Summer is finally in full swing and for many of us Minnesotans that means vacation time. Whether you’re headed “up north” for a week at the lake or are traveling halfway around the world, there’s always a few things that need to be taken care of around the house before leaving for an extended period of time. Of course, you know to turn off all the lights, check to see that the stove is off and all the windows and doors are locked tight. But do you know what plumbing priorities you should check off before your extended getaway?
There are a few simply steps you can take to prep your plumbing for a long getaway to ensure you aren’t coming home to a flooded home, ruined carpet, foul smells, or thousands of dollars in water damage. And most of them will only take a few moments.
Plumbing Priority Checklist for a Worry-Free Vacation
Here’s what you should do to prep your plumbing before you leave on your vacation.
Shut Off Water Supply
This single, simple task is the best way to prevent a major flood in your home. If you happen to have a faulty pipe or plumbing fixture that bursts or leaks while you are away, turning off the main water supply ensures no additional water will leak into your home. If you have a sprinkler system or pool pump at your home that would making turning off the entire supply impractical, you can still turn off the water at each individual fixture, say your sinks, toilets and washing machine, to minimize flooding if something were to happen.
Drain or Turn Off Water Heater
If you haven’t scheduled annual maintenance for your water heater yet, before leaving on vacation is a great time. A professional plumber can inspect if for leaks and help you drain it. If you don’t have time for an inspection, you can turn it off or set it to “vacation” mode. Traditional water heaters that run on electricity or natural gas are likely one of the largest energy consuming appliances in your home. Turning it off while you are away will not only reduce your chances of flooding your home, but it can significantly lower your utility bill.
Drain Outside Faucets & Disconnect Hoses
Don’t go through the trouble of turning off your water, only to return to a flooded home thanks to leaking pipes. Once you’ve turned off your water, disconnect the hoses and open the outside faucets to empty your pipes.
Perform a Sump Pump Test
Summer storms can pop up out of nowhere and dump an incredible amount of rain in a very short period of time. If your basement is prone to flooding, make sure your sump pump is working properly before you leave. Give it a test run by pouring a bucket of water into the sump pit and make sure it turns on and pumps the water away. You should also have a battery backup pump in case the power goes out when you are away.
Before leaving, remove debris that have fallen into your gutters to make sure they are clear to move any rainwater away from your roof and foundation. This will help to prevent additional water from getting into your home while you are gone.
Without water running down through them, any minor clogs or gunked up drains may start to smell. If it’s been a while since you’ve given your drains a good thorough cleaning, you may want to have a plumber out to make sure you don’t come home to an unpleasant funk. One Hour Rooter specializes in drain cleaning, not just clearing and can get your drains working properly and smelling great with a method that will restore you pipes to a like-new condition.
Have a Friend Check In
If you are going to be gone from your home for an extended period of time, it’s always a good idea to have someone you know and trust check in on your home every now and then. This can be the best way to catch any issues that may arise early and prevent them from getting out of hand while you are away.
Protect Your Plubming with One Hour Rooter
A little extra prep work before you leave on vacation can give you added comfort and peace of mind. Relax knowing your home’s plumbing is in good hands with One Hour Rooter. If you have any questions about your home’s plumbing or need help, give us a call at (651) 217-8439 or contact us online. We’ve been serving the Minneapolis metro area with fast, professional, superior quality plumbing service since 2012.