So, you packed your bags, decided upon transportation, and you’re pretty much ready to go.
However, before you lock the door and leave your home unattended, you must ensure you have taken care of your plumbing so there won’t be any nasty surprises when you do come back.
So, here are 7 plumbing must-dos when you’re preparing your home before travel.
Check your pipes and appliances for leaks
While there are many do’s and don’ts to remember, nothing’s more important than checking your pipes and appliances for leaks.
If you haven’t checked all of your pipework for leaks since last year, you might find that some small drips are adding to your utility bills.
And the biggest culprit for that is often found in the kitchen and bathroom.
If you notice even a tiny drip or a puddle of droplets on your floor, don’t assume everything will be fine when you return home. Don’t waste any time, and call a plumber to fix them.
The most common leaks are in the showerhead, diverter valve, faucets, toilet and, worse, in the pipes. If you decide to check them yourself, see if the toilet flapper has eroded and if the tank is filling up correctly.
Another good idea is to inspect the showerhead, hose and seals a few days before leaving home.
It’s good to keep in mind that a lot of water can be wasted even through a small hole.
Check your faucets, knobs, and pipes under your sink, as they could be a significant source of water wastage.
Also, a leak can be produced by your dishwasher or even your washing machine.
A little known tip is to take a napkin and check for wetness around your appliance. You don’t have to worry if the napkin is still dry after dabbing it around your appliance. No water absorbed means no leak.
Finally, one last tip: drain your appliances to prevent the formation of odours and mould.
Turn OFF the water valve
You likely won’t need water when you are away. So, turn off the main water supply to prevent water leaks and damage when your home is not occupied.
This doesn’t mean you can’t entrust gardening tasks to your neighbour or a close friend.
If you need someone to take care of your plants while you are away, turn off the water at the main valve for your home only while making it available for the outdoor hoses, faucets, and sprinkler system.
Don’t forget to check your rubber gaskets inside the hoses for wear and tear, splits, or other damage. Don’t forget that even such a minor issue can become a big disaster, especially if there’s no one around to act quickly.
Check your gutters
Most people don’t think about cleaning their gutters before going on vacation.
The truth is that even if you don’t notice a problem, a clogged gutter is one most common reasons to call for plumbing services since it can cause preeminent issues to your home if a sudden rainstorm occurs.
As you know, the general purpose of gutters is to protect your home from flooding and water damage.
Gutters help the rainwater flow off your roof and take it away around the perimeter of your house, where it can be absorbed.
To prevent water damage when nobody’s home, always take the following precautions:
- Scoop any debris and leaves out of the gutter.
- Check if the water is flowing freely.
- If the downspout seems clogged, use a powerful water spray to soften and loosen the debris. Using a plumber’s snake is the most effective method to break up clogs.
- Don’t forget to check for leaks and loosened, cracked, or worn sealants. Replace them if you spot signs of wear and tear.
Set your water heater at a lower temperature
Because there’s no need to keep your home’s temperature high when you are away.
That will also help keep energy bills low while you’re away.
This way, there’s little to no chance of heating an empty appliance.
Before you leave, ensure you’ve checked all the connections to the water heater.
Remember that water leaks, rust, or water stains on its surface might indicate a problem with your water heater tank. Remember, a faulty tank can leave you with significant water damage.
Check the drains
Clogged drains can wreak havoc in your home when you are on vacation and when you least expect it.
So, if you don’t want any foul odours and unpleasant surprises, prepare for your next step.
All you need to do is to give your bathroom a good scrub and clean the drains. This will help with faster drainage, and eventually, you will get rid of foul odours.
Regular cleaning will make drains withstand the test of time and help avoid a bigger plumbing problem down the road.
Inspect your sump pump
To protect your basement and avoid flooding, it’s crucial to identify any issues with your sump pump and its outlet pipe.
The most straightforward test is to unplug the sump pump and plug it in again. A properly working sump pump will turn on immediately.
Also, check for signs of external damage, built-in dirt, and debris.
You need to ensure that there is no massive obstruction in the outlet pipe which carries the water from the pump to the outside of your home.
A properly working sump pump will also protect your home’s foundation, reduce the chances of mould and mildew, reduce humidity and reduce the likelihood of various pest invasions.
Ask someone you trust to look after your house
The last tip is to speak with someone reliable to keep an eye out when you’re away.
A close friend, a neighbour or a family member can go a long way towards ensuring your property’s safety, especially when you are away for an extended period.
That’s probably one of the best ways to ensure you have peace of mind during your travels and that your home’s really well protected.
Just be sure to leave him your plumber’s phone number in an emergency.
Usually, there are many things to take care of when you’re going away, especially if it’s for a more extended period.
That’s why implementing some (or all) of these tips and techniques will ensure everything will be fine once you return.
Last but not least, you will travel anywhere knowing you can enjoy peace of mind, and that’s probably one of the most important things when you’re away from home.