Florida is a wonderful state to live in with many benefits, including plenty of sunshine, outdoor activities, and friendly people. However, living in Florida can also make plumbing problems more difficult to handle. Florida often deals with adverse conditions like hurricanes, severe thunderstorms, and sinkholes that lead to particularly thorny plumbing issues. With the right knowledge, you can avoid or alleviate these concerns.
Common Florida Plumbing Problems
Problem #1: Scaling
Scaling is a piping problem that occurs when mineral buildup decreases pipes’ diameters. Mineral buildup often occurs because of reverse osmosis purification, a common refinement process in most Florida areas. Beach properties are at high risk for scaling because the minerals from sand and ocean water can easily get into the pipes. If you use a well system, you might experience scaling because of high sulfur levels in the water.
Depending on the size of the blockage and your experience with scaling, you may not need to call a plumber. If you’re experienced in this area, you can rent a pipe cleaning machine to get rid of small blockages. However, be aware that many scaling blockages require removing and cleaning several pipe sections. Call an experienced plumber if your entire pipe is blocked, or if most of it needs to be removed and cleaned. If your water pressure is not more than a trickle, it’s also a good time to call the professionals. Your pipes may need to be replaced.
Problem #2: Leaky Pipes
Almost every homeowner has experienced leaky pipes, but it’s more common in Florida because of how our water is treated. Most Florida treatment plants add chlorine to their water to keep it safe from bacteria and other microorganisms that thrive in the warm climate.
Additionally, Florida’s water contains high amounts of dissolved oxygen and hydrogen sulfide. When mixed with chlorinated water, the blend becomes corrosive. This eats through pipes, making them vulnerable to severe leaks. Even if your pipes are strong, hidden leaks can occur, especially in underground sewer lines or beneath the foundation.
Minor drips can be covered with putty or amalgamation tape, but you should call a plumber for any leak. The longer it goes untreated, the bigger it’ll get, driving up your plumbing bill and making your home susceptible to water damage. Plumbers can use cameras and geophones to determine the source of hidden leaks, and their professional tools can ensure outflows are fixed permanently, rather than simply patched over.
Problem #3: Gas Leaks
Gas leaks often remain silent and unnoticed until it’s too late. Many Florida homes have some type of gas piping, particularly for kitchen appliances or in attics or garages. Floridians rely on CSST gas piping because it’s thin and fairly inexpensive. But this piping can explode or catch fire during lightning storms and hurricanes, which are common in Florida. Additionally, gas leaks can cause illness or death if they remain untreated.
Fortunately, odor will likely warn you if you have a leak. You’ll smell a strong, unpleasant scent around your gas-powered appliances, such as a heater or stove. If you’re experiencing this, don’t use any electrical objects in the affected area.