Aah! Summer vacations, road trips, sun, surf and sand… But before you jump in the car and set off on your journey, there are a few things to take care of in and around the home – with regard to your plumbing in particular. The last thing you want is a frantic phone call from your neighbor when you are 300 miles away from home, telling you that water is running from under your front door and down the road…
Plumbing emergencies happen at the worst of times. Being away from home means that you’re not there to notice it, and if there’s nobody in your home, it is likely to be noticed only when it has caused significant damage. Hence, our Pre-Vacation Plumbing Checklist.
Shut Off the Water Mains
The best way to prevent flooding while you’re away, is to shut off your water mains. Should a pipe break in the home while you’re on vacation, it will continue to run, but by shutting off the main water supply, you can save a lot of water, and money in damages.
Water mains are usually found near your home’s perimeter fence, or in your basement. It might have a gate valve (round handle with holes) or a ball valve with a lever that you turn until it is perpendicular to the pipe. Be sure to check that it is in fact off by running water in the nearest sink. Don’t leave home until no water runs from the faucet.
Make Sure the Sump Pump is Working
Sump pumps are usually located in the crawlspace or in the basement. Designed to keep water from flooding your home, it is an important tool to help ensure that your home stays dry while you’re home or away. Keeping your home dry is crucial when you’re away as nobody will notice if water is entering your basement. Test your sump pump by pouring water into the pit, causing the water levels to rise. Your sump pump should kick in and start to drain water from the pit and out of your home. If this doesn’t happen, check whether the outlet that it is plugged into is switched on, and that there is power at the outlet. If power supply is not the issue, you will have to call the experts for a repair or replacement.
Turn Down Your Water Heater
Before you go on vacation, check your water heater for leaks and corrosion buildup. Better yet, turn it off, especially if you’ll be away from home for more than a week. If you opt to leave it on, at least turn the heat down to help save energy (and some cash on your energy bill!). Stick a note somewhere to remind you to turn it back on when you get home.
Check Your Drains
Unused drains can become rather nasty over time, so clean your drains before you leave to remove any bacterial build up. Run Bio-Clean through your drains before you leave.
Yes, you’re right! We don’t like chemical drain cleaners, but that’s exactly why we like Bio-Clean – it is an environmentally friendly product that helps eliminates bacterial buildup and dissolves hair, soap and other organic materials that might otherwise clog your drains.
While preparing for your vacation, also don’t forget the following:
- Turn off any appliances
- Turn off the air conditioner
- Ask friends, family or neighbors to check in on your home
- Alert your security company that you will be away
If anything seems to be problematic, call Anta Plumbing right away. We will come out and set your mind at ease. We hope that you have a fabulous vacation!