Holiday Travels: Prepping Your Plumbing Before You Leave
The holiday season often means packing up and heading out to spend time with loved ones. But while you’re away enjoying festive feasts and family fun, the last thing you want is to come home to a plumbing disaster. Here’s a checklist to ensure your plumbing system stays in tip-top shape during your holiday travels.
Turn Off the Main Water Valve
The most effective way to prevent any potential leaks, frozen pipes, or bursts while you’re away is to shut off the main water valve. This stops the flow of water into your home, reducing the risk of unexpected surprises.
Drain the Pipes
After turning off the main valve (check out our article on turning off your water main), open up all the faucets in your home to drain out any remaining water. This prevents potential freezing in colder climates.
Check for Leaks
Before you leave, do a quick inspection of your faucets, toilets, and under-sink areas. Address any minor leaks now to avoid bigger problems later.
For more information on what to look for read our article: The Art of Detecting Leaks: A Homeowner’s Essential Guide.
Adjust the Water Heater
There’s no need to heat water if you’re not there to use it. Turn down the temperature on your water heater, or if you’ll be gone for an extended period, turn it off completely.
If you are unsure how to do this, read through our water heater guide: Water Heaters: A Brooklyn Plumber’s Guide From CID Plumbing.
Clear the Drains
Pour a mixture of equal parts white vinegar and baking soda down your drains. This natural cleaner can help clear out any build-up and prevent clogs.
Insulate Exposed Pipes
If you live in an area with freezing temperatures, insulate any exposed pipes to prevent them from freezing and potentially bursting.
Ask a Neighbor for Help
If you’re comfortable doing so, ask a trusted neighbor to check on your home every few days. They can ensure that everything is in order and even run the faucets for a bit to keep things flowing.
Empty the Garbage Disposal
Run and clean your garbage disposal to clear out any remaining food particles. This prevents any unpleasant odors from greeting you upon your return.
Double-Check Outdoor Plumbing
Disconnect and drain garden hoses. If you have a sprinkler system, make sure it’s turned off and drained as well.
Leave Cabinet Doors Open
Allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing by leaving cabinet doors open, especially if they house pipes. This is particularly important in colder climates to prevent freezing.
Conclusion: Peace of Mind for Holiday Peace
Taking these simple steps can give you peace of mind while you’re away, ensuring you return to a home free of plumbing problems. Enjoy your holidays, knowing your plumbing system is safe and sound!