For a lot of us, when the cool weather of fall settles in and there is no question that the warm summer days are gone for another year, it is a time to travel out of town and find some sunshine. Whether it be an extended weekend trip to Southern California, or traveling out of state to a tropical paradise, getting that last dose of vitamin D before hibernating for the winter is a priority.
Any time that you are going to be away from your home for an extended period of time during the cold weather, it is important to be thoughtful about winterizing your home. Getting out of town and spending some time in the sunshine can be relaxing and rejuvenating. However, nothing steals that serenity faster than coming home to a flood from your plumbing and extensive water damage.
One of the best and most efficient ways that you can protect your home while you are gone is to locate and turn off the main water shut-off valve for your home. This is the valve that cuts off the water from the city to your home, leaving all of your fixtures and appliances without water.
While this is not drain any water that is sitting in the pipes, it will prevent more water from being delivered to your plumbing system in the event of a broken pipe and flood. When you are home and this plumbing emergency occurs, you can shut off the water for that particular fixture. However, if you are away from your home, turning the main shut off valve is the quickest and easiest way to reduce the chance of extensive water damage to your home.
Some potentialplumbing issues that could occur while you are on vacation include:
- Broke Pipes: If you are going to be away from your home during the cold weather season, it is possible that freezing temperatures will come through and cause your exterior or interior plumbing to freeze. This situation typically leads to broken pipes and significant flooding. If you have turned off the main water shut off valve, you eliminate the opportunity for gallons of water to flood your home through a broken pipe.
- Cracked Water Heater: Whether you are home or not, a standard tank water heater will continuously heat 40 to 50 gallons of water waiting to be used. If the tank of your water heater cracks and begins leaking while you are out of town, the tank will refill as the water is leaking out unless you have turned off the main water shut off valve.
These are just a couple of ways that you might be leaving your home at risk if you leave on vacation without locating and turning off the main water shut off valve. For more information, contact the local, expert plumbers at Mr. Rooter of Olympia. We are happy to answer any questions and provide you with information about how you can best protect your home from plumbing emergencies while you are away.