With just under a month left of summertime, many families are getting in a final vacation before the school year kicks back into gear. And if you’re taking a bit of a longer getaway, making sure that your plumbing is ready can cut down on energy and water costs. Plus, it helps prevent coming home from that relaxing vacation to a disaster that needs immediate action. At Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Torrance, we’ve seen it all! From homeowners coming back to a flooded kitchen and collapsed ceiling to a nasty odor from drain clogs, and mold infestations as a result, we’ve gathered some of our best recommendations for returning to a clean and healthy home.
Prevent Plumbing Problems on Vacation with This List
Make Time for a Quick Inspection
Before locking up and heading out the door, give the entire house a once-over visual inspection for any leaks, loose connections, or kinks/cracks in hoses. And consider giving plumbing appliances a good clean to avoid any built-up gunk that attracts pests.
If you have more time to plan or are going to be leaving for an extended period, consider scheduling a professional inspection to ensure that everything is in good condition and that repairs happen right away if they are necessary.
Set the Water Heater Lower
Depending on the type of water heater you have, there might be a low setting or a vacation mode you can set the temperature to so that you reduce your energy bill. Plus, it will make it easier for the appliance to heat up your water once you return from vacation.
Check the Sump Pump
While not all homeowners in Torrance will own one, if you have a sump pump to prevent basement flooding, give it an inspection and run a test to make sure that it’s working correctly. It’s a quick, easy test – just fill the basin with water and watch for it to hit the level necessary to start pumping. If you’re filling with no results, it’s time to bring in the professionals.
Schedule Your Sprinklers
If you have a smart irrigation system, you should be able to schedule it to run less while you’re away, or not at all (especially since we’re all doing our best to conserve water during this Torrance drought). Otherwise, see if someone can stop by to run the sprinklers to avoid any potential accidents from an automatic system while no one is around.
Decide What to Do with Your Pool
If you’ve got a pool, hot tub, or water feature on the property, you’ll need to determine whether you’ll drain it or not. Some homeowners choose to cover their pools, etc., or have someone come over to maintain them in their absence. Others check the pump and heater before leaving and set it to run on low to help stop algae growth. These are all viable options, it’s just a matter of making sure that you don’t forget.
Turn off Individual Water Lines
While you might not want to shut off the entire water main if you’re not going to be away for an extended time, or plan to run the pool heater on low, you can take steps to avoid indoor floods by turning the water off at specific fixtures. Once you turn it off, run the water until it dries to empty the pipes of lingering water.
Find Someone to Help
Last but certainly not least, it’s a good idea to find someone you trust to stop by partially through your trip to check that everything is still smooth. That way, if something did happen, at least it’s caught early – be sure to leave the name and number of your favorite plumber (ours is (310) 889-0506, FYI) so that your friend or neighbor can make the call right away to start mitigation. Remember, even the tiniest leak turns into a major disaster quite quickly.
Don’t Procrastinate on Plumbing Maintenance
Even though it might not be as exciting to plan for plumbing maintenance as it is to set reservations, start packing, and get out the door, you’ll thank yourself for taking the time to check everything over when you come home to a welcoming, problem-free space. The last thing anyone wants, or needs, is to come back from vacation feeling relaxed and refreshed, only to become overwhelmed with a restoration project or plumbing emergency. Our licensed, insured, and highly trained team is happy to help.