It’s vacation season, and we know that getting ready to leave home for a lengthy period of time results in a long list of tasks to complete before you head out. Stop the newspaper (if you still get one!), make sure the neighbor picks up the mail, set the living room light on a timer so it looks like someone is home… you know the drill. But don’t forget to deal with your plumbing! Our friendly Santa Maria plumbers have put together a list of ways to prep your plumbing for vacation to ensure you don’t have a water disaster on your hands when you return.
Turn off the main water valve.
This is probably the best way to avoid a potential accident all together. No water, no plumbing problem. You can even go the extra mile and shut off the individual water valves to the washing machine, dishwasher, and icemaker to make your home impervious to an unexpected emergency. This is a great solution unless, of course, you have landscaping that needs watering while you’re gone.
Set the Irrigation System or Have a Neighbor Check-in
Of course, if you have an automated irrigation system, all you have to do is make sure it’s set and go from there. But for peace of mind, it’s best to have a neighbor check in to ensure there are no unexpected leaks or broken sprinklers. If you don’t have an automated system, but still need watering done, it’s just a matter of whether you want your plants to survive your trip – especially during our hot, Central Coast summers. Having a trusted neighbor or friend stop by regularly while you’re gone is, of course, another to ensure any potential plumbing problems are discovered and dealt with.
Check the Gutters
While unlikely here on the Central Coast, an unexpected summer rainstorm can do some serious damage if your gutters aren’t cleaned and draining properly. You don’t want water pooling around your foundation for a long period of time while you’re gone. Remove debris, leaves, and sticks from the gutter portion and ensure downspouts are clear and draining into appropriate areas.
Drain and Empty the Dishwasher and Washing Machine
Draining these appliances will help prevent mold, mildew, and unpleasant odors upon your return home, especially if you leave the doors open to air out.
Adjust the Water Heater
If you have a tank water heater, significantly lowering the temperature or turning it off and draining it all together is a great way to prevent wasted energy. No sense in keeping a tank full of hot water that won’t be used for weeks on end.
Run the Pool Pump
Make sure your pool pump is set to its optimal setting to prevent algae build-up. Also, make sure you have a chlorine dispenser set up with slow-release tablets to keep the water crystal clear.
Check for Leaks
Especially if you’re keeping your main water valve turned on, this is a must. Do a thorough check throughout your home, inspecting faucets, valves, and under-sink pipes. A small leak that goes undetected can add up to a big water bill. Or worse, a small leak could grow while you’re away and leave you with the extensive water damage when you get back from vacation.
We hope this list of ways to prep your plumbing for vacation from our Santa Maria plumbers will help leave you with one less thing to worry about wherever your travels take you. If you have any questions or concerns for our plumbing pros, we’re always a call or click away.