If you’re a homeowner, there’s one thing that can cause nightmares for your peace of mind: plumbing. If you leave on vacation without being sure everything is in order, the fear of coming home to a flooded house or an overflowing toilet can be overwhelming. Before going away for any length of time, take care of these four things before handing over the keys to your home and heading off on vacation!
Shut Off Your Water Supply
When you’re away from home for an extended period of time, shutting off your water supply will prevent flooding and provide peace of mind. Shutting off your water supply is simple and easy and can prevent damage due to faulty pipes or plumbing.
To temporarily shut off your water supply, you first must locate the valve for your home’s water supply. It is important that everyone in your household knows where this valve is and how to use it in the event of an emergency. Your main shutoff valve can be found in a few places. If you have a basement or crawl space, you can locate the valve on a wall near the front of the house. If your home is on a slab, it may be near the water heater or in the garage. If you’re unable to locate the valve in any of these locations, there could be another valve located at the beginning of your water main, at the boundary line of your property and the street or sidewalk, called a curb valve. Find the ground-level metal or plastic utility box trap door located at ground level. Call the water company’s 24-hour emergency contact line. Staff may direct you to shut off the valve by yourself or to wait for an emergency dispatch team.
If the valve is located in your home, you’ll want to either hand-turn the valve or use the appropriate tool depending on the type of valve your house has. If your valve is in the house, you’ll simply turn it clockwise to stop the water flow. Your water should now be shut off throughout your home. To release pressure from the pipes, turn both the cold and hot water until it no longer runs. It’s that simple!
Water Heater Maintenance
Conducting annual maintenance of your water heater is important for detecting leaks and discovering early signs of potential problems. A plumber should be hired to inspect your water heater. A plumber can also help you drain your water heater ahead of your vacation. This can not only potentially avoid leaks, but save energy.
Test Your Sump Pump
Sump pumps are a line of defense in preventing basement flooding by moving water out of your basement or crawl space to outside of your home. Test your sump pump by pouring water over it. If you fill the sump pit but the pump doesn’t turn on to pump the water right away, you likely need to repair or replace your sump pump.
Disconnect Outside Water Sources
Even with your water supply off, it’s important to inspect outside water sources. Prior to leaving, disconnect hoses and open out any outdoor faucets to clear the pipes. This will prevent leaking pipes from causing damage.
Ensure a Stress-Free Vacation
Regular inspections and maintenance are recommended for any property owner to avoid potential plumbing problems and keep your plumbing system healthy. If you haven’t had your home inspected by a professional plumber in a while, before heading off to vacation is the perfect time! Schedule an inspection with Bodenheimer Plumbing Services.