Your Plumbing Checklist When You’re Going Out of Town

July 10, 2023

Going on vacation should be a fun and relaxing time, but you can make sure your worries are kept to a minimum by double-checking around your house for any plumbing problems. Don’t let bad luck ruin what is supposed to be a special occasion—take some extra precautions by performing regular maintenance and avoiding any unwanted disasters.

To help you get started, we’ve created the essential plumbing checklist to do before heading out of town in order to keep your home safe from harm and still have as restful a trip as possible!

Shut Off Your Main Water Supply

Turning off your main water supply will prevent any leaks or water damage while you're away. Make sure your pipes stay snug—turning off the main water supply before you leave is a great way to protect against any unexpected leaks or water damage. After all, nobody wants to come home after a break and find themselves neck-deep in problems!

Fortunately, it’s super simple: Locate your main valve switch by looking for an easily accessible lever or knob on the outside wall of the building. Then turn the valve counterclockwise (try clockwise if that doesn’t work!) until it stops moving.

Drain Your Pipes

This one is especially important if you’re going out of town in the winter. Don't let the cold temperatures get to your pipes! A great way to avoid frozen or burst pipes (which are not just inconvenient but also very expensive) is to open all of the faucets in your home. Let them run until the water stops flowing. This method will effectively drain any leftover water from the pipes and eliminate the risk of freezing.

Turn Off Your Water Heater

Don't forget to turn your water heater down or off when planning an extended vacation. If you have a gas heater, most likely it has a thermostat with a vacation setting. Just adjust it to the lower temperature before you head out! For electric water heaters, the process is a bit different. You'll want to actually turn off the power supply, giving your wallet and energy bill a welcome break while you're away.

Check For Leaks

Before you head out, take a second to have a look around your home and double-check the plumbing fixtures. Are any of them leaking or dripping? A plastic cup or dish below the tap can help catch those mysterious small drops and prevent a potentially major water-damage headache while you’re away. Trust us for peace of mind: Be sure to fix any pesky leaks you may find before you leave.

Clean Your Drains

Having your drains become clogged while you're away isn't an ideal situation. Prevent that by being proactive: Use a drain cleaner to remove any buildup in your drains before you leave for your trip. With this method, you'll have the peace of mind of knowing your kitchen sink or bathroom sink doesn’t have any problems. Plus, it'll save time and money on plumbing bills if something should ever arise.

Consider Installing A Leak Detection System

Are you worried about potential leaks or water damage while away from your home? Don't fret. A leak detection system is an easy solution that can help put your mind at ease. Installing one of these systems in your home can alert you the second any water is detected. You'll have peace of mind, knowing that your house is safe even when you're far away from it. With a leak detection system installed, silent water damage won't slip under the radar again.

Have Someone Check On Your Home

Ask one of your trusted friends or neighbors to occasionally look after your home. That way you can travel with complete peace of mind, knowing that someone is keeping an eye out and making sure all is as it should be. They’ll be there in case of any suspicious activity and make sure nothing has been tampered with during your absence.

Although taking precautions to keep your home safe while you are away is important, don't forget to take a deep breath, relax, and enjoy your trip. These pre-trip steps might seem a bit long, in-depth, or even far-reaching, but they could potentially save you time and money in the long term. Whether you’re taking a weeks-long trip or just simply making a weekend getaway, it is good to be able to count on returning home to find your home’s plumbing in good condition.

If you’re preparing for a trip and have questions about any potential problems you come across, or if you’re coming home from a trip to find that a problem arose in your absence, our team at Donovan Waterworks is here to help you resolve it. Reach out to our team today by calling 410-240-5299.

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