No matter what season it is, vacation getaways are some of our favorite times of the year. One thing not to forget is how important it is to check for any plumbing issues before leaving our homes for an extended period of time.
In this quick checklist, we’ll explain the importance of each checklist item as well as how to best address any issues.
Vacation Plumbing Checklist For Your Home
As you prepare to embark on a well-deserved vacation, ensuring the safety and well-being of your home should be a top priority.
Plumbing emergencies can wreak havoc, causing extensive damage and ruining the serenity of your trip. Let’s explore some essential steps to safeguard your home.
We’ll have you equipped with the knowledge to protect your home from potential plumbing nightmares and enjoy your vacation time.
1. Shut Off Water Supply
Whether you’re leaving for a weekend getaway or an extended vacation, shutting off your water supply is a key precautionary measure. While not always a necessity, for instance, it may not be a necessity for a short absence.
However, it becomes crucial for prolonged periods away from home. Imagine the scenario where a damaged or faulty pipe bursts while you’re away—without the water supply on, you can prevent a potential flood from wreaking havoc in your home.
It’s worth noting that if your water system extends beyond your home for sprinklers or pool pumps, you can still shut off individual fixtures manually. This allows you to maintain essential functions while minimizing the risk of flooding in case of a plumbing emergency.
2. Check Your Sump Pump
Rainfall in any season can be unpredictable, posing a threat of flooding to your home. If your property is prone to flooding or if you’ve experienced basement flooding in the past, testing your sump pump before you leave is crucial.
Pouring a bucket of water into the sump pit and ensuring smooth operation can be a game-changer. Debris in the sump pit is a common cause of pump failure, so periodic cleaning is essential to avoid drainage issues.
3. Check Your Water Heater
Before you leave your home for any period of time, consider having a plumber inspect your water heater for potential leaks. This is something you may be able to check yourself, but if anything looks like a potential issue, we encourage giving a plumbing professional a call.
Once given the green light, set your water heater to “vacation mode” or “pilot” and turn off the incoming water valve. Your plumber can help you with this if needed.
This not only conserves energy but also reduces the risk of water heater malfunctions in your absence.
4. Clean Drains and Gutters
Some plumbing maintenance tasks require a bit more effort but are equally crucial. Take the time to address the following:
Gutters: Clear debris from your gutters to prevent rainwater accumulation on your roof if your current season predicts significant rainfall. Clean gutters are especially vital during heavy rainfall, serving as a protective barrier against water entering your home.
Drains: To avoid returning home to unpleasant odors, clear your drains of gunk and clogs before leaving. This preventive measure ensures that food residue doesn’t sit for an extended period, reducing the likelihood of foul smells upon your return. A quick cleaning before you leave is a suggested way to keep everything fresh, clean, and clear.
5. Check Faucets and Under Sinks
A slow drip may not be an annoyance yet, but could become more of an issue over time, especially if you are away when something may occur. Check all your faucets, inside and out for leaks and cracks as well as take a quick peek under the sinks to make sure nothing is leaking.
6. Have a Plumbing Buddy
Consider designating a friend, neighbor, or family member you trust – to check on your home periodically. This is also equally helpful in the security of your home while you’re away and an added protective measure for any unforeseen home issues.
Ask if they can perform one or two walk-throughs to ensure everything is in working order. This personal touch definitely adds an extra layer of security, providing you with peace of mind during your vacation.
7. Secure Your Pipes
If it is the winter season, freezing temperatures can be a cause for concern for many reasons. One thing to check for is ensuring your pipes, both interior and exterior have adequate protection from cold temperatures. Wrapping and protecting vulnerable pipes during these weather conditions can be a great help in preventing any damage while you are away.
By following these comprehensive measures, you’ll protect your home against potential plumbing disasters. Whether you’re in the next town with family, on a tropical beach, or exploring new cities, knowing that your home is well-protected allows you to fully enjoy your vacation. Implement these steps, and you’ll return to a home that’s as welcoming as when you left it.
If you are in need of an extra hand to get you on your way to vacation bliss, please contact Plumbing Doctor®