8 Helpful Plumbing Tips to Follow Before Going on Vacation

After a chilly winter, you deserve to soak up some sun. Spring break is just around the corner. Maybe your family is off to a week-stay in the Bahamas—if so, we’re jealous.

No matter where you’re jetting off to, don’t forget to prep those pipes. The last thing you want after a fun and relaxing getaway is to come home to a musty smelling laundry machine or, worse, a flooded basement.

Before leaving for vacation, be sure to perform all the steps of this checklist to assess the high-risk areas in your home.

1) Turn the main water valve to remove any stagnant pools from pipes.

Be careful if this is your first time shutting off the main valve! Old ones tend to be fragile, so be careful when turning it. If it doesn’t budge or there is still leakage after successfully putting it in the off position, be sure to contact a licensed plumber to replace it.

2) Drain your hot water heater.

Hot water heaters are just money sinks while on vacation. Set an appointment with a professional plumber to come drain your water heater and do a routine check-up on it. This maintenance is beneficial to the longevity of your heater and avoids the possibility of leaks while saving money and energy.

3) Drain large appliances.

Laundry and washing machine lines are perfect nesting grounds for mold and mildew to thrive in. Even a small amount of water can cause a musty odor to permeate the house. Remember to drain them, too.

4) Perform an outdoors check.

Detach garden hoses, open and close spigots, and drain unneeded sprinkler systems. These will all help reduce the chance of mold springing up.

Be sure to check for any tree roots encroaching on your sewer line. If this is not attended to, you could face a serious issue.

Don’t forget to clear gutters of debris, leaves, and sticks so water can move freely through the inlets and out the downspouts.

5) Check your sump pump.

Inspecting your sump pump is necessary to ensure your last line of defense against a flooded return is functioning properly.

Be sure to test its efficacy by filling it up making sure it turns on. Consider investing in a back-up pump as well if your home’s foundation is below the water table.

6) Add drain maintenance products to your drains

This keeps drains prevents any odors from building up and conditions the pipes.

7) Check the weather.

Don’t just focus on those balmy beaches! Be sure you’re considering the weather at home­; spring in the suburbs can be volatile at times, so make sure your house is prepared. Keep your home warm enough against severe cold to prevent bursting pipes, and cool enough to combat the warping of wood floors and doors. A good temperature range is 55-60 degrees Fahrenheit.

8) Ask a friend, family member, or neighbor to keep an eye on your home while you’re away

Give them your emergency plumber’s contact information. Flatley’s Plumbing Express is here for you 24/7.

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