Vacation! It’s such an exciting time. No work, no responsibilities, and if you’re lucky, there’s sun, fun, and plenty of good food involved. The downside? Going on a vacation means leaving your home unused for a time. This can wreak havoc on your plumbing if you don’t take the time to put special measures in place.
At PlumbPRO Services, we help families across Ambler with a variety of pipe and plumbing needs. Here we’ll talk about some of the steps you should take to maintain your plumbing system before you go away. This ensures you come home to a house without leaks or flooding.
Take Care of External Water Sources
One of the major areas to focus on prior to a vacation is outdoor water use. External water sources like the garden hose offer risks of bursting during your absence. There’s also a chance that the hose could leak out into your yard while you’re away, flooding your property.
Turn off your outdoor water sources and remove the hose from the outdoor tap. If you have a swimming pool, disconnect the pumps and hose from the pool as well. Depending on the time of year, pool pumps could freeze or overheat.
Turn the Water Heater Off
The water heater is an important fixture in your home’s plumbing. Left to its own devices, however, there’s always a chance it could spring a leak or much up your energy bill. Before heading off on your vacation, either schedule water heater maintenance or turn it off.
Maintenance on the water heater guarantees it’s in good working order before you leave. Turning the heater off dismisses the chance of a leak or hot water heater-related flood, whether it’s been maintained or not.
Turn off all Water Supplies
Once the outdoor sources are disconnected, it’s time to focus on the internal supplies. Your water supply continues to produce pressure. This causes leaky faucets and pressure in the pipes within your home. If one of those pipes bursts while you’re away, you’ll come home to some serious water damage.
Before you leave, turn off your main water supply. You can do this at individual fixtures or by turning off the main water source to your home.
We should note that you don’t need to turn off your water supply for a quick long weekend excursion. This is more of an issue for those traveling for two weeks or longer.
You should have your drains cleaned once a year by a professional. But before you go away for a long vacation, you should make an effort to have someone come and clear them out to avoid hardened blockages when you return.
The kitchen sink is the worst culprit for this, although the shower and tub also back up with hair and debris. Your kitchen endures things like:
- Food waste
While these are easy to flush away with a little hot water and elbow grease in the moment, they’ll harden while you’re away on vacation. This leaves your pipes packed with hardened gunk that won’t easily flush away when you return.
Clear the Garbage Disposal
This goes hand in hand with clearing the pipes before vacation. Your garbage disposal contains a lot of debris from leftover food bits. It has the potential to leave a rather stinky situation upon your return.
If you don’t want your sink to smell, try sending a few ice cubes down the disposal. The ice will create a rough texture against the disposal to clean debris and push bits of food down the sink.
Run Your Dishwasher
Dishwashers, like garbage disposals, are prone to collecting food debris. Before you leave on vacation, be sure to run the dishwasher on a full cycle. There doesn’t need to be any dishes inside for this to take place. Simply run the cycle to flush away any built-up food product.
Running the dishwasher on a full cycle also steam dries the interior. This has little to do with the plumbing, but it will keep the dishwasher from encouraging mold or rust while you’re away.
Contact PlumbPRO Services
As a local business, PlumbPRO Services works with homeowners like you to ensure pipes and plumbing are in tip-top shape before vacation and throughout the year. If you’re planning on heading out on vacation, check with a professional to secure your home against leaks, floods, and strange plumbing odors. Call today to learn more.