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Preparing Pipes For Vacation

Your pipes at home need to be given as much consideration as every other aspect of your vacation planning. After all the best vacation could be easily ruined by the sight of broken pipes and a flooded home when you return. If you’re vacationing in the summer simply shutting off the water might be all you need to do but there will need to be a lot more preparation if you go on vacation during the winter. Here are some tips for preparing your pipes before you leave for vacation.

For Warm Climates

As previously stated there won’t need to be a lot of preparation when vacationing in the summer. You can ask the utility provider to shut off the water supply to the house while you’re away. You’ll also need to:

  • Open all the faucets in the house so that all the excess water is drained.
  • Remove the garden hose from the outdoor spigot and drain outdoor faucets. Turn on the sprinkler and drain as well.
  • Drain the water heater by opening the valve and letting the water run off through a hose or into a tub. Turn off the power before you begin draining the heater.
  • Make sure to leave at least one valve open while you’re away for air to get in and drive excess water out. The valve that you leave open should be from the lowest level in the house.

For Cold Climates

When it’s cold outside it is very common for pipes to freeze and break. Prevent damage to your pipes by following the steps below:

  • Clear out the sink traps by removing it completely or opening the cleanout valve to remove waste.
  • Weatherproof the traps in your toilet, bathtub and basement drain with windshield fluid. For the toilet pour a gallon of fluid in the tank and flush.
  • Drain the water completely out of dishwashers and washing machines.
  • Ensure that windows and doors are sealed tightly when closed.
  • Leave the heat on at a low 55 degrees.
  • Leave the water heater on running at the lowest setting possible. Make use of the vacation setting on your heater if it has one.
  • Leave the cabinets doors in the bathroom open to ensure that warm air flows in there. Do the same for the door to your water heater.
  • Leave your hot and cold water faucets running on a slow drip if there will be a freeze while you’re away.
  • You might want to shut off the water to the house if you’re gone for a long period.
  • Remove the garden hose from the outside faucets.
  • Make sure that all your exposed pipes are properly insulated before you leave.
  • Drain out any water storage units to reduce the likelihood of any water stored there freezing.

With proper planning you can come back from your vacation and meet your home intact if you prepare your pipes well. These tips will help to prevent any unforeseen problems but still ask a neighbor to check in so that any mishaps could be identified before you are left with costly repairs.

How do you prepare your pipes before leaving on vacation?

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