Our plumbing systems are probably the last thing on our minds when we’re going on vacation or planning a vacation. It’s not until we come home to an absolute catastrophe due to water damage that we realize it’s too late.
Just a few minutes can give you the peace of mind to be confident that your plumbing won’t wreak havoc while you’re away. All it takes is a little bit of preparation.
- Enable vacation mode.
First and foremost, most new items such as water heaters, water softeners, and HVAC systems have a vacation mode. If you enable vacation mode on your water heater, it will maintain the water temperature at about 60 degrees. It’s adequate enough to conserve energy when you’re away while still keeping the water from becoming completely cold. Water softeners set to vacation mode will exit the mode as soon as you use water again.
- Adjust your thermostat.
Heating or cooling your home can take a lot of energy. You should adjust the thermostat to a setting appropriate to the season so it won’t be kicking on as often. HVAC systems can sometimes be programmed to turn back on before you even arrive home. Not only will you save energy, but you’ll come back to a nice comfortable temperature.
- Shut off the water.
Unless you have a system that needs continuous water, you should shut off the main water valve. If something were to burst or break while you’re away and the water wasn’t shut off, it would run continuously until someone intervened. Turning off this valve will prevent catastrophic damage from occurring. While it won’t prevent a burst, only water in the pipe itself will be able to leak out. Most of the time, it will be very minimal.
- Get someone to check your home.
It’s always good to have a neighbor, friend, or family member to come and check your home to make sure everything’s all right. Even if you’ve switched your water off, it’s still wise to have someone go take a look. We receive countless calls from caretakers that check on a home only to find water spraying everywhere.
Water damages everything it touches. It’s especially bad if there are expensive or sentimental items in the home. If the HVAC drain stops up and it’s running to keep the house cool, it can get backed up. Mold can also develop if the water sits for long enough before being found.
If you follow these simple tips before leaving on vacation, you’ll be able to enjoy your vacation with peace of mind. If you have any questions, contact us online or give us a call at (540) 483-9382.