Preparing to leave your home for an extended period of time comes with what feels like a never ending to do list. Whether you are going on vacation, visiting family, or leaving for business the last thing you want to come home to is a leak that decided to pop up after you left. Here are a few tips to help prevent this unwelcome homecoming surprise from happening.
If you know you will be gone for a while or won’t have anyone checking in on your property, then you may not have the need for water to be utilized at all during your absence. If this is the case, you can turn the water off at the main shut off for your home to be certain that no water will leak. The main water supply is typically located near the front of a home and is often next to a hose connection. Your main service may also be located in a box in the ground. This box is typically also found in the front yard. Turning water off here should prevent any and all water from getting to your property from the city supply. If you attempt to turn the water off and are unable to do so, we recommend scheduling an appointment with us as soon as possible to have the main service repaired. This will allow you to turn the water off to your home quickly in the event of a future emergency.
***Note- If you turn off the main water supply to your home, and have a recirculating pump on your water heater, please make sure to either turn it off or unplug it for the duration of time the water will be off, this will keep the motor from burning up.
Turning the water off completely may not be a feasible option for everyone while traveling. If you have pets that will have an occasional sitter, or plants that get watered on an automatic timer, you may need to leave water accessible to parts of your home while limiting usage in other areas. If this is your situation, you should be able to turn water off to fixtures that you know will not be used in your absence. Toilets, sinks, refrigerators, and washing machines all typically have their own emergency shut off valve(s) that can be turned off to prevent water usage. If you decide to utilize this option it is important to remember that not everything in your home that uses water has an emergency shut off valve, showers and bathtubs are the most common among these. again, we recommend testing the emergency shut off valves prior to your departure date to make sure they are all operating as intended.
Now that you don’t have to worry about coming home to a flooded kitchen or bathroom, you can start thinking about other ways to prepare your home for your departure. One trick we use (and recommend) is to freeze a cup of water and once frozen, place a quarter on top of the frozen water. Leaving this in your freezer while you are gone is a very easy way to determine if your home (or freezer) lost power at any point while unattended. If the coin is in the ice and not on top when you return, you know that the ice started to melt and the coin dropped to the point where the ice melted to.
In the unfortunate circumstance that you do come home to find a watery mess, please call our office today to schedule an appointment for one of our expert Plumbers to help resolve the issue. Happy and safe travels from all of us here at Instant Plumbing and Rooter LLC!