Going away this summer? When the sun shows itself and the rainy season comes to a close, planning trips is a great way to enjoy the weather, connect with family and friends, and see new places.
However, leaving your home unattended for even a few days can set you up for a plumbing disaster if you do not properly prepare for your house to run in your absence. What can go wrong and how can you prevent issues? Unattended plumbing can spring leaks that lead to floods without immediate tending. Household flooding can cause major structural issues and destroyed belongings, all of which may require major, costly repairs.
Want to avoid these issues while you bask in the sun on your vacation? Attend to the following before you leave:
1. Pool pump: Going away for a few days? Continue to run your pool pump to prevent your pool from growing algae and turning don’t-swim-in-me green. Before leaving, be sure to check your pool pump settings so that they are exactly the way you want them. Turn off the heat in your spa to avoid wasted energy and overheating.
2. Household plumbing: Avoid coming home to a dreaded flood or leak by turning off your water at the main shut-off valve – provided that none of your household items require the switch to stay on, including your automatic sprinkler system or pool. If you plan to be away for more than a few weeks, ask a friend to come by your home and turn on your faucets at least once a month to prevent sewer gas from entering the house through your pipes. Running faucets also keeps parts of your plumbing from cracking or drying out.
3. Toilet care: Your toilet can accumulate grime and even mold when not flushed daily. Avoid returning home to a murky toilet by pouring a half cup of chlorine into the bowl before you leave, and asking that friend or neighbor to stop by and routinely flush your toilets to remove any excessive growth.
4. Friend-on-call: As you can see, above, calling a friend or neighbor to watch over your home while you are away on vacation is an essential preventative step. In addition to the above duties, ask that this person run your dishwasher while you are away and check around sinks and toilets for signs of leaks. Leaks can also show up in areas of your lawn near your septic tank, so be sure to instruct your friend to check there as well. Having an eye on all areas of your property while you enjoy your hard-earned time away is often just what you need to avoid accidents and achieve peace of mind.
Vacations, even small ones, are a fun and refreshing part of your summer. Use the above tips to protect your plumbing while you are away to ensure that your homecoming is both sweet and drama-free.