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Home Plumbing Considerations Before Leaving On Vacation

Everyone has taken a vacation before, whether it be with family, friends or by yourself. Regardless of your situation, you should prepare your home and plumbing, especially if you are taking a vacation. What does this mean? There are a couple of measures that you should take to ensure that your plumbing stays in good condition for when you come back.

Here are some of the actions that you can take:

  • Have someone watch over your home
    • If you are going on a long trip, it is important to have someone that can watch over your home from time to time. If you are going to have an empty home during your vacation, you should consider asking your friends or other family members to check on your home once in a while. This will prevent problems from taking you by surprise when you return from your trip.
  • Evaluate water needs
    • While you are gone, many of the water appliances in your home will not be of use. The main things that may need water would be a sprinkler system or a pool filter system. Some of the things that may be out of service when you turn off the main water supply include showers, sinks, toilets, faucets and your washing machine. Having this in mind, you should decide on whether or not to shut off your water supply system.
  • Shut off your Water Supply
    • Shutting off your water supply is a step that you should take when going on an extended vacation. If no one is going to be home, it is best to shut off your main water line to avoid any potential plumbing emergencies that could occur due to the water supply. Issues such as pipe leakage and water damage can be easily avoided by shutting off your water. 
    • To shut off your water, you will need to find the location of your main water valve. Then, make sure that all of the taps in your home are turned off and shut off the main water valve.
    • Closing the main water supply valve will stop the water from coming to your house, but it will still allow outdoor devices such as sprinklers to function. If a leak occurs in the sprinkler water line, the line will stop spraying water resulting in minimum leakage.
  • Drain Your Water Heater
    • Before leaving on vacation, you should also empty your water tank. Whether you do it yourself or contact a professional to do it for you, you should check on your check before departing your home. By doing this, you can save electricity and gas money, as your water will not be pointlessly heated up. Turning off your water heater entirely is not recommended. Alternatively, you can switch your water heater to vacation mode. If your water heater does not have a vacation mode setting, then you should lower the temperature by a couple of degrees to prevent it from turning on and off at random times.
    • When checking on your water heater, you should pay particular attention to the hot and cold water connections and hardware and determine if any of these connections have corrosion (small leaks). You can use a flashlight to examine the water heater’s area and to determine if there are any indications of water leakage.
  • Clear your drains
    • Cleaning out your drains is another crucial step, before leaving your house for an extended time. By checking over your drains, you will be able to deal with bacteria build-up that could create foul odours in sinks or tubs. To clear your drain, you can purchase a drain cleaner and mix it with water when running it down the drain. You can also mix half of a cup of vinegar with a cup of water and run it down your drain and garbage disposal. This is to clean out your drain and prevent any long-term damage while you are away.  
  • Check Your Gutters
    • Before you leave, checking your gutters is another step that should be taken. By reviewing your gutters, eavestrough and downspouts, you will prevent your basement from potential leakage. Your roofing support systems should also be examined before you leave, as this will counter any rainfall that attempts to sneak into your home. 
  • Check Your Sump Pump
    • Making sure that your sump pump is in working condition is essential in preventing rainwater from unexpectedly coming into your home. If your sump pump fails to work during a major storm, this could result in a flooded area in your home. Having a professional come in and check on your sump pump before leaving would be the best course of action before leaving. You can also attempt to pour a bucket of water into your sump pit to check if it is working effectively. For further protection, you can install a battery backup in the case out of power outage. This will allow your sump pump to work even if a heavy thunderstorm takes place.
  • Schedule a Plumbing Inspection
    • When leaving for vacation, it is recommended for you to get a plumbing inspection done in a few weeks after leaving. If the plumber discovers any

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