As you plan your exciting vacation to experience new and wonderful things, it’s important not to forget about what you’re leaving behind. Although plumbing maintenance may not be the first thing you think about when deciding to leave your home for an extended amount of time, it is something that needs to be addressed. Most individuals immediately put together a security checklist and assign something to pick up their mail.
But these people are forgetting that a plumbing maintenance checklist is just as important. Nothing can ruin an amazing trip more than coming home to a damaged house. If you have plans to embark on a new journey and leave your home unoccupied for quite some time, then you’ll need to put together a plumbing maintenance checklist to ensure everything is in proper working order before you leave.
Not sure where to begin? Don’t worry, we’ve put together a checklist just for you! Continue reading to learn more.
1. The Main Water Valve
If you don’t have a system in the house that requires a constant water flow, then locating the main water valve and shutting it off is a good idea. Shutting off the main water valve ensures that no hidden leaks or burst in the plumbing will happen when you’re away. If you’re not sure where the main water valve is, it’s best to call in a professional plumber.
The professionals will show you where the main valve is and how to shut it off. They’ll also tell you if a system in your house needs the main water valve to remain on. Such systems are pool pumps, for example.
If you cannot turn the main water valve off for these reasons, you can turn the water off at each individual appliance or such.
2. Water Flow in the Pipes
If you’re planning on being away for more than a month, then it’s important to know that pipes need running water to flow through them at least once a month. This will keep the pipes from drying out and cracking. This also prevents sewer gases from building up in your home’s pipes.
Have a trusted friend or family member come in and run water through the pipes and flush all toilets. You can also have a professional plumbing service do this as well.
3. A Functioning Pool Pump
To prevent algae from building up, you’ll need constant water and electrical flow to your pool’s pump. If your pool has a separate meter and supply, then you should shut off your main water valve for your house and leave this one on. Check to see if your pump system has an option to function at a lower level while you’re away.
This will be enough to keep the algae away without running as much as when it’s in regular use. Have a pool service scheduled to come out while you’re away to ensure that it’s still working properly.
4. Necessary Water
You should also consider calling in a professional plumber to address all of your utilities around the house that need water even when you’re away. Other than these utilities, you should also consider what your house sitter might need if you’re planning on hiring one. Turning off the main water valve will cause the following to stop working:
- Water heater
- Washer machine
- Ice maker
- Swamp coolers
Although these are some main factors to keep in mind if you’re planning on having a house sitter over, this list is not an exhausted list of all utilities that will be shut off without the main water valve. These are just some important ones to keep in mind.
5. Leaks Around the House
Do a double check around your entire house so any leaks before you leave. Check all sinks and bathtubs for leaks around or from the spigots. You’ll also want to check outside for any leaks coming from or around outdoor spigots.
If you notice any leaks or drips, then it’s best to call in a plumber to have them looked at before you leave. This saves water and money.
6. Flushing the Drains
When drains in your home aren’t used for a while, they’ll have bacteria build up inside of them. This is what causes a foul odor to arise when you run water through the drains for the first time in a while. To prevent this, you can buy store-bought products to flush the drains with.
You should also consider using a mix of one cup of water with half of a cup of vinegar and flushing it down the drains.
7. Testing the Sump Pump
Check your basement or the crawl space under your home if you don’t have a basement for the sump pump. Once you find it, you’ll want to test it out to ensure that it’s working correctly before you leave. To test it, take a bucket of water and dump it onto it.
The pump should begin to take the water from the retention pit and remove it. If this does not happen, then your sump pump isn’t working correctly, and you’ll need to have it replaced or repaired.
8. Hose Inspections
Do another walkthrough of your house checking for all hoses connected to your major appliances. These appliances to check for are your dishwasher, washer machines, and refrigerator ice machine. Be sure that there are no kinks in these hoses.
If there are some, you’ll want to replace these hoses before traveling.
Full Plumbing Maintenance Checklist
Before heading out for a long period of time, be sure to have this plumbing maintenance checklist handy. Go through the entire list, checking off each step as you go. Doing so will ensure that you come home to a perfect home.
And for more information, be sure to check out our other posts in our Home section!