Going On A Summer Vacation Trip, Here's Some Home Plumbing Tips

Going On A Summer Vacation Trip, Here's Some Home Plumbing Tips

Prevent plumbing problems while you’re away from your home for an extended period of time!

The great American Summer Vacation is a tradition that we all enjoy. A time to rest, relax and create family memories. You spend a lot of time getting ready, arranging plans and packing. Nothing can ruin a great vacation faster than coming home to find something has happened to your home while you were gone. Consider doing these things to prevent problems and save energy while you’re away from your home for more than a couple days or so.

Shut off the water supply to your home

Your home’s plumbing system is a network of pipes that supply water to the faucets, toilets, baths and other fixtures in your home. Any of these fixtures or pipes could develop a leak at any time while you are gone. If you’re not home to notice a leak, the amount of water that can leak in to your home can cause a lot of damage. Even a small leak turns in to gallons and gallons of water over time. Local codes require that there is a main water supply shut off valve where your water supply enters your home. Turn off the water supply to drastically reduce the amount of water that leak and cause damage while you’re gone. Turn the main water supply back on when you get home.

Set your water heater to “vacation mode”

Tank style water heaters constantly heat and re-heat water in the tank so hot water is available when you want it. When you are gone, you can reduce the amount of energy your water heater uses during this heat and re-heat cycle. Many water heaters have a “vacation” setting. This setting tells the water heater to use a much lower temperature to heat the water. If your water heater does not have a vacation mode, you can lower the thermostat setting. Most water heaters are set to heat water to 120 degrees. You can lower the thermostat to 60 degrees or so while you are gone.

Remember to reverse these settings when you are home from your trip. You’ll also need to give the water heater time recover the water in the tank back to 120 degrees (or whatever you had it set to) before you use hot water again.

Prevent stinky drains and garbage disposals

Your kitchen drain and garbage disposal get coated with food residue as you use them. It’s a good idea to clean them on a regular basis. It’s a great idea to clean them before you are away from home for a while. The food residue will rot and start to smell if you don’t use the drain. The odor can get very strong over time. Solution?Pour a half cup of vinegar in drain, let it sit for a minute and turn on the hot water to flush the drain.

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