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Going on Vacation: Should You Turn Off the Water Before Leaving?

shutterstock 740240464 - Going on Vacation: Should You Turn Off the Water Before Leaving?
  • April 22, 2019

People will be planning summer vacations when the kids are off from school while making arrangements for friends and neighbors to watch their pets and homes while they are away. However, one of the worst things to experience is an emergency call from a friend about the home flooding from a busted pipe or a leaking water heater. So you may be wondering about whether you should turn off the water supply before leaving? Are there certain times of the year when it is ideal to shut off the water? Also, should you turn off the water even for short trips?

Shut Off the Water During Summer Vacations

It is a great idea to simply shut off the water when you go on a summer vacation, even if you are only leaving on a mini weekend getaway. With the water turned off, there is no pressure constantly applied to pipes. So you don’t have to worry about a small leak getting bigger and bursting, which could cause flooding in your home.

Instead of turning the water off at every shut off valve under the sink, behind the toilet or near the water heater, you can just turn off the main water supply. The water main supply valve is generally located inside the home right where the pipe enters through the foundation in the basement before it branches to the water heater and other areas of the home. For some households, it may be located outside right where the pipe connects to the water meter and enters the house.

Drain Water Pipes During Winter Vacations

During the winter, as well as late fall and early spring, the temperatures could lower to the point where the water can freeze in the pipes. When water freezes, it expands. If the frozen water expands inside the plumbing system, it can cause pipes to split or burst.

In addition to turning off the main water supply, you should also drain the pipes when nobody is in the home while you are away. This solution can prevent water pipes from freezing. While you may consider leaving the heat on to prevent the pipes from freezing, a storm or tree branch weighed down with snow can knock out the power lines. So the heat can accidentally get shut off and leave your water pipes at risk to the freezing temperatures.

Inspect Your Home Before Heading Off

Consider checking out the faucets, water supply lines and any visible pipes for leaks or damage a few weeks before your vacation starts. You can leave yourself enough time to call a professional plumber to make repairs now so that your vacation plans don’t become disrupted.

You can also tighten any loose fittings and make sure that water remediation systems, such as sump pumps and French drains, are in working order before you leave. Ensure that your sump pump is plugged in and running optimally. To check your French drain, inspect the end of the pipe and remove any obstructions that could cause ground water and surface water to go into the home.

Advice to Protecting Your Plumbing When Away from Home

There are many circumstances that can cause you to be away from your home for long periods of time. From family reunions to emergency trips, you might have to leave in a hurry. To ensure that your home won’t be damaged by a broken pipe or leaking drain, contact the plumbing professionals at Green’s Plumbing.

We are a local family-owned plumbing company providing services to residential homeowners and businesses in West Hills, CA and surrounding areas. We can help you fix plumbing problems, flooding issues, and even locate your water main supply before you go on a vacation. Get a free estimate today at 818-880-8847.

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