Taking some time out to hit the road and take a vacation from the day to day is something most of us look forward to all year. Now that the summer season is here, you can begin to finalize those plans – but, don’t forget to add ‘protect the plumbing’ to that list.
Unfortunately, plumbing troubles can come up all year around. While we tend to think of cracked or burst pipes happening more in the winter months, these breakdowns can happen any time of the year. In fact, water damage is the number three cause for all property loss in the US. Here are some things that you can do to make sure that you won’t come home from vacation to a flood:
Shut off the main. All of the plumbing in your home is configured to connect to a main water supply. This can be either the City water supply that is near your property, or a well if you live too far away from the city pipes. At the junction of your home’s pipes and the main supply there is a valve that will turn off all of the water to all of the fixtures and appliances in your home. Before you leave for an extended period of time, you should always turn this valve off. Most of us know about the shut off valve behind the toilet or under the sink but, those valves only turn off the water to their specific fixture. The main valve prevents any water from flowing while you are away and therefor, regardless of where the broken pipe occurs your home and belongings will be safe.
Sometimes it is not feasible to shut off the main water supply because you have someone coming to take care of your pets, water your plants, or your landscaping is watered by an automatic sprinkler or irrigation system. If this is the case for you, then you should turn off the individual fixtures using their specific valve.
Hot water heater. Even though you will be on vacation, your hot water heater will be hard at work keeping the water in the storage tank heated to the specified temperature on the thermostat. While this is good for when you return home, it is not good for while you are away. There is no reason for your water heater to be on while you are on vacation. Instead, turn the power to the heating element off to avoid any unnecessary wear and tear.
When you are on vacation you don’t want to have to worry about anything. Follow these simple tips so that you come back from vacation rested and don’t have to deal with a plumbing breakdown.