It isn’t often you think of plumbing and electricity at the same time, but many plumbing functions actually depend on electricity to run. You may be asking yourself questions such as “can you flush the toilet when the power is out” or “can you use city water during a power outage.” If your electricity goes out, you may find yourself with a backed up basement, burst pipes, no hot water and even a toilet that doesn’t flush. Let’s take a brief look at how electricity affects the various parts of your plumbing and discuss what you can do about some of these things.

Sump Pump

You have your sump pump in the basement, steadily pumping excess water outside so your basement stays dry. The motor of the sump pump runs on electricity. It may work quietly in the background without being noticed, but if the electricity goes out, the motor stops and you can find yourself with a flooded basement.

It is good to have a backup generator for your home.  Make sure you have the ability to also run the sump pump on this emergency generator. Water damage in your basement can make the lights coming back on seeing you face yet another emergency if you don’t.

Tankless Electric Hot Water Heater Not Working During or After a Power Outage

Since tankless water systems rely on electricity throughout standard operation, a small portion of homeowners have issues with their tankless electric hot water heater not working during or after a power outage. Can you use city water during a power outage if you rely on a tankless electric water heater? Yes, you will have full access to your water supply throughout the outage. However, you will not be able to gain access to your hot water supply.

How Tankless Water Heaters Operate

When you turn the hot water tap on, an electrical source ignites the source of fuel, which in turn heats up any water going to the tap. In this way, a tankless water heater eliminates the need to have water sitting for periods of time, constant use of fuel and the need to wait for a traditional tank water heater to refill before you can take a hot shower or wash dishes. However, a major disadvantage of tankless systems is a lack of warm water when the power goes out.

In the case of an electrical outage, you might also consider hooking your tankless water heater up to an emergency generator to restore your warm water. However, if the outage isn’t going to be long, going without hot water for a short period of time might not be too inconvenient.  One of the best plumbing tips to remember; however, is to make sure the circuit breaker is turned off until after the electricity comes back on.  By ensuring this, you are preventing a sudden surge of electricity that may accidentally ignite the fuel source. If you’re having problems with your tankless water heater after a power outage, schedule a tankless water heater repair or installation appointment with our team of 24 hour plumbers in Jacksonville, Florida.

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If you’re having issues with your plumbing system during an electrical outage, schedule a plumbing appointment with our team of professional plumbers.



Power Outages May Cause Your Pipes to Freeze

Can You Use City Water During a Power Outage?

Florida plumbing tips don’t often talk about freezing pipes, but with temperatures being lower in many parts of Florida the past few years, there is always the chance that an electrical outage can find you with your pipes freezing. Is it possible to use city water during a power outage if your pipes have frozen? Yes, you will have full access to our water supply in this type of situation. However, areas of your home that rely on these affected pipes will not have a reliable water supply. In addition, if pipes are frozen for too long, they may burst, flooding your basement. If you have an issue with your plumbing system, schedule a water line repair appointment with our team of technicians.

If your electricity goes out at a time when temperatures may  fall below freezing, there are a couple of measures you can  take to help prevent frozen pipes. The first thing to do is to  allow the cold water to drip slightly from your faucets, which keeps the water flowing through the pipes. If the temperature is too low, shut off the water valves and drain all pipes until the electricity is restored and you can get warm water through them again. Also lush your toilet every so often to keep it from freezing. If you’re having issues with your plumbing system, learn more about our selection of plumbing options such as gas line repair, water softener installation, and garbage disposal repair.

Can You Flush the Toilet When the Power is Out?

It’s only a matter of time until you are required to handle a power outage in your area. You may be asking yourself, can you flush the toilet when the power is out? Waste removal systems are either gravity-based or rely on electricity to move the waste through the pipes and out into the sewer system. If your system is gravity-based, there shouldn’t be a problem with flushing your toilet, unless the pipes freeze. If the toilet doesn’t flush, you can simply pour a bucket of water into the bowl to flush it.

If your waste removal system is powered by electricity, you may not be able to flush the toilet when the power is out. In these systems, the waste goes through a pipe and gathers in a chamber where an electrical pump pushes it through a pipe going to the outside sewer system. If the electricity fails, the waste will gather in the chamber and be unable to move further along the path. Eventually, that chamber will become full and begin to overflow into your basement. The overflowed chamber may also cause problems with flushing your toilet. If possible, we recommend hooking your home up to an emergency generator to ensure you don’t have issues with your plumbing system. However, if this is not possible, have in place an alternative disposal method so you don’t have to face backed up waste in your basement. Bill Fenwick Plumbing offers toilet repair services in Jacksonville, Florida to help restore your sewer system. Schedule an appointment to receive assistance with your bathroom plumbing.


You can’t always avoid issues with electricity or plumbing, but by knowing what to expect in advance, you can prepare for the possibilities and reduce the amount of discomfort and mess that could result. With a backup generator, a backup waste system and a method to keep pipes from freezing, you will be able to weather the outage with minimal hassle. Just keep in mind one of the most important of plumbing tips – water and electricity may depend upon each other but they can be very hazardous if used together. If you lose power, turn off all circuit boxes in the basement and make sure they are not turned back on again unless the basement is dry.

To ensure excellence and safety, contact one of our plumbing experts today to make sure your plumbing can handle a possible power outage.  Our team offers plumbing repair services in Jacksonville, Florida such as kitchen sink installation, drain cleaning, backflow testing, septic tank repair, and tankless water heater installation. For more plumbing tips, call or visit Bill Fenwick Plumbing today. We will be more than happy to answer any and all of your questions.