How to Avoid a Vacation Plumbing Disaster

At last! You’re going on holiday! Your suitcase is packed, your camera is charged, and you’re ready to head out for some much-needed relaxation.

But have you remembered to prepare your home for your absence? Whether you’re going away for a weekend, a week, or a month, there are things you can do to prevent plumbing headaches. After all, nothing ruins a vacation more than coming home early to deal with a big leaky mess.

Here are a few things you can do before you go:

Have someone check on your home

This is a biggie! Ask a friend or neighbour to periodically check on your home while you’re gone just to make sure everything looks okay. Show them where the main water shut off valve is, and let them know what to do in case of an emergency situation. Not only is this an easy way to prevent plumbing emergencies, but it’s also a requirement of most home insurance policies.

 

Make sure your home’s temperature doesn’t drop below freezing

Frozen pipes? In Victoria? It’s true. Even though we get to frolic in flowers year round, frozen pipes have happened here, and will continue to happen no matter how much we keep denying it.

Any time the temperature dips below zero, there’s the potential risk of frozen pipes, particularly in poorly insulated areas like attics, basements and crawlspaces. As freezing water expands within the pipes, it causes strain on your pipes that can lead to cracks or all-out breaks.

So, if you’re going away during the chilly months, be sure to leave your heat on.

 

Dump your ice-maker

This isn’t technically a plumbing problem, but as it involves copious amounts of water on the floor, it’s definitely worth a mention.

If the power goes out while you’re away, or if your fridge breaks, or if you don’t close the freezer door properly (something we’ve all done at least once), all of those ice cubes are going to melt and leak all over the floor. That’s why it’s a good idea to empty the ice holder before you go away, and turn the ice machine off!

 

Shut off the water to your toilets

First, give your toilet a thorough once-over. Look for leaks, cracks and water stains, and discolouration or dampness around the base of the bowl. As well, you can also turn off the water to your toilet to minimize any leaks that may occur.

 

Check your washing machine

Take a good look at your washing machine hoses and make sure they’re all attached securely and are in good shape. Laundry hoses are one of the two major causes of leaks in home (the other is your water heater) so it’s very important to make sure everything is as it should be.

 

Inspect your water heater

Look over your tank and keep an eye out for water stains, rust stains, corrosion buildup or puddling around the base. If you see any of these signs, give us a call and we’ll make sure your hot water heater is running properly while you’re gone.

 

Main water valve

When in doubt, you can always turn off your main water valve. That way, if a leak does occur, the damage will be minimal.

If you’re heading out on vacation and want to make sure your plumbing will behave itself while you’re gone, or  if you have any other plumbing issues, don’t hesitate to ***contact us! Our plumbers are skilled, reliable technicians and are available 24/7 in the Greater Victoria area.

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