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Vacation is meant for relaxation, but coming home to a plumbing or utility problem can take away the post-vacation good mood. While you are away, there are a lot of issues that can arise from a leaky faucet hiking up your water bill, or a pipe burst flooding your home.

To save yourself from potential headaches and high costs, it is better to prepare your home before you leave for vacation. Depending on how long you will be gone, you would want to secure the utilities within the home as much as you can.

Use the checklist below to leave your home in top condition to prevent any incident.

1. Turn off the Main Water Supply

Turning off the water should be your first step to prevent a lot of incidents from occurring while you are away. In most homes, the main water valve is usually in the basement and looks like a wheel or lever. Run the tap for a while to make sure that the water valve has been closed.

Even if a pipe bursts or a fitting comes loose, there won’t be water leakage because there is no water. This can prevent a lot of structural damage to your home. Pipe bursts flood the walls and floor which can make them crack or shift, leading to damage repair costs. Switching off the main water valve will also mean that you can avoid water theft in your home. It also conserves water and saves money.

Some things like the sprinkler system need water. In such a case you can’t switch off the main valve. You will have to turn off appliances which use water one by one to reduce water usage in the house and reduce chances of water flooding. Make sure to check off the following items:

  • Ice maker
  • Outside faucet
  • Pool pump
  • Toilets
  • Showers
  • Clothes washer
  • Sinks
  • Water heater
  • Swamp Coolers
  • Hot tub
  • Dishwasher

2. Gauges

Running the water through the pipes is important if you are leaving for an extended time, i.e. more than two weeks. This will prevent sewer gases from entering the pipes. Accumulation of such gases can increase deterioration of pipes and cause an unpleasant smell in the house. Fixtures and pipes can also become cracked due to disuse.

If you are leaving for a long time, make sure to appoint a friend or neighbor to check on the house. They can see whether everything is running smoothly and help run the pipes through the pipes. You can show them where to switch the main valve on and off from.

3. Pool Pumps

In addition to the sprinkler system, you may want the pool pump running. This is a good idea since stagnant water can give rise to algae. If you leave for a while and have to return to a smelly, algae-filled pool it can be really foul. It’s really hard to clean algae as well, as you will have to completely drain the pool and scrub every surface to remove the slimy layer.

Some newer pumps come with settings that are low enough for keeping algae away while consuming less power. You can also ask a neighbor or friend to run the pump for the pool once or twice while you are away, depending on how long you go for.

4. Preventing Leaks

Water consumption continues to increase and with a lack of resources, it is important to save water. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) found that around one trillion gallons of water are wasted annually due to household leaks. If you fix leaky faucets, it can actually lead to a 10 percent saving in water bills.

Before leaving the house, make sure every faucet in the house is closed. This means checking every sink and toilet. If you want to check whether your flush is leaking, add a few drops of food coloring in the flush tank. If it leaks into the toilet, it means its leaking.

5. Switch off the Water Heater

Switching off the water heater is very important as leaving it on will definitely increase your energy and water bills needlessly. It will also waste water and energy. To remain environmentally friendly, it is a good idea to switch off the water heater.

The base of the water heater has a dial on it to switch off the water heater. Some advanced water heaters also have a vacation mode. Make sure to check for leaks around the hot water outlet and cold water inlet connections. Also, check under the water heater to make sure no water is leaking.

6. Heating and Air Conditioning Systems

It is a good idea to switch off the heating and air conditioning systems in the house. It is a huge waste of money to keep them running as it will create high energy bills. If they begin to malfunction while you are away, it can also create a multitude of problems.

If you are only leaving for a few days, you may not want to switch them off since turning them on again is a huge hassle. If you aren’t, then it can be a good idea to fiddle with the temperatures. Keep the temperature for the air conditioning on the highest temperature. Every degree you turn up will result in savings of up to 12 percent.

For the heating system of the house, turn the temperature down. This will ensure that you don’t use up too much energy heating up an empty house.

7. Hire a Professional for Inspections

Before you leave for vacation, it is probably a good idea to call a plumber to give your house a thorough check. You will benefit from the expert advice on how to leave your house while on vacations. If you are leaving for a longer vacation, then it is probably a good idea to schedule an inspection after you come back as well.

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Customer Comments

  • "In the past I called Mesa Plumbing to my home WOW Thank you Milo. Here is a big Gold Star for Mesa Plumbing for outstanding
    Steve Bergstrom
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