Don’t let your well-earned vacation be cut short by a plumbing problem. A quick inspection and a few minutes of adjustments will help you avoid coming home to a plumbing nightmare.
Sump pumps prevent basement and crawl space flooding by pumping water away from your house. Since summer storms are common, you need to be sure your sump pump is working correctly. Storms can also lead to electricity outages, so it’s just as important to test your backup system, or if you don’t already have one, have a backup system installed.
Test your sump pump by pouring water over it. If you fill the sump pit but the sump pump doesn’t turn on, you need you’ll need to have it repaired or replaced. Most backup systems have a test button which makes it easy to know if it’s working. If your system doesn’t have a test button or isn’t working, it’s time to bring in a professional.
One of the easiest ways to make sure you avoid a post-vacation headache is to turn off the main water supply to your home. For most single-family homes, the shut-off valve is typically located within two feet of where the main water enters. If your water is supplied by the village and you have a water meter, there are two valves that will shut off water to the entire home – one located on each side of the meter. It is important to always first shut off the valve located between the meter and the home (also known as the house-side valve). If that valve doesn’t work, only then attempt shutting off the valve between the meter and the outside of the home (also known as the street-side valve). If neither meter valve is operable and it is an emergency, contact us or your village to shut off the water from the exterior b-box. The exterior b-box requires a specific key to be turned off and should only be operated by village personnel or licensed plumbing professionals. WARNING: Do NOT tamper with the b-box or the meter itself. It is illegal to tamper with, obstruct access to, or remove a water meter. Be very careful, and if you have any doubts at all, give us a call.
A leaking water heater can cause major damage, especially if the leak isn’t found until you return from your vacation. It’s best to have your water heater inspected annually by a plumbing professional. If you can, have a professional perform annual maintenance before you leave. If you can’t, turning off your water heater is an option to help prevent leaks.
Don’t come home to a nasty odor in your home! When left unattended and without running water, kitchen drains with food residue can start to stink, causing an unwelcome greeting when you return from vacation. Just run hot water through your drain with the disposal on – this helps wash away any residue.
Even with your water supply turned off, it’s important to inspect outside water sources. Before leaving, disconnect hoses and open out any outdoor faucets to clear the pipes. This will help prevent leaking pipes from causing damage.
Annual plumbing maintenance and inspections are recommended for all homeowners to avoid problems and keep your plumbing system healthy. If you haven’t had an inspection or maintenance for a while, before you leave for vacation is the perfect time!