By Roger Grow
A Insurance Agencies
Every year when the secondary water turns on there are flooded basements and related water issues. The best way to prevent issues that may or MAY NOT be covered by your Home Insurance Policy is to prepare ahead of time.
The easiest steps to follow would be:
Turn off the main valve at the street or if you have a separate on/off valve.
Do not allow the water to get into your system before it has time to pressurize. Frankly, let others be the first ones to have their lines plugged with the debris and rocks that are always in the lines.
After a few days open one of your closest hose bib lines and then turn your main valve on slowly so water can start to flow through. There is no reason to turn on full blast, let it gradually hit the lines and flow through the hose.
Once you have done this, you can safely turn the line on fully and allow the water to pressurize in all the lines. Check the valves in each box to ensure that there are no leaks.
Test the system, check each station and then to make sure each valve is working properly, shut the system off and turn on again.
The last critical part to this is to walk your property, look for signs of broken lines like bubbled up turf or water coming out of the ground. Often you can hear water moving through that main valve when you know it is turned off that is the sign of a leak!
Every Home Policy excludes ground water, which in this case could mean no coverage. There are policies that exclude ground water but have covered a claim from a broken sprinkler pipe that they consider a plumbing source. Many do not. One of our carriers, Auto-Owners Insurance, has come out with an endorsement that can be added called “INLAND FLOOD” that adds coverage for Low Cost Flood Insurance. Most of the homes in Syracuse would qualify for this endorsement. If you have questions or would like a coverage review, we are happy to help. Call our office anytime 801-825-3887.