How to Prepare Your Plumbing for Summer Vacation

How to Prepare Your Plumbing for Summer Vacation

Do you have a long getaway planned for your family this summer? Make sure your plumbing is ready before you leave, especially if you’ll be gone for weeks or even months at a time. Just follow this checklist.

Arrange to have a friend or neighbor check in.

Even a small leak could turn into a very big mess if no one is there to stop it. Leave your plumber’s name and number on the counter in case an emergency occurs while you’re gone.

Inspect plumbing appliances for leaks, cracked hoses, or loose valves.

Make sure your home is free of plumbing problems before you leave to reduce the risk of an incident.

Turn down the water heater to its lowest setting.

Look for the temperature dial and find the setting labeled “low” or “vacation.” Use this setting to save energy while you’re gone, yet restore hot water production quickly once you return.

Shut off the water entirely for an extended absence.

For vacations lasting a month or longer, you may want to turn off the water to the house at the main supply valve and drain the entire plumbing system. Just remember to consider the water needs of your house sitter, if you have one.

Clean your drains.

When you don’t use your plumbing for a while, bacteria can build up and cause an unpleasant odor. To prevent this, flush your drains and toilets with one-half cup vinegar or bleach before you leave town.

Decide what to do with your sprinkler system.

You may want green grass when you return, but running automatic sprinklers in your absence could lead to unresolved leaks, breaks, and other trouble. If you want your lawn to continue being watered, ask your house sitter to keep an eye on the sprinkler system.

Consider your backyard swimming pool and hot tub.

Some people opt to cover their pool and hot tub and perform necessary maintenance when they return. Others keep the pump and heater running at low settings to reduce algae growth. Still others drain their pool and hot tub. What you choose is up to you.

Test the sump pump.

Winter is the rainy season in San Jose, but it doesn’t hurt to make sure your sump pump is operational before you leave on summer vacation. To test it, pour a bucket of water into the sump pit and make sure the pump engages. If it doesn’t, have the device serviced as soon as possible.

Schedule a plumbing inspection.

It’s a good idea to have a plumber inspect your pipes a few weeks before you leave for an extended period. If any problems are found, you can have them repaired now before they cause further harm.

For help getting your plumbing ready before you leave on summer vacation, please contact Mike Counsil Plumbing in San Jose today. We offer home protection plans for your peace of mind all year-round, especially when you’re out of town.


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