While on Vacation, Protect Your Pipes

While on Vacation Protect Your Pipes
If you travel to warmer climates during the winter months, you may need to take a few steps to protect your plumbing while you are gone. With these tips, hopefully you will avoid leaks, wasted water and frozen pipes.

  1. Keep the Heat On
    When you are planning to leave for several days or a couple of weeks, you may think that this is a great opportunity to turn off your heat and save a lot of money on your utility bill. However, from a plumbing standpoint, this could be a ticket to disaster. Unless you shut off your main water shutoff valve and drain all the water (which is quite unlikely), there will be some water sitting in your pipes. Water can freeze at indoor temperatures of 55 degrees or lower. If you want to avoid frozen or burst pipes (and a whole host of expensive repairs), keep your heat set to 60 degrees or higher during your trip.
  2. Check for Leaks
    Before you go, it is wise to take the time to look for problems in your plumbing. These problems range from simply costly to disastrous. For example, that dripping faucet is sending your hard-earned money down the drain. Just one drip per second adds up to gallons in a fairly short period of time. Your faucet might just need a new seat washer to stop that leak before it becomes a real drain on your pocketbook. For more severe leaks, ask your plumber for guidance.
  3. Solve drain clogs
    Drain clogs are another concern that could turn into a disaster in time. When your drains take an exceptionally long time to pass water through, you run the risk of leaving standing water in your sinks or bathtub. This may attract insects and rodents. If the clog is further down the pipes, standing water in the pipes puts you at risk for frozen or burst pipes. Fortunately, drain clogs are a fairly easy fix. You might be able to resolve it simply by clearing out your P-trap.
  4. Inspect Water Heater
    If you never look at your water heater, now is a great time to check it out. Plumbing equipment tends to stay out of your attention until it becomes a problem, and the last thing you want is a leaky water heater while you take your holiday. Inspect the exterior of the water heater for leaks or rust. If you see any water on the floor near the water heater, contact your plumber for assistance.

Going on vacation should be an excellent time to relax and refresh yourself as you take a break from your busy life. You do not need to incur damage to your home while you are gone. By taking a few pro-active measures, you will ensure that your plumbing will be working properly when you return.