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- By James Wisler
- Plumbing Tips
If you’re planning to go on a long vacation, you’ll probably want to make sure your home is protected from any kind of damage. The worst-case scenario would be a major incident that happened while you were gone and completely unaware. There could even be a storm that blows debris onto your home. Here’s what you can do to keep your home safe so you aren’t preoccupied while you’re away.
Find a house sitter.
It might be wise to ask someone who has access to your home to drop by at least once a week. (Every day would probably be even better.) This person would be able to check on the electricity, plumbing, HVAC, or just the house in general to make sure nothing has gone wrong. Any potential incidents can be caught early if you have someone to take a look for you.
Prep your water heater.
You might want to turn the water heater down to 80 or 90 degrees, which is pretty easy to do with a gas system and a little bit harder on an electric one. If your system doesn’t have a vacation setting, you might just want to turn it off by flipping the breaker.
Consider turning off the main water valve.
If you’re gone for a week or more, it might be a good idea to turn off the main water valve going to the house. That way if a pipe bursts or something comes loose, there won’t be water running into the house and causing a lot of damage. (The only water released would be what’s in the lines.) There are a few reasons why you wouldn’t want to turn the water valve off, however. If you have automatic appliances like an ice machine or a pet water dispenser, it’s probably a better idea just to have someone check your house daily.
Turn on vacation mode.
Equipment like water treatment systems have a vacation mode that prevent them from backwashing or activating any of their functions. As soon as you get back and run a gallon of water, the system should automatically exit vacation mode.
Change your thermostat’s setting.
If you have a programmable thermostat, do a permanent hold on the heating or cooling, depending on the season. During winter you’d probably want to bring it down to 60 or 65 degrees, and during summer you’d probably go up to 75.
Check for air drafts.
During the winter you’ll want to make sure everything is sealed up properly so there’s no way for cold air to enter into crawlspaces, basements, or doors. Otherwise it could significantly affect the heating and cooling system and even freeze the pipes in the plumbing system.
If you’re traveling for the holidays this winter, make sure to go through everything in this list so your home will be safe when you return. If you have any questions, reach out to the team at Wisler Plumbing & Air by contacting us online or giving us a call at 540-483-9382.