Don’t lock the door just yet.
Your bags are packed and the itinerary is set, but your home deserves a little care before you leave.
Before you leave home for an extended vacation, there are a few precautions and steps you can take to be sure your home will be safe — and you might even save on your water bill!
If you’re not so keen on the idea of coming home to a flooded basement or a foul smell that has taken over the entire house, check out these tips for preventing plumbing problems when you’re on vacation:
1. Turn off the main valve
Before you embark on your journey, locate the main water supply valve and turn it off. If you were to leave it on and have a leak, there’s no saying how much damage could be done to your home.
2. Check for leaks
Chances are you’re fairly in tune with the day-to-day quirks of your home’s plumbing fixtures, but it doesn’t hurt to take a stroll through your home to check for any leaks or new cracks in appliances. If you spot something small now, don’t assume it’ll be fine when you get back. Take care of it right away.
3. Test your sump pump
If you have a sump pump in your home, check to see if it works before you leave for your vacation. In case of a flood or excess rain, you’ll want to be sure your sump pump is in working order so you’re not in for any surprises when you get back home.
4. Set your water heater
Your water heater isn’t going to see much use while you’re away, so there’s no point letting it function like it normally does. Many water heaters have a “vacation mode” to utilize that can keep your heating bill down.
5. Check drains
If you’ve ever left a soaking pan of leftovers in the sink overnight, or forgot to take out the trash full of rotting food, you’re aware of the terrible odor that can come out of nowhere to take over your home. Be sure to check all of your drains to be sure they’re free of debris and clogs before you leave. Run your garage disposal with some running water for a while to be sure there’s nothing resting in there that could produce a foul smell. If there’s a clog, take care of it now instead of later.
6. Adjust the temperature
Many homeowners believe they should adjust the temperature to a lower setting as they’re leaving their home. While you can certainly lower it a bit, be cautious of setting it too low. If your home becomes too cold, pipes could freeze and cause a disaster.
7. Have a neighbor check in
Even if you’ve taken extra precautions and you’re sure of your home’s safety, it doesn’t hurt to have a neighbor stop by to check in every so often. By having a trusted friend or neighbor take a look around your house every few days, you’ll be able to catch a plumbing emergency as it happens or before it worsens.
If you’ve spotted something that needs repair before you leave, or you’re in need of emergency plumbing, Benjamin Franklin Plumbing can help. Our plumbers are on call 24/7 to assist you with pipe repair, drain cleaning, water heaters and more. Contact us today to schedule a service.