How to Prep Your Plumbing for an Extended Vacation
Does being away from home for a couple of weeks or months this winter make you anxious? Worried about frozen pipes, flooding, or other water issues? Check out these helpful tips from the experts at East End Plumbing.
Schedule a whole-home plumbing inspection. An every-other-year inspection is the best way to find small leaks and other issues before they become major problems. If your home is older, most professionals recommend an annual inspection. Minor concerns can usually be addressed on the spot. And having a professional opinion about any larger troubles will at least allow you to be fully informed before you leave town.
Maintain your sump pump. A dry basement is essential to maintaining your home’s structural integrity. This requires a working sump pump to keep intruding water at bay. Sump pumps are mechanical devices and need regular (at least annual) maintenance. It’s also important to make sure any backup batteries are fully charged and working. Some companies that install waterproofing systems offer an annual maintenance program. If not, the team at East End is happy to help.
Protect pipes from freezing. Set the thermostat at a minimum of 55 degrees. It also helps to leave interior doors open to encourage airflow and close the shades to block outside air, both of which allow your furnace to work more efficiently. If your sinks are located on a poorly insulated exterior wall, you can open the cabinet doors to allow warm air to circulate around the pipes. For faucets (including outside spigots) supplied by exposed pipes, it’s a good idea to leave the cold water on at a drip.
Turn off the water. You may want to shut off the water completely if you’ll be gone for the entire winter. This can be done at the point where the water comes into the house or by calling your city’s public works department and asking them to turn the water off at the street. Just don’t forget to have the water turned back on a couple of days before you return home.