Plumbing crises such as leaks and floods, if not noticed early, can result in costly water damage and harmful situations such as mould. Many of the vacation measures we recommend will also help you save money on your water and electricity bills while you're away. You'd be shocked how much a minor leak may increase the cost of your water bill, which is why it’s important to call a professional plumber to quickly fix it for you.
Following are the precautions you should take before going away on your next family holiday
1. Inspect Your Fixtures
If small leaks or a faulty supply line go unnoticed, they can lead to disaster. And these disasters sometimes wait until you've departed on holiday to finally pop up. Examine your sink and bath faucets, as well as appliance supply lines and outdoor fixtures. If you see any evidence of damage or leaks, make the necessary repairs before leaving. Many minor difficulties may be readily resolved at little or no expense, but not if left untreated.
If you're going for a long trip, you should consider emptying your water heater. If you prefer not to empty it, you should at the very least inspect it. Examine the pipes and valves for any indications of corrosion, leaks, or other damage. If you're keeping the water heater running while you're gone, keep an ear out for any strange noises which might be an indicator of damage. If you are unsure if you can perform a proper examination on your own, have a professional evaluate your water heater before you leave. Find out how much a plumber costs.
2. Winter Precautions
If you’re planning on taking a holiday in winter, you need to take precautions to avoid frozen pipes. A frozen pipe might burst and flood your home with litres of water.
Drain all of your plumbing fixtures, including the hoses from your washing machine and the drain pipes from your dishwasher.
Check that there is no extra water in your toilet's tank or bowl, and open the faucets throughout the home to enable any surplus water to drain from the pipes. If you're only going to be gone for a few days and don't want to turn everything off, make sure your pipes are properly insulated and don't turn off the heat altogether.
3. Shut Off the Main Supply
The simplest thing you can do to avoid plumbing mishaps is to turn off your home's water supply.
This may be impractical in some circumstances. For example, if you have a lawn and need your sprinkler system to operate while you're away, you'll still want a water supply. However, you may still switch off the water supply to certain appliances such as washing machines and toilets.
It may be feasible in certain properties to switch off the water supply to your house while keeping the water supply to your sprinkler system turned on. It all depends on your plumbing, so if you can turn off the main water supply before your holiday, it might avoid any mishaps when you’re not there.
4. Check Your Drains
Nobody likes to return home after a peaceful vacation to a foul-smelling house. However, it is easy to forget to wipe out the kitchen sink before leaving, especially if there is food in the drain.
Check your kitchen sink drains for any remaining food and dispose of it. This is also an excellent opportunity to inspect the drain for any blockages. If you notice any, make careful to address them before going on vacation.
A ‘sump pump’ is a pump that is specifically built to avoid basement flooding. Despite the fact that they are widespread in many houses, many Australians have never heard of them. These pumps are housed in a gravel-lined pit known as a ‘sump pit’. If your house has a sump pump, get it inspected by a certified professional before you leave on holidays. Sump pumps keep water out of your home, but if they fail while you're away, you may return home to a flooded basement. Call your local plumbers and get at least three plumbing quotes to see which one works best for you.
If you’re going for a month-long vacation and do not want to worry too much, you can ask a trustworthy neighbour or friend to have a look at your house once in a while. It’ll give you peace of mind and make sure everything is running smoothly.