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What to Do with Your Home’s Water System When You Go on Vacation

Do you have a fun trip planned for the summer?

Many of us look forward to long vacations in the summer months, thanks to a little extra time off of work and school. But as a homeowner, there are many things that you need to take care of before hitting the road and leaving your house behind. For example, you’ll probably want to turn up the thermostat, unplug your electronics, and set up timers to light up rooms and deter burglars. But one of the most important pre-vacation jobs to do around the house is adjust the plumbing system to prevent leaks and water damage.

This article will provide plumbing tips for homeowners about how to prevent water damage while traveling for summer vacation.

Issues That Arise from Disuse

There are various problems that can arise when a home’s plumbing is left in a prolonged state of disuse. Pipes and appliances can begin leaking while you’re gone, which may permanently damage your carpet or furniture. Leaks can also lead to compromised structural integrity of your home’s walls and foundation. It is also possible for plumbing fixtures to dry out and crack when they’re not used for a long time.

Pre-Vacation Plumbing Tips

The first step in preparing your home for a little time off is to inspect everything for existing leaks so you can take care of issues before you leave. Make sure to do this well in advance of your trip so you’re not scrambling to get repairs done at the last minute.

The easiest way to have peace of mind about leaks when you’re gone is to shut off the main water valve. You’ll typically find this main valve in the basement, garage, or outside along the home’s foundation. Unless you need to keep it on for your outdoor sprinkler or pool, this is recommended for even short trips in the summer. If you have a backyard pool, it is recommended to continue running the pump so that it doesn’t form algae. Just check the pump settings before you leave.

If you plan to be gone for over a month, ask a friend or neighbor to come into your home to run the faucets, toilets, and dishwasher to prevent your plumbing fixtures from cracking or becoming too dry. Turning off the main valve doesn’t guarantee that you won’t have a pipe burst, but it will prevent the worst possible scenario and keep damage to a minimal level.

Before you leave, also check your sump pump to ensure it is in working order in case a major rainstorm happens while you’re away. Simply pour a bucket of water into the sump pump to make sure it turns on when filled with water. Also clear your sump pump of debris and listen for any strange sounds. You may want to install a battery back-up in case a storm makes the power go out. Also, to avoid coming back to a stained and bacteria-filled toilet, pour a half cup of chlorine into the toilet bowl before you leave.

Handling Plumbing Issues When You Return

But if you come back from your trip to find your plumbing system in disarray, don’t despair and lose your vacation state of mind just yet. If you catch the issue early, you may be able to have an experienced plumber do a quick repair before it gets worse. If replacement parts are needed, Central Plumbing Specialties has the plumbing fixtures NYC that you need for all types of kitchen and bath repairs. Stop by one of our New York locations to pick up the parts you need and maybe even start browsing for your next home renovation project!

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