Going on vacation is fun and exciting, but when you're going to be away from home for a while, it is best to be prepared. No one wants to come home to a plumbing problem after a trip, so taking a little bit of time to give your plumbing system some attention is in your best interest. There are several things you can do to prep your plumbing system before you leave to give you peace of mind and help decrease the likelihood of problems arising, such as:
Clean the Drains and Garbage Disposal
When drains and the garbage disposal are not used at all for several days, it is possible for bacteria to multiple and produce an unpleasant odor. Prior to your trip, turn on the garbage disposal while running very hot water. It is also a good idea to purchase a garbage disposal cleaner. In addition, purchase a drain cleaner and pour it down all the drains in your home to keep them fresh, clean, and free from bad smells.
Turn Off the Water Main
Whether you're going to be gone a week or a month, turning off the water main is one of the simplest ways to prevent a plumbing issue while you are on vacation. When the water main valve is turned off, no water will be running through the pipes in your home. In most cases, the water main valve is located outside near your electric meter and hose, but in some homes it may be found in the basement.
Drain the Pipes
Turning off the water main will stop water from flowing into your home, but you can't forget to drain the pipes after you turn the water main valve off. Draining the pipes will ensure that there is no water left standing, so if a pipe happens to crack or spring a leak, you won't have to worry about there being any water to flow out. To drain the pipes in your home after the water main is turned off, just turn on all of the faucets inside the house and run your hose until no more water comes out.
Set the Hot Water Heater
There is no reason for your hot water heater to run when there is no one home. Before going on vacation, adjust the settings on your hot water heater. Many hot water heaters have a vacation setting, but if your water heater does not, set it on the lowest setting possible.