When leaving your home for vacation, one of the most important things you have to do is to prep your plumbing before the trip. Since a vacation also requires good preparation by scheduling flights, booking hotel rooms and researching for the most enjoyable activities away from home, your plumbing system requires similar attention as well. Returning home to find blocked drains, burst pipes, smelly toilets and broken water heater is avoidable by carrying out a well-organized overhaul of your plumbing system before leaving your home.
Clear the Drains and Garbage Disposals
Since the water that passed through your drains when you are home will not rinse them when you are away, it is advisable to clean the drains to remove any leftover moisture, traps and clogs, which might lead to nasty odors. Furthermore, you should leave the garbage disposal and the sink traps without any dirt to reduce the chances of developing odor.
Drain the Pipes
To prevent unnoticed leaks from turning your house into a small lake or water freezing in pipes during cold weather, you should turn off the water main of your home and then drain all the trapped water in the pipes by turning on all other faucets within the house. Furthermore, ensure you disengage all the garden hoses and clear the sprinkler system. Immediately the water drains out, you should turn all your faucets off!
Drain and Reset the Washing Machine
Any amount of water that can soak surfaces and items always leads to mildew, molds, and unpleasant odors. Draining your washing machine or even resetting the temperature on “vacation” mode will not only save energy, but also prevent any unnoticed leaks from drenching your items.
Drain your Water Heater
You should hire a professional, licensed plumber to assist in tuning up your water heater before leaving for vacation. During the process, he should also drain the water heater to prevent potential leaks from gaining ground while you are away. You will save a large amount of miscellaneous expenses when you prevent the heater from warming up water in the tank, with no one using it.
Keep Your Heater Running
You might think that shutting off your heater would help to cut energy costs when you are on vacation. However, it usually leads to the freeing and eventual bursting of pipes to cause wreckage and extensive damage to property in your home. Therefore, you should keep your thermostat to at least 55 degrees Fahrenheit to avoid such mishaps.
Lastly, you should notify a friend or a neighbor about your absence and leave your contacts with them for emergency purposes. Furthermore, ensure that your licensed professional plumber will be around to help during such events.