If you’re preparing to head off on vacation, you may wonder how to keep your property safe and secure while you’re away. As well as securing your windows and doors, you’ll need to prevent accidents such as floods and fires. Unsurprisingly, plumbing systems are especially prone to leaks, floods, mold, and other forms of damage. To ensure you don’t arrive home to any unpleasant surprises, therefore, we’ve collated a helpful plumbing checklist to address before your vacation.
1. Inspect your pipes for leaks
Even a minor leak could end up causing significant water damage if left for days or weeks at a time. Remember to check all faucets, fixtures, and pipes for cracks or drips a few days before you leave for vacation. If you spot a leak, you may wish to repair it yourself, depending on your skill set and the extent of the damage. For the most part, however, we recommend you book an appointment with a plumber who can professionally repair the damage. Failure to adequately repair a leak could be counterintuitive, causing even further damage.
2. Shut off your water supply
If you’re going away for an extended summer vacation or want some extra peace of mind about the safety of your home, it’s worth shutting off your water supply. To complete this task, you’ll need to locate the main water valve. Most valves are located in one of the three following spaces:
- The basement: In older homes, main water valves are usually found in the crawl space or basement, where the water supply enters the property.
- The water meter box: In some parts of the country, it’s common for main water valves to sit outside of the home in a water meter box.
- The utility room: In newer homes, main water valves are located in utility rooms, alongside water softeners, water heaters, and other kinds of plumbing appliances.
If you can’t find the main water valve, check in with a plumber or consult your property’s floor plan or blueprint. Remember to locate the valve a few days before you leave, as you don’t want to spend precious packing time searching the various rooms of your house. If you want further protection from leaks, you may wish to shut off the individual water valves to appliances such as ice-makers, dishwashers, and washing machines. Just remember to open all valves once you’re home.
3. Insulate exposed pipes
If you’re away during winter, it’s worth insulating exposed pipes around the home to prevent them from freezing. Frozen pipes can often crack and burst if left for long periods of time, causing leaks and costing you significant amounts of money in repairs. If you’re wondering where to locate exposed pipes, check unheated areas such as the attic, basement, crawl spaces, or corridors.
4. Drain exterior hoses and faucets
Again, winter vacationers should disconnect and drain outdoor hoses and turn off the water supply to faucets. These quick jobs will prevent your exterior pipes from freezing by removing excess moisture.
5. Set your thermostat and inspect your water heater
If you’re anticipating colder weather, adjust your thermostat to a temperature that will prevent pipes from freezing. While you don’t have to keep the home particularly warm, aiming for a temperature a few degrees above freezing will help keep your home secure and your bills low. You should also inspect your water heater for any visual signs of damage, such as cracks or pools of water. If you spot any issues, contact your plumber right away to prevent significant damage while you’re on vacation.
6. Clear gutters and inspect the yard
If you’re expecting rain or storms during your absence, remember to remove debris from your gutters and drains to prevent clogs and water damage. You should also look out for tree roots that may infiltrate your sewer line, as this could lead to damaging problems. Finally, it’s worth shutting off your sprinkler system to avoid any malfunctions while you’re away.
7. Consider investing in a leak detection system
If you take frequent trips or vacations, it’s worth investing in a water leak detection system to give you maximum peace of mind. Once you’ve installed a detection system, you’ll receive immediate alerts in the event of a leak, allowing you to call a plumber and avoid major flooding disasters.
8. Prevent unpleasant smells
Flushing ice cubes and cold water through your garbage disposal unit will help to get rid of residual food particles and prevent the appearance of nasty smells. You should also empty your washing machine and dishwasher to avoid mold and mildew buildup, leaving the doors open to promote air circulation.
9. Run your pool pump
If you’re lucky enough to own a pool, don’t turn off the pump. Keeping it on an optimal setting will prevent the formation of algae and save you a major clean-up job upon your return.
10. Call a helpful friend
Ask a trusted friend or neighbor to keep an eye on your property while you’re away. As well as checking for signs of plumbing damage, they can provide property access for a plumber if necessary and complete other handy jobs such as watering your plants or feeding your pet.
Completing a plumbing checklist before vacation? WaterWork Plumbing is here to help!
As you can see, there are several plumbing jobs to tick off before it’s safe to go on vacation. Fortunately, you don’t have to go it alone. Whether you need help with a leak or would like advice about your appliances, our team is on hand to answer your questions and provide an efficient service.
WaterWork Plumbing is one of the best plumbers in Detroit and is ready and waiting to help. Remember – it’s always a good idea to call in the experts rather than carry out plumbing tasks yourself. A professional plumber will ensure your plumbing system is safe and robust, providing the reassurance you need to enjoy a relaxing vacation. Call us today at 248-876-3569 to find out more.