Protect Your Home Plumbing While You Travel Or Go On Vacation
When it comes time that you and your family decide to go on a nice summer vacation for a week or more, or even if the vacation will be just for a weekend or three or four days, it is likely true that you have a to do list of some tasks that you have to do before you pack up and go away.
But do be very mindful that it is not quite enough to have someone get your mail for you and your newspapers. It is not enough to reset your thermostat and then just leave. You need to take into consideration your plumbing system for your home as well.
It is normal for you to shut off the water if you discover that there is a pipe that is leaking. But if that pipe started to leak when you and your family were not at home to address the issue, then you know fully well that the water would keep pouring out and would cause a terrible catastrophic mess that would seem very overwhelming to deal with once you were faced with the problem when you got home from your trip.
But you can very easily avoid this problem and the stress associated with this type of problem by simply making sure that you take the time to turn off the main water supply of your home. Typically the valve that shuts off the water supply to your home can be shut off by hand, but other types of valves sometimes do necessitate the usage of a wrench in order for you to make sure that the water is completely turned off while you are away.
If you seem to be having some real trouble in being able to successfully locate the valve to shut off your water, or if you know where the valve is, but if you are having some tremendous difficulty in being able to shut the water off yourself, then you really should do the smart thing by contacting a plumber to come to your rescue. Taking this precaution can save you thousands of dollars by being careful in preventing water damage in the first place.
Do also keep in mind that if you possess a garden and lawn watering system that you want to keep operating during the time that you are gone in order to keep your lawn and garden at their optimal best, then you will want to take into consideration the fact that when you shut off the main water supply of your house, these watering systems will also not be able to function due to a lack of water. So, it is best to have a water valve system for the house and a separate one for the outdoor water irrigation systems.
If it is winter then you should also drain the pipes in order to avoid your pipes from freezing which could potentially cause a pipe to burst. It is best to drain all of your pipes, beginning at the topmost floor of your home and working down. You will want to open all the faucets and spigots both inside and outside of your home. Outside, turn on the irrigation system if you have one. Additionally you should drain the water heater tank, after you have turned off the electricity, or gas to the unit. Lastly, leave at least one valve open at the lowest point possible to allow any excess water to drain.
There are a few additional steps to take in areas that experience extremely cold temperatures.
First, Your sinks, bathtub, toilet, and basement drains have traps that should be weatherproofed. It is necessary to use a windshield washer fluid that is rated for winter weather. Use a gallon of fluid in each toilet tank. Flush the toilet first, then dump the fluid in the tank, afterwards flush again. Pour about one quart into the sinks, floor drains, bathtubs, and other hidden traps. Clothes washers and dishwashers should be drained of as much water as you can. Make sure not to put windshield washer fluid into these appliances, as doing so will damage the machines.
When you follow these tips, you will have peace of mind while you are away on your vacation that there will be no surprise leaks or floods. Your home will be dry and undamaged as it welcomes you back from your summer vacation. A vacation is great. But there really is no place like home.