-Home Generators

Whole-home generators are a great solution to power outages in the case of a storm, which generally affects South Florida homes between June and November. The cost of these generators depends on factors such as the size of your home, your household needs and the type of generator you purchase. The team at Art Plumbing, Air Conditioning & Electric will be able to assist you in deciding on the best route for your home, giving you the freedom to live unaffected during a power outage. Considering investing in a generator? Give Art a call at 1-800-475-1504.


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