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When most people are planning for a week+ vacation they are not thinking about their home plumbing system. They are excited and dreaming of fun in the sun or exploring a new city or trekking through an adventurous trail. However, you may soon be thinking of an emergency plumber if you don’t take a few precautions before you leave your home. While you can usually leave your home safely for a day or two without worrying about the plumbing, any more time and its best to think ahead.
Taking a few extra steps to protect your home plumbing system is a great way to ensure that you don’t come home to any messes in Timberlane, LA that will require an emergency plumber. After all, opening the door to your home to find a large mess will kill any good leftover vacation vibes you carried home with you. Plus, the problem with plumbing emergencies is that they are often accompanied by flood damage and mold which is worse than the actual problem you probably called the emergency plumber about. Avoid the hassle and avoid the trouble of a plumber by following these tips to get your home plumbing secured before you leave on vacation.
Turn Off Your Water Main
Worried about coming home to a major flood in your home? One great way to put an end to their fear is by simply turning off your water supply while you are away. There are certain things that you can’t control, such as a burst pipe or a hidden pipe leaking behind your drywall. However, when you turn off the entire water supply at the main, it won’t matter if you have a hidden issue that an emergency plumber needs to repair. Without any water flowing through your pipes, you can’t possibly have a damaging leak or flood. At least not from any of your pipes.
The only time you may not want to do this is if your home features a sprinkler system. You don’t want to cut off water to an emergency safety system, so if your system does not have its own safety valve for when the water supply is off you will need to leave the main on. However, don’t let this deter you from cutting off water from other major risk areas such as sink fixtures, toilet fixtures, the washing machine, etc. While it may take you a little longer to find the shut-off valves at each fixture, it will be worth it when you don’t need an emergency plumber the minute you reenter your home.
Drain Your Water Heater
Even if you have the water main off, there is one major appliance that may still be harboring enough water to cause massive flood damage: your water heater. Your water heater holds a crazy amount of water, and as a local Timberlane, LA emergency plumber, we have seen the disastrous results that occur when the water tank bursts. The damage gets even worse when the water is able to sit on the floor and really soak into the surrounding areas because the house is empty and it takes days for someone to return home and notice.
It is a good idea to always book an annual maintenance call for your water heater because they can spot minor issues before they become major issues. Of course, if you are leaving for vacation tomorrow you don’t have the time to deal with maintenance, and it is not something that an emergency plumber would handle. Instead, make yourself a note to book a maintenance visit when you return home and for now, turn off your water heater. Some more modern water heaters even have a “vacation” setting that allows you to easily cut the water supply.
Another plus of turning off your water heater is the fact that you will probably save some money while you are away. The water heater is one of the biggest energy consumers in the home. Turn it off and you will probably save on utilities for the time that you. If nothing else, this should motivate you to head to the basement and flip the switch.
Test Your Sump Pump
Don’t just assume that your sump pump is working because it has worked in the past before you leave your home. This is even more important if you haven’t really had a good rain yet. Summer storms and especially hurricane storms can cause massive amounts of rainfall in a very short time. You don’t want to come home to find your stump pump failed and your basement is a few feet underwater. Avoid the emergency plumber and just test your sump pump before you leave to make sure it is up to the task of keeping your home dry.
This is actually easier to do than you think. Grab a bucket of water and then dump it straight into the sump pit. If it is working properly it should snap right on and you should be able to watch it pump the water back out in a matter of minutes. If it doesn’t, then you will want to contact an emergency plumber and get it fixed before you leave. Keep in mind that you need to check the battery to make sure your sump pump will be able to work properly if your home loses power while you are away.
If you need help prepping your home for vacation or have just come home to find a disaster, bluefrog Plumbing + Drain of New Orleans can help. We provide routine and emergency plumbing services. Call us today to schedule your service in the greater Timberlane, LA region.