Most homeowners are aware that frozen pipes can cause plumbing disasters. But not many of us know that we should take precautionary methods during the summer, especially while we’re on vacation. So what can go wrong? Broken plumbing pipes, for one thing. They create a huge mess, and if you’re not home to take care of this problem, you could have serious damage. The following is a list of plumbing safety tips to follow before you go on vacation:
Shut off your water supply
Locate the main shut-off valve, which is generally outside the home, often below ground and covered by a grate. If you can’t find this valve, call A#1 Air. We will find it for you, explain how to shut it off and make sure it’s in proper working order. Given that we’re in a very hot climate during the summer, it may not be feasible to shut your water completely off, as you’ll want your sprinklers to run while you’re away. However, you can still prevent leaks by shutting off individual valves on lines that lead to sinks, toilets, the ice maker in the refrigerator and your washing machine.
Check your gutters
Even though it’s August, you never know what the weather holds in North Texas. Your gutters drain rainwater from the roof down to at least six feet from the foundation. Make sure your gutters can handle potential rain while you’re away by removing debris, leaves and sticks in the inlet and reattaching downspout extensions to avoid flooding your foundation.
Take care of your landscaping
Before you leave for summer vacation, make sure there are no tree roots, debris or other things blocking your sewer lines or your outside air conditioning unit.
Turn your water heater to the lowest possible setting, or shut it off completely
Turning it to a low setting may help save energy, while turning it completely off may prevent potential flooding while you’re away.
Drain the dishwasher and washing machine
This will help prevent mold, mildew and odors. Also we suggest you leave the doors open to air out these appliances.
Turn off your air conditioner
You’ll save energy this way. If you must leave it on due to pets in the home, set the temperature five to ten degrees higher while you’re away.
Ask a friend or neighbor to check on your home
You’ll have peace of mind knowing that if there’s an emergency, they can contact you or a professional to fix the problem.
If you have any concerns about your plumbing before you leave for vacation, give A#1 Air a call. We’ll be happy to perform a plumbing inspection to ensure that everything is in tip-top shape before you leave.