Have you ever noticed that disaster seems to strike at the most inconvenient time?

If you’re headed out on vacation this summer, there are some simple things you can do to make sure your plumbing doesn’t cause you any problem while you’re gone. That means no fear of returning home to burst pipes, flooded basements, or leaking fixtures that caused damage while you were gone.

Follow these plumbing tips to be proactive before you go away on vacation:

  1. Switch the water heater to vacation mode. While everyone is away, there’s no need to keep a hot water reserve and switching modes will save you energy and money. Check to see if your water heater has a vacation mode and if so, switch it on. If not, simply turn the thermostat down to 50F. When you return, you can return it to the normal setting and you’re good to go!
  2. Clean out your garbage disposal. If there’s good left in the tank when you leave, you’ll come home to some pretty unpleasant odors, and possibly to pests that can give you trouble. To prevent this, run your disposal (while running cold water) to clear out the tank.
  3. Turn off your water supply. Some homes have emergency water shut-off valves that you can use to turn off the water supply, but some are less accessible. You can purchase a meter key inexpensively to shut off the water at the meter (read more here). If you don’t worry about remembering to turn off your water, you can also have an auto shut-off system.

Most people remember to reset the thermostat, unplug appliances, and turn off lights before setting off on vacation, but few think about their plumbing. By taking a few minutes to check the items off this list, you can leave with the peace of mind that nothing catastrophic will happen while you’re gone and you’ll return to your home as you left it. Now go enjoy your vacation!

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