As vacation approaches and preparation is well into action, many of us are preparing for what’s ahead. Yet, for so many of us, we forget to prepare for what we’re leaving behind for those few short days or weeks. Unfortunately, there’s that chance that we could arrive back home to an unwelcome surprise. Before leaving for a trip, you will always lock up your home and secure it against burglars or other disasters, yet very few of us will consider taking other precautions to protect our home. For some of us, taking a few extra steps and connecting our home to some of the latest technologies could significantly reduce any worries while away from home. Take a couple of extra steps to protect your plumbing system.
The First thing To Consider Is Turning Off The Water Supply At The Home
When the family is leaving home for an extended period, the first thing to consider is turning off your water supply. The smallest water leak from a pipe could result in thousands of dollars in damage if left unchecked. Next, you’ll need to locate your main shut-off to your home and turn it to the ‘off’ position. It sounds simple, but it might surprise you to know that many homeowners don’t know where to locate the valve. The valve is usually located in the garage or on the home’s perimeter.
There Are Two Basic Shut-Off Valves
They have two basic valves. One is a ball valve with an ‘on and off’ lever handle used in most new homes today. The other is a gate valve with a wheel-type handle for turning the water off. Every homeowner should know where their shut-off valves are located and should know how to shut them off in case of a plumbing emergency.
Make Sure The Lines Are Clear
When leaving for an extended stay away from home, shut off the water. Then, open a faucet on the other end of the house to drain the water left in your home’s plumbing system. When you return home, turn on the water main slowly to prevent surging pressure on your home’s appliances.
Most homes have two shut-off valves: one for irrigation and one for the home. In most cases, the shut-off valve to the home will only need to get shut off. However, make arrangements for a gardener or neighbor to keep a sharp eye out for broken sprinkles.
In rare cases, your home will only have one shut-off valve located on the street at your meter. Although in that situation, you must leave your water supply turned on due to your sprinkler system and turn off individual appliances in your home.
Here Are Some Other Suggested Tips Before Leaving On Vacation
Being proactive and inspecting appliances should also be on your vacation checklist. No one wants to arrive home to a leaky sink, faucet, shower, tub, washing machine, dishwasher, or any other appliance. So take the few extra steps to check your shut-off valves in your bathrooms and kitchen.
If you elect to turn off your water supply, then remember to turn off your water heater as well. Otherwise, it might sit empty for the duration of your trip, and the elements can burn out if they’re constantly trying to heat an empty tank. In addition, your water heater is one of your largest energy consumer in the home. If you’ll be gone for more than a few days, you might as well turn it off. Save money and conserve energy. You can shut it off at the heater itself or flip that breaker in your circuit panel. Some heaters even have a convenient “vacation” setting. Remember to turn it back on as soon as you arrive home. It will take a few hours for your water to heat up again.
Empty And Drain All Appliances
Make sure the dishwasher and washing machine are emptied and well-drained. Draining these appliances will help avoid mold, mildew, and unpleasant aromas, especially if you keep the doors open to let the air escape.
Get Some Help From A Family Member Or Neighbor
Request that someone such as a family member or neighbor come to your house each day and run a quick inspection. It will provide you with peace of mind while you are away. Also, make sure you provide them with your local plumber’s contact information should something go wrong.
Add Baking Soda or A Eco-Friendly Drain Solution To Your Drains
Run a quick check of your drains. While on vacation, try one of these eco-friendly drain solutions to prevent odors and germs from build-up in your kitchen and bathroom drains. Pouring a small amount of baking soda down your drains can also act as a deodorizer.
Check Out The Latest Water Leak Detection Devices
You can also check the latest leak detection technologies. For example, there are products out in the marketplace that will connect to the incoming plumbing system to notify you of a water leak in your home. Even a small toilet leak can be detected. These devices are called “smart water leak detectors.” Makers such as Moen, Honeywell, Flume, and Phyn Plus are just a few companies that have developed their version of the Smart Leak Detector. However, it appears that flo by Moen seems to be leading the pack.
The product first gets connected to your incoming water line, and once a leak is detected, that information notifies you through an app on your phone. Some Smart Leak Detectors will even shut off your water in the case of a plumbing emergency. If you’re away from home for vacation or otherwise, your device is always at work 24/7.
We Have You Covered 24 Hours A Day!
After your long-deserved vacation, the last thing you want to come home to is a plumbing problem or, worse, a flood of any kind. Whether you’re home or away, we have you covered at Big B’s Plumbing. You can call day or night, 24 hours a day, to get the service you deserve.