Earthquakes & Plumbing: What To Do After the Shaking Stops

Earthquakes, Plumbing and You: What To Do After the Shaking Stops

When it comes to plumbing, you often hear of ways to protect your home from damage in case of an earthquake. Things like installing seismic strapping and installing automatic gas shut-off valves are common (and affordable!) ways to prevent costly issues.

But what about after the shaking stops? Is there anything you can do to help save your plumbing and your home from further damage?

Yes! Here a few things to keep in mind:

Look for obvious signs for leaks

After checking for hazards in and around your home, and making sure it’s safe to re-enter, look for signs of plumbing damage. Beyond the obvious signs of a leak (water on the floor), listen for leaking and dripping, and pay close attention to the water pressure in all of your faucets.

Check to see if sewer lines are intact

Before using the bathroom or any other plumbing, you must make sure your sewer lines are intact.

Your main sewer line is the largest drain in your home—it’s where all other household drains lead to—and is designed to take a beating. However, earthquakes are powerful forces of nature and all that shifting and shaking can cause your sewer line to crack, break or even collapse. A damaged sewer line can not only cause messy flooding, but it can also spread disease.

Some immediate signs your sewer line may have been damaged include:

  • sewage odour inside or outside your house
  • raw sewage on ground surface

Sometimes, signs of a damaged sewer line don’t show up right away. So in the days, weeks and months after an earthquake, be on the lookout for:

  • soggy spots in the yard
  • sudden spikes in your water bill
  • cracking and structural damage along walls, floors and foundations
  • water stains around your basement floor drain

If you notice any of these things or suspect your sewer line is damaged, call Wade Roberts Plumbing right away. Our emergency plumbers in Victoria BC are on call 24/7 and will inspect your sewer line and repair or replace it if necessary.

Check for gas leaks

To check for a gas leak, walk around your house and smell for gas. (If you haven’t smelled it before, it will smell like rotten eggs). If you smell gas or hear a blowing or hissing noise, open a window and quickly leave your home. Turn off the main outside valve if you know how, then call the gas company from a safe place outside your home. If you do turn off the gas, it’s important that it ONLY be turned back on by a professional!

If you’re experiencing plumbing problems after an earthquake, or would like to learn how you can prevent such problems, get in touch with us! Our experienced plumbers are here to help keep you, your family and your home as safe as possible.