When you leave on summer vacation, you have no way of knowing whether or not your home is safe from plumbing leaks. Any small leak that occurs while you're gone could lead to hundreds or thousands of dollars in water damage if you're not there to call for plumbing repairs. Fortunately, there's a smart way that you can prevent such a problem from occurring. The following tips will help you get your home's plumbing system ready for your vacation this summer.
Turn Off the Main Water Line
Just before you leave on vacation, turn off the main water line to your home. Your home's water line may be located inside or outside the house, in the crawl space, basement, near the water heater or under the kitchen sink. If you're not sure where your home's main water line is, call your water company. When you locate the main water line, turn the valve into the off position, then turn on a faucet in your home to check that the water has been turned off.
Turn Off Your Water-Related Appliances
Put all your water-related appliances into "vacation mode," or simply turn them off. This includes the hot water heater, the ice maker and water softener. This will help save you money on the utilities required to run the appliances. What's more, with the main water line shut off, any water leak out of the water heater could drain the tank. If your water heater is left heating an empty tank, this could burn up the heating elements inside.
Make Long-Term Arrangements
Your home is connected to the sewer by pipes that flow from sinks and bathtubs down to the main line. Sewer gas is prevented from entering your home because water caught in the P trap under these fixtures creates an air-tight seal. When a home's plumbing goes for long periods of time without being used, the water in the P traps dries up and the home fills with sewer gas.
If you're planning on being gone for multiple months on your upcoming trip, you may come home to discover that your home smells like sewer gas. To prevent this from occurring, have a friend come to your home once per month, turn on the water to your main line, then flush all the toilets and run water in all the faucets. Then, have your friend turn off the water.
Following these tips could save you money and time due to repairs. For more information about how you can get your home ready for a vacation, contact a reputable plumber in your area.