PLUMBING CHECKLIST BEFORE GOING AWAY FOR THE HOLIDAYS
DEC 18, 2017
It’s that time of year again when many of us are making travel plans and preparing to visit friends and family. While this can be an exciting time to see family, friends and enjoy yourself, it can also be stressful, and not just because of the traveling. Every year families come back from holiday vacations looking to get back in the comfort of their homes, only to find out that something went terribly wrong while they were gone. Luckily, here in Phoenix, we don’t have to worry about freezing pipes like many other areas of the country or even the northern part of our state. However, there are still issues you should address, including double checking a plumbing checklist of certain items that will give you peace of mind while you are away.
HOLIDAY VACATION PLUMBING CHECKLIST
Your holiday vacation should be a time for relaxation (or at least as much relaxing as you can do while forced to hang out with your in-laws). No one wants to be worried about home maintenance while they are away. Before you leave your house for the holidays, cross these plumbing tips off of your checklist.
SHUT OFF THE WATER
First thing on the list is to find the main water valve for your home and turn it off. Most people do not even consider the water going into their homes, but if something inside your home breaks, having the main valve turned off will prevent the house from flooding. If for some reason your water valve is not accessible or you are not sure where it is located, shutting off the valves for your sinks and toilets can also minimize damage should something break.
On a side note, whether it’s a rental home, an owned home or a home you may be watching for a friend or family member, one of the first things you should always do is to locate the main water valve. In case of an emergency water situation, the ability to shut off the flow of water into the home can save time and a lot of money.
CLEAR YOUR GARBAGE DISPOSAL
We are almost all guilty of not running the disposal until everything is clear. We get in a hurry, flip the switch for a split-second, then turn it off and go about our business. But leaving food waste in the bottom of the disposal for more than a day or two can wreak havoc. Nobody wants to return from a long holiday trip and open the door to a smelly home. Make sure to turn the water on, run the disposal until you are sure everything has been evacuated, and then turn it off. It will save you from a foul smelling comfort disaster.
CHECK APPLIANCES AND WATER VALVES
As you make your way around the house, be sure to check your appliances. Take a look at your water heater, washing machine, dishwasher, refrigerator, etc. Look for any dampness or standing water around these appliances and call a professional if something is found.
Yes, moving the refrigerator isn’t the most convenient task in the world, but taking a few minutes to ensure there are no leaks can prevent major headaches down the road. If you have a water softening system or a RO system, be sure to check those as well.
There is no need to heat your water while you are away for a long period of time. If you are not going to arrange an at-home house sitter, turn your water heater to “vacation” or off completely. While this may not directly be a plumbing issue, it will have your money on utility cost. Why heat water that nobody is using?
On a similar note, if you have a spa at your home, turn down the thermostat on that as well. DO NOT turn off the water pump for your pool/spa, as algae can grow quickly.
GET A HOUSE SITTER
Even after all the tips above, one of the best things you can do is to get a house sitter. They can either check on your home daily or stay at the house while you’re away. This is great way to make sure that should something go awry, there is someone there to deal with it immediately and notify you as soon as possible. As an added bonus, if you have pets the house sitter can watch them as well. This saves you the inconvenience (and cost) of having to board them.
Traveling during the holidays can be stressful enough, why add to it? By following the tips above you can rest easy knowing that you can enjoy your vacation and everything at home will be ok. You should do the walk-through of your home a few days before you are scheduled to depart in case you should spot something. This gives you time to schedule a professional to fix the issues before you leave.
Spotted a potential problem but have an upcoming trip? Don’t worry! We’re available 24 hours a day and have same-day Phoenix-area plumbing appointments available. Call us now so that we can squeeze you in before you have to get on the road or to the airport!