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Crucial Plumbing Preparations Before a Vacation


Just last September one of my employees came back from her ultra-relaxing vacation to find that her home had flooded. One of those things we hear plenty about, but like anything else: it only happens to other people, right? Aside from the stress of coming home to a disaster, the time and energy involved in replacing your things can take its toll. Yes, your insurance will cover it- but insurance does not prevent stress.

Why take the chance? There are some easy steps you can take before you head out to enjoy some time away that can give you peace of mind so you do not get any nasty surprises when you get home.

There is the fool proof one of having your provider turn off the water entirely, but that seems a bit over the top and mildly inconvenient as you’ll then need to contact them again when you arrive home. So rather than going to that extreme you can simply turn the main supply off in your home. If you are not sure where that is, it is most likely in your basement, or in a crawl space and to make sure you have succeeded in turning it off all you need to do to test it is run a tap!

It is a good idea to run all of your taps to ensure there is no risk of water leakage, and that includes any outdoor spigots you might have for hoses.

An extra smart move would be to leave a valve open, the lowest one available in your home. If you don’t have a basement, then a crawlspace or utility room valve will serve just as well. That way if despite all of these steps your house still manages to spring a leak then it won’t be damaging any ceilings.

If you like in a colder climate and there’s a risk of pipes freezing then there are other steps you can take. Clean out all of your sink traps and don’t forget about those hidden traps. Dishwashers and washing machines should be drained. You should get some antifreeze and pour it down your bathtub, toilet, and floor drains to ensure that those drains aren’t guilty of freezing your pipes.

It would also be wise to turn off your water heater, or set it to a lower heat, and turn off that air conditioning unit while you are at it. These steps are not only going to prevent any flooding, but also save you some money on your energy bills.

I know you’re probably thinking this sounds like a lot of fuss, but the alternative is arriving home from your week or two of bliss to a home that has turned into a marshland.

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