The holiday season is upon us, and most homeowners are going away for a few days. Most locations across the globe experience heavy winter frost and snow, so it’s important that you don’t leave without taking care of your plumbing. Forgetting something simple such as keeping your heating turned on or taking care of your water heater before leaving can result in a messy situation.
Plumbing problems tend to get worse the longer they’re left unattended. The real kicker is that since most homeowners are gone for the holidays, any number of plumbing issues can wreak havoc on the home. Instead of facing a nasty surprise when you get back from your travels, here are some of our plumbing tips to take into consideration:
1. Though it may seem rather counterproductive to leave your heat on while you’re away, it’s important to do so. During the winter and early spring months, the frigid cold can freeze your plumbing pipes while your home is not in use. This issue can be avoided by setting your thermostat to 60 degrees and leaving it on while you’re away. Frozen plumbing pipes can sometimes be defrosted, but more often than not, they need to be replaced– that can be costly!
2. Your water heater can also be a silent culprit in prolonging your potential plumbing nightmares. Before going on a holiday, make sure that you check your water heater to ensure there’s no water on the floor. If you find a small leak or puddle near the water heater, you should call a plumber right away as your water heater will need to be replaced.
Hopefully, you won’t find any problems before heading off on your vacation. However, it’s best to play it safe and turn off your water heater. Doing so can prevent it from working unnecessarily and should your electricity get turned off, it won’t cause the water heater to malfunction.
3. Odors are a result of clogged drain pipes. Don’t go on vacation without doing a bit of DIY plumbing pipe maintenance. There are some household chemicals that you can pour down your drains to help break up the particles causing odors and potential clogging. Additionally, make sure to remove manually hair from the surface of your bathtub drain and get rid of food particles that may be clogging your garbage disposal.
Leaving home without caring for your plumbing can make the odors worse, and it can also cause sludge buildup. If you want to play it completely safe, hire a plumber to perform optimal drain cleaning.
4. If you actively use your washing machine, make sure to check it over as well. A washing machine hose has a life expectancy of about three years before you need to go ahead and install a new one. It’s wise not to go on vacation without replacing the old one if it has hit the three-year mark. Not taking care of this problem can cause the machine to malfunction!
5. Is there something wrong with your plumbing right now? There’s always the possibility that you know there’s something wrong with your plumbing. Never go on vacation without having any potential problems fixed. Waiting until you get back from your travels can make the problem worse, and having to hire an emergency plumber like bestportlandplumbers.com can be infinitely more expensive.
6. Shut off the water supply leading to your toilet. In the case of an emergency, while you’re away, the amount of water that gets released back into your toilet will be minimal. Additionally, there’s no possibility of your toilet getting clogged while you’re not at home.
7. If you have an active sprinkler system or use an outdoor water supply on a regular basis, it’s best to shut it off while on vacation. Sometimes, homeowners can be absentminded in all of the excitement, therefore, forgetting that their sprinkler system is turned on. Of course, this is most often the case in areas where the weather is fairly warm and sunny year round.
Not only can you save a great deal of money on your utility bill, but it prevents from any potential plumbing problems from getting worse. If your yard needs constant care, have a neighbor or family member do the watering regularly.
8. You may be taking your refrigerator for granted, and if you have a built-in icemaker or filtration system, it could be plumbing trouble if you’re not paying attention. Before heading out, make sure to pull your fridge away from the wall and give it a thorough inspection. It’s best to unplug your fridge and remove food if you’re going to be gone for a long time. However, if you’re only leaving for a few days, just make sure to leave your fridge in good working condition.
Most homeowners have found it helpful to make a checklist of the different plumbing things they need to take care of. Before heading off on vacation, look around your house and check the things highlighted on your list. Many homeowners don’t do this, and you can end up spending hundreds or even thousands of dollars on a plumber because of your mistake.
The tips highlighted above are also reasonable to use if you’re traveling during the summer months of the year as well. Instead of cranking up the thermostat and setting your heater on, just leave your air conditioning running on the thermostat. It’s very important that your home remains at room temperature as it can prevent your furnishings from getting ruined as well as your plumbing.
When in doubt, you can shut off your entire water supply and turn it on again when you get home. This is the best course of action to choose if you’re going to be gone for some time, and it can help save you money in terms of utility bills and potential plumbing problems. If you encounter any problems, make sure to call a professional local plumber for help!