In just about every category — culture, people, scenery — Florida stands apart from every other state in the union. To residents and visitors, the state’s individuality is a source of pride, a reminder that being here, whether it’s for a weekend or for a lifetime, is its own special kind of reward. But many of the qualities that make Florida different, from tourism to weather, also lead to unique plumbing challenges. Below, our plumbers in Ocala have listed the most common of these, along with tips for how to prevent or resolve them.

Tourism Brings Plumbing Troubles

Tourism in Florida is year-round. Seasonal residents, known as snowbirds, arrive from the north in the winter; families use summer vacations from school to swim at the beaches; while hiking, hunting, and fishing enthusiasts travel from all over the world to explore Florida’s wild hinterlands. Influxes of visitors cause kitchen and bathroom usage to increase substantially at hotels, businesses, and family homes.

Common Florida Plumbing Problems

As long as plumbing systems are regularly maintained and function properly, increased usage won’t cause problems. Clogged drains or blocked toilets are common issues that may occur, but most of the time they just require drain cleaner or a plunger. The situation is different for unmaintained systems. Over-flushing a toilet that has a loose flapper or flush valve, for example, may cause indoor flooding. Meanwhile, increased usage in a shower with a clogged drain can lead to overflows. It’s best to schedule plumbing maintenance before visitors arrive. However, the year-round influx of tourists means maintenance should happen several times throughout the year.

Sediment Builds Up In Water

Limescale buildup isn’t a problem unique to Florida, but it is a common problem in the state. The longer plumbing goes without proper maintenance, the more mineral deposits are likely to accumulate, especially inside pipes that carry hard water. Watch for white deposits forming around faucet heads and showerheads. If such limescale appears at those places, you can bet it also exists within the pipes. Too much mineral buildup blocks the flow of water, creating extreme pressure that can burst pipes and flood the building.

Many people in Florida drink bottled water instead of tap water, and so they don’t necessarily invest in water softeners at home. As a result, limescale buildup is a rampant problem in most plumbing systems. If you find sediments in your plumbing, have them investigated by professional plumbers. At Sunshine Plumbing and Gas, we're experienced Florida plumbers. We not only know how to service, repair, and maintain various types of plumbing systems, but we can also anticipate and recognize plumbing issues that are unique in our home state. To schedule plumbing services, call us today!

Summer Rains & Hurricanes Flood Sewer Systems

Florida may be the Sunshine State, but it also experiences frequent thunderstorms. During the summer rainy season and the fall hurricane season that follows, water can accumulate rapidly on the ground, overwhelm sewer systems, and cause backups. To avoid these problems, have septic and sewer systems cleaned annually and ensure excess water drains away from homes into appropriate basins.

Tree Roots Break Underground Pipes

Burst pipes qualify as a plumbing emergency, but they also occur in different ways. In colder climates, ice buildup in frozen pipes can block the flow of water and cause increased pressure that leads to ruptures. Our plumbers in Ocala don’t see frozen pipes all that often, but they do find underground pipes that have been damaged by tree roots. Live oak and cypress trees are common in Ocala, Gainesville, and much of North Central Florida. These large trees have extensive roots systems, and sometimes individual roots are strong enough to bend or even crack pipes they encounter, especially older pipes.

Plumbers know to avoid tree roots while installing water supply lines underground. But at locations where the plumbing was installed decades ago, sprawling roots can reach the pipes and cause damage. Indications of an underground pipe rupture include weak water pressure and odd puddling on the ground. If you spot these warning signs, turn off the water and call a plumber immediately to limit the potential for exterior water damage. Depending on the condition of the pipe, the plumbing may need to be patched, replaced, or rerouted.

Careful planning and routine tree care help prevent plumbing issues caused by tree roots. Before you plant large trees, have a plumber locate any underground pipes on the property. Live oak trees should be planted at least 90 feet (their maximum lateral root extension) from pipes. Cypress tree roots mostly grow vertically, yet it’s still wise to plant these trees away from pipes. Mature trees can also be prevented from causing problems to underground pipes as a result of mature tree care services to manage their root systems.