Vacation Tips: Keeping Your Plumbing in Check While You’re Away

Are you counting down the days until your well-deserved vacation? While you’re busy packing and planning your itinerary, it’s essential not to forget about your home’s plumbing. Neglecting it could lead to potential disasters and unwelcome surprises upon your return. Whether you’re jetting off for a weekend getaway or an extended holiday, here are some valuable tips to ensure your plumbing remains in top shape while you’re away.

1. Shut Off the Main Water Supply:

One of the most critical steps before leaving for vacation is turning off the main water supply to your home. Locate the main shut-off valve and give it a clockwise twist to stop the flow of water. This action prevents leaks and burst pipes from causing extensive damage in your absence.

2. Inspect for Leaks:

Before departing, conduct a thorough inspection of your plumbing system. Check faucets, toilets, and visible pipes for any signs of leaks or drips. Addressing these issues beforehand can save you from potential water damage and high utility bills. If you notice any problems, have them repaired promptly by a professional plumber.

3. Drain the Pipes:

To further safeguard against frozen pipes during winter vacations, consider draining your plumbing system. Start by opening all the faucets and letting the water run until it stops flowing. Flush toilets to empty the tanks and bowls. Additionally, consider using air compressors to blow out any remaining water from the pipes. This step is especially crucial if you live in regions with freezing temperatures.

4. Protect Pipes from Freezing:

If you’re vacationing during the colder months, take extra precautions to prevent frozen pipes. Insulate exposed pipes with foam pipe insulation or heat tape to keep them warm. Leaving cabinet doors open under sinks allows warm air to circulate, reducing the risk of freezing. Set your thermostat to a temperature no lower than 55 degrees Fahrenheit to maintain a comfortable environment and prevent pipe damage.

5. Consider a Smart Leak Detection System:

Investing in a smart leak detection system provides peace of mind while you’re away. We are big fans of Moen Flo. Devices like Moen Flo monitor your home’s water usage and alert you to any abnormalities or leaks detected. Moen Flo goes further and has an automatic shut-off features that can turn off the water supply in case of emergencies, potentially saving you from significant damage.

6. Ask a Neighbor for Assistance:

Enlist the help of a trusted neighbor or friend to check on your home periodically while you’re on vacation. Provide them with your contact information and instructions on how to reach you in case of an emergency. Their quick intervention could prevent minor plumbing issues from escalating into major problems.

7. Turn Off Appliances:

Before leaving, remember to turn off and close stops to appliances that use water, such as washing machines and dishwashers. This step not only conserves energy but also reduces the risk of malfunctions or leaks in your absence.

8. Avoid DIY Fixes Before Departure:

While it may be tempting to tackle plumbing repairs yourself before leaving, it’s best to leave major issues to the professionals. DIY attempts could worsen the problem or create new ones, leading to more significant headaches when you return home.

Taking a few precautionary measures before embarking on your vacation can save you from potential plumbing disasters and costly repairs. By shutting off the main water supply, inspecting for leaks, draining pipes, and enlisting the help of a neighbor, you can enjoy your time away worry-free. Remember, a little preparation goes a long way in ensuring your home’s plumbing remains in excellent condition while you’re off making memories.