With the holidays approaching many of us will be traveling, sometimes for extended periods. Whether it’s to visit family or going on vacation for the new year or possibly a combination of both, it’s important to make sure your plumbing systems are prepared. By taking just a few minutes you could save yourself the headache of a plumbing emergency and the thousands it could cost to fix.
Here are some tips on how to prepare your plumbing systems before you leave for vacation, so you don’t have to worry about coming home to a flooded home, foul smells, or expensive water damage.
1. Shut Off Water Supply. Floods can occur even if you aren’t using your water, so this simple task is the best way to prevent a major flood in your home. If a faulty pipe bursts or leaks while you are away this will help to ensure additional water does not leak into your home. If you have a pool or sprinkler system that still needs to run while you are away, you can turn off the water at each fixture so that flooding would still be minimized in an emergency.
2. Drain or Turn off Your Water Heater. If you haven’t had a plumber come to perform any maintenance on your water heater this would be a good time as they can check for any leaks and help you drain it. However, if you’ve done this recently or don’t have time to before you leave you can turn it off or set it to vacation mode, this will help to reduce the chance of flooding. This can also help to lower your utility bill as your water heater is one of the largest energy consuming appliances in your home.
3. Test Your Sump Pump. If you know your basement is prone to flooding, it’s a good idea to perform a sump pump test before you leave. The easiest way to do this is by dumping a bucket of water into the pit and then confirming it turns on and pumps out water as it should. Cleaning the pit to avoid pump failure due to debris can help to ensure it works properly as well.
4. Drain Outside Faucets and Disconnect Hoses. After you have turned off your water run any outside faucets and disconnect the hoses to remove any remaining water from your pipes. Even with your water turned off leaking pipes could cause flooding so be sure to empty your pipes.
5. Clean Your Drains and Gutters. While these tasks may take a little bit longer, they are worth doing before you leave. Removing any debris that has collected in your gutters can help to prevent rainwater from accumulating on your roof and getting into your home. Without any water running through your drains any clogs or build up may start to smell. Cleaning your drains before you go can help ensure you don’t come home to a foul-smelling home.
6. Have Someone Check In. Whether it’s a family member, neighbor, or friend, having someone you trust to check in once or twice while you’re away is a great idea. Just a simple walk through to make sure everything is in working order can help to prevent a more serious emergency. You can even offer to check in for them the next time they go out of town in return.
Traveling should be a relaxing time for you to get a break from the real world however finding out during your trip that your home is having a plumbing emergency can certainly ruin the good times. Or imagine coming home after a long travel day to find your home has flooded. To avoid this, follow our steps above so you can enjoy your trip and leave your stress behind.
Call HR Silicon Valley Plumbers today for any assistance in preparing your home before you leave or for handling any issues upon your return home.