Imagine that you go on that vacation you’ve been planning for months, you’re sipping on a piña colada and resting your feet on the warm sand with a view to the ocean. You’ve finally reached paradise after all those weeks of putting money in the bank for your annual escape. All of the sudden, unbeknownst to you, an unexpected leak erupts in your house. Not only do you have to clean up the water and pay a repair guy for your plumbing, but you might also have to come back to damaged furniture and flooring. Meanwhile, you have no idea, you take another sip of that piña colada, “ignorance is bliss,” they say.
We’re not here to worry you while you’re on vacation, we’re here so that you don’t have to. Read on to see how you can keep your plumbing system from failing you and causing water leaks while you’re away.
Plumbing problems can happen to anyone at any time. Even the best and most modern plumbing systems can fail us, costing us a ton of money and the kind of greeting we’d rather not have coming back from vacation.
What To Check Before Leaving For Vacation
Main Water Valve – The Main water valve controls all of the water that is allowed to enter your home. You should turn this off before you leave for vacation and ensure that it’s off by turning on the faucet and checking that no water comes out. If someone will be visiting your house while your away, perhaps to feed your pet, ensure that they know where this valve is located in case they need to use the water while you’re away. Turning off the main water valve will protect you from water damage if a leak occurs.
Leaking Pipes – Check around your toilets, faucets, showers, water heater, and any other pipes to make sure that there are no leaks around while you’re gone. The most obvious sign of a leaking pipe is a small pool of water around it, a not-as-obvious sign of a leak is a wet pipe, so make sure that you feel them too. Take off your socks and walk around the flooring as well to see if you feel any damp or cold spots which may indicate a leak under your floor.
Supply Lines – You may want to look at the type of material that your supply lines are constructed out of. If they are made of plastic, it would be wise to upgrade your supply lines to stainless steel. Plastic supply lines are more fragile and may break while you’re away. A stainless steel supply line will only run you about $20 at your local home improvement store.
Sump Pump – Locate your sump pump and make sure that it is working before you leave. A sump pump is your home’s first defense when there’s an excess of water due to heavy rain or leaks. Pour a bucket, a gallon, or water the pit with a hose to ensure that the sump pump is draining your water automatically.
Automatic Shut-Offs – There is a wide variety of plumbing gadgets on the market today that will automatically detect and shut off leaks in your house while you’re away.
Cold Weather – If the climate of where you’re escaping from reaches freezing temperatures, you will have to take some extra precautions while you’re away. A good starter is to purchase frost-proof faucets for extra peace of mind. Lower your thermostat to somewhere between 50 and 60 degrees to lower the risk of freezing pipes as well. And for the outside of your home, disconnect all hoses from pipes.
After following these tips, your house will be much better protected from leaks, floods, and breakage while you’re away. So rest easy and get that tan going. You deserve it.