Heading out for the holidays? Here are a few things to check before leaving home.
This holiday season, if you’re heading out to visit family, there are things you’ll need to do before leaving. Especially in lengthy vacations, there are also steps to take in preparing your home for an extended vacancy:
– Protect your pipes. On occasions where the temperature significantly drops, a frozen pipe can result in a disaster. Water expands as it freezes which can cause extremely durable materials to break apart. Insulate piping that is exposed with items like pipe sleeves or thermal tape. An inexpensive alternative is to wrap newspaper around the pipes.
– Leave the heater on. With these conditions, it is also important to keep the heater on, even at a very low setting, to assist preventing freezing and bursting pipes. Leave your doors and cabinets open as well so that heat can reach the pipes underneath the bathroom and kitchen sinks.
– Check the sump pump alarms. Make sure your sump pump is in working order and set to the appropriate phone numbers before you take off. If your pump is not operational, you’ll want to either buy a new pump and install it, or call a professional to come out and take look. They could save you money by just having to install a new float switch.
– Turn of the water heater. If you have a gas heater, there should be a vacation mode that can be switched on. For electric water heaters, turn the breaker off so no electricity is running through the water heater.
– Shut off the water. Even without pipes freezing, water leaks and flooding can occur. Water damage costs billions annually in insurance claims, so it may be worth turning off the water in the home altogether. The easiest way to do this is through the water meter box found outside the home but remember to run the remaining water from the pipes as well.
– Consider a maintenance visit. If you have time to squeeze in a heating system maintenance visit before you leave for the holidays, it is highly recommend. Regular heating maintenance visits help to restore efficiency to the system and prevent problems and sudden breakdowns from occurring through the rest of the season.
If any concerns or problems arise, don’t hesitate to reach out to a plumbing professional. Olympic Plumbing Technology ready and able to help prep you and your home for a comfortable, carefree holiday.