Before you embark on a well-deserved vacation, take a look at your home’s plumbing system to ensure it is in good shape. Taking a few moments to address plumbing-related tasks before you leave can help you avoid potential water damage, emergencies, and surprises upon your return. By following this checklist, you can easily enjoy your vacation with peace of mind that your home’s plumbing is ready for your absence. It is a good idea to do your inspections a few weeks before you leave and then again right before you leave. Doing the inspections twice gives you time to make any necessary repairs as needed.

1. Inspect for Leaks

Checking for leaks before you leave on vacation is a great way to prevent damage to your home while you are gone. Examine all of the faucets in your home and look for signs of dripping or persistent water leaks. Even a small drip can waste significant amounts of water. Check toilet tanks and bowls and listen for unusual sounds like running water or hissing coming from the toilet tanks. Also, look for any visible leaks around the base of the toilets. Check any visible plumbing pipes and look for water stains, discoloration, or dampness.

2. Switch Off the Main Water Supply

When it is time to leave for your vacation, you should shut off the main water valve to your home to prevent water damage while you’re gone. Shutting off your main water valve can prevent plumbing issues such as burst pipes, leaks, and fixture malfunctions. However, if your home has automatic sprinklers, automatic irrigation systems, or fire sprinklers that rely on the main water valve being on, it is important to have alternative solutions. A good alternative might be a trusted friend or neighbor checking on your home daily to make sure everything is okay, rather than shutting off the main water valve.

3. Drain the Water Lines

Draining the water lines in your home before leaving for vacation is a wise precaution that can help protect your property. Draining the lines can prevent potential water damage by eliminating the risk of leaks or burst pipes. Draining the water lines can also help save energy and reduce plumbing odors. Water heaters, for instance, won’t need to work as hard to maintain the temperature of the water inside if there isn’t any water in the lines. You can also set most water heaters to vacation mode, which, depending on your water heater, is around 50 degrees. If there isn’t a vacation mode available, you can also set a water heater to pilot mode before you leave. Setting your water heater to a lower temperature or just leaving the pilot light on helps keep your water heater protected while conserving energy while you are away.

4. Clear Drains

Clearing the drains in your home before vacationing is an important task that can help prevent issues while you are away. Clearing drains can help prevent clogs. Clogs have the potential to result in water backing up, making your drains and fixtures unusable. Debris, hair, soap scum, and other substances in pipes accumulate over time, which results in odors if left to sit long-term.

Clearing drains can also minimize pest attraction while you are away. Along with clearing the drains, you will also want to make sure that the sinks and toilets in your home get disinfected and cleaned prior to your vacation. This ensures that you can use them right away when you return. There are also fewer opportunities for bacteria to grow, resulting in discoloration, smells, etc.

5. Empty and Clean Appliances

Emptying and cleaning appliances in your home before leaving for a vacation is important because it helps prevent stale odors from originating in damp or dirty interiors. Cleaning and drying your appliances allows them to be ready for you to use as soon as you return. Cleaning your appliances also discourages pest infestations. A washer and dryer that are left closed and damp can quickly grow mold while you’re away. A clean garbage disposal and dishwasher mean that you can avoid unpleasant odors and mold growth that flourish over time when you aren’t using these appliances.

6. Have a Plumber Inspect Your Home

A plumbing inspection before vacationing is a wise decision, as it can help provide peace of mind while you are gone. When you have the plumbing in your home inspected by one of our knowledgeable plumbers, they can detect leaks early on so they don’t cause damage to your home. A plumbing inspection can also assess the condition of your pipes and identify areas of concern that may require replacements or repairs.

If you’ve had any issues with slow drains, a plumbing inspection can make sure that your sewer line is working properly. A plumber can also inspect your water heater to check for signs of sediment buildup and corrosion to help prevent it from leaking. An inspection of fixtures and appliances in your home ensures that there aren’t any worn-out parts or malfunctions that are essentially ticking time bombs. It always seems that things go wrong when you’re away, and you don’t want to come back to a tremendous mess.

7. Have Gutters and Downspouts Cleaned

Having your home’s gutters and downspouts cleaned before going on vacation ensures that rainwater can flow freely and away from your home. Clean gutters can also prevent clogs caused by leaves, dirt, twigs, and debris. Dirty gutters can lead to pest infestations and water pooling in places where you should have free-flowing water.

You can also help preserve the roof of your home by having your gutters cleared before leaving home for an extended period of time. When gutters remain clogged and there are heavy rains while you are away, there is a chance that flooding can take place around your property. When this standing water doesn’t have the ability to move itself away from your foundation, it can cause structural damage to your home. You’ll be arriving home to some very extensive and costly repairs.

8. Get Repairs Done Before You Leave

Having necessary plumbing repairs completed before you go on vacation is a wise decision that can help you safeguard your home and prevent potential emergencies. This is why it is essential to walk your property and then have a plumbing inspection done so that our plumbers can alert you to things that need repairing or replacing. Depending on the plumbing issue, plumbing repairs completed before your vacation help to avoid water damage, may help you save money, ensure that the plumbing works well when you return, protect your home’s value, and give you more peace of mind while you vacation.

Contact Us Today

At Plumbtree Plumbing & Rooter in San Jose, California, we provide drain repair, drain cleaning, and leak detection for your home. Our friendly team also provides gas line repairs, garbage disposal repairs, and water heater maintenance. Contact Plumbtree Plumbing & Rooter for more information today.

Josh Gibson

Hi, I’m Josh. I’ve been around plumbing my whole life. When I was 5-6 years old my family built a home where I did a lot of the sanding of copper pipe and definitely some playing in the mud. Plumbing is a major part of my family as I am a fourth-generation plumber. The skills I bring to the job are a good technical knowledge of plumbing and code requirements. I am often complimented on my hands-on problem-solving skills.
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