Leaving for vacation? Don’t forget your plumbing! If you haven’t taken a summer trip just yet, don’t forget to prepare your home for your absence. Whether you’ll be gone for a few days or an entire week, here are some necessarily steps to remember before packing your bags and heading out the door:
Step 1: General plumbing
The last thing you want is to come home after a relaxing vacation and find that your plumbing is leaking. To prevent issues while you’re away, turn off the main shut-off valve, unless specified otherwise. While some household items, such as the ice maker and the auto sprinkler system, don’t require the valve to stay on, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t also take safety precautions for them as well. Ask your trusted plumber to help you look out for potential problems until you return.
Step 2: Water heater
Don’t let your electric bill shoot through the roof while you’re out of town! What’s the point of keeping your water heater on when you won’t be using it anyway? Instead of letting it run regularly, set the temperature to “vacation” mode. Most new water heaters come with such a setting, which allows it to run occasionally, but not nearly as often as it normally does.
Step 3: Toilets
Between flooding and bacteria, it’s important to prep your toilets before your departure. Besides turning off the main shut-off valve, another precaution you can take is to clean the bowl with a cup of chlorine to prevent bacterial strains. If you plan to be away for a while, ask a friend or close neighbor to occasionally flush the toilets for you.