Handy Hints Blog

How to fix and prevent damage this storm season

  • 10 Nov 2017

We’ve seen a succession of storms in Brisbane recently and with summer on its way, there are only more to come. Unfortunately, that means some homes are at risk of the common damage and malfunctions that come with bad storms. Being prepared for storm season means you have some peace of mind when one is about to hit. Here’s what to do if any of these common annoyances occur;

1. Power Outage

If your home loses power during a storm, turn off and unplug appliances in case of a power surge. Power surges can damage some appliances such as computers, TV’s, entertainment consoles etc.

Prevention: Consider having whole home surge protection installed by a licensed electrician to keep your appliances safe during a storm power outage. Surge protection IS strongly recommended in sites that are exposed to lightning, to protect sensitive and expensive electrical equipment such as TV’s, washing machines, Hi-Fi’s, PC’s, DVD players, alarms etc.

There is a range of wall-mounted surge protection devices that are built into standard powerpoints. These internal devices are best used in conjunction with switchboard-mounted overvoltage equipment, to provide external and internal protection. Removable modules allow quick replacement without the need to disconnect wiring. They provide overvoltage protection and options for remote monitoring as well as visual indicators to display when there is an overload.

If you have concerns about your home’s electrical safety after a storm, have a licensed electrician inspect your property’s switchboard, wiring and appliances.

Prevention: Have an electrician check and/or install safety switches. Do not do your own electrical work.

Other tips:

  • Stay clear of any fallen power lines.
  • Contact your local electricity distribution company if there is damage to your street’s electrical power supply.
  • Move all electrical appliances and equipment off the ground and away from water if there is flooding.

2. No Hot Water

A lot of gas and electric water heaters may just need a reset after a power outage. Check the manufactures manual before resetting or checking anything yourself. If you are unsure, seek the advice of an electrician or plumber. If a reset fails, you may need to have an electrician, plumber or gas fitter assess and repair these common faults:

Electric

If your hot water system is tripping at the breaker, this could indicate a malfunctioning electrical component

Storms may have caused a short in the unit or a loose connection in the wiring.

Gas

The system may not be getting any gas. Storms can sometimes cause the gas to be involuntarily turned off or interrupted. Check to see if there is a flame inside the burner.

It may also be that the pilot light has gone out. You will need to check your manual if you have a newer system as they have different spark ignitors or glow plugs.

Prevention: It is recommended to have your hot water systems regularly serviced by a licensed plumber – the frequency is dependent on the type of system, your installer should discuss this with you upon purchase/installation. Take the time to look over the owner’s manual of your system to see what checks you can do yourself, such as releasing the temperature pressure relief valve. See our hot water fact sheet.

3. Overflowing Drains

If, during heavy rain or storms, you notice that your drains are overflowing this indicates a blockage. If a blockage is the case, you may also notice your drainage is slow and smelly after a storm. This causes serious problems if left unresolved.

Prevention: Have you drains checked and cleared before storm season. If you suspect a blockage, have a plumber perform a CCTV camera inspection to determine the cause and best solution. See our drain fact sheet.

4. Gutter Overflow

Gutter overflow is a major cause of flooding during a storm. If your gutters are blocked it can lead to water entering your home through the roof, causing damage to your home. This flooding can cause structural damage in the long term.

Prevention: Check your gutters regularly, before it’s too late. You can also have gutter guards installed to help prevent gutters becoming blocked and causing overflowing issues during harsh weather events.

If your home has suffered storm damage or malfunctions, or if you want to make sure your home is ready for storm season, give us a call!

1300 712 028

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