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When you plan a vacation, you make sure that you have all the traveling essentials and necessary things that you will need while you are away from home. But there are a few steps that you need to take to make sure your home stays safe from plumbing disasters while you are gone. So before you pack your bags and head out, take a look at the following plumbing tips to help ensure your home is in a 'vacation-mode’.

Locate the Main Shutoff Valve and Turn it Off

The main water supply line that is flowing into your house can cause some serious plumbing disasters. And nothing can be more frustrating than not knowing what to do about it. One of the first and most important steps you need to take is locating the main water supply valve. Usually, it is simple to operate, and you have to turn at an angle of 90o clockwise (or just perpendicular to the pipe with which it is connected). In case you don’t know how it works, make sure you learn that before you head out for a vacation.

While it is simple to operate, it is not always easy to locate. In most cases, the main shutoff valve is prominent, but in some cases, it may be concealed behind the walls or under the floor. If you are unable to locate the valve, make sure you call a plumber. If you are about to leave your house, it is better to schedule an emergency plumber appointment instead of putting the issue on hold.

Turn off the Water Heater

Water heaters are one of the essential appliances in our homes. They provide warm water for shower, laundry, and doing the dishes. But when your entire family is going out for a vacation, you don't need a running water heater. So as you get ready and are about to leave home, one of the last few checks in the house should include turning off the water heater.

In case you leave the water heater on, it will continue to heat the water, which will remain unused. This continuous heating of the water can significantly increase the risk of damaging your water lines and the water heater. Also, it will continue to use the energy, so even when the entire family is gone, you will not notice any decrease in the energy cost.

Check All Appliances for Leaks

Water heaters, dishwashers, and washing machines are the essential appliances in every household. While you shut off the main valve, it is a good idea to check all devices for leakage after you shut down the main water supply. All you need to do is visually inspect all appliances, including water heaters, dishwashers, and washing machines, along with all faucets and pipes. Make sure there is no water around any of your appliance or plumbing fixtures. This check will minimize the risk of water damage in your home while you are away.

Turn off Your Toilet’s Shutoff Valve

Want to ensure that your toilets don't overflow while you are gone? Then it is best to turn off your toilet's shutoff valve. You will be turning off your main shutoff valve to ensure that in case you miss out on the first step, your toilets remain secure. Usually, a toilet's shutoff valve is located right next to your toilet, in case you can't find it, call a plumber to help you locate the valve. Since these valves are not regularly used, they might be difficult to turn around. It is a good idea to lubricate the valve and then turn it off.

Check Your Sump Pump

With changing global climate, predicting rainfalls and thunderstorms is quite unpredictable. So the rainy season may still be a few weeks away, but while you are gone, you cannot risk ignoring your sump pump. Before you leave, don't forget to test your sump pump. Make sure the backup system is in excellent condition. So even if there is rain while you are away, you get to see a safe and tidy home as you return home.

Prevent Odors

No one wants to return from an enjoyable vacation only to be welcomed by foul odor from the drains. This is usually the case if you have a garbage disposal installation installed in your kitchen sink and is not cleaned correctly. However, it is possible to prevent this odor. All you need to do is to run some cold water and ice cubes through the garbage disposal before you leave. Running cold water through the garbage disposal unit will ensure that your garbage disposal is all clean and free from any food particles, so you don't have to experience the foul odor upon your return.

Provide Emergency Contact Numbers

While it is not directly a plumbing tip, it is still one of the most relevant things to do before you leave for a vacation. Make sure you provide a list of all emergency contacts to one or two of your trusted friends, neighbors or family members. You don't just need to share your contact numbers, but make sure you share your most trusted plumber's emergency contact. So in case of an emergency, they know whom they should call.

Schedule an Inspection

Perhaps, the ideal way of going about as you plan your vacation is to take out some time and schedule an inspection. Only a professional plumber would know all the possible checks when it comes to the plumbing system in your house. An inspection is also an opportunity to locate some of the concealed shutoff valves, repair leakages in your pipes or appliances, if any, or deal with any plumbing situation that went unnoticed as you inspected your home. It is recommended that you schedule the inspection a few days before you have to leave, so there is ample time to fix all your problems.

If you are planning to for a vacation and need to schedule an inspection, contact Mesa Plumbing. With an industry experience of over six decades, we can help you identify and repair all your plumbing problems. Give us a call now at 480-832-1660 or visit our website to keep your house in the right shape while you enjoy your vacation.

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