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Make sure your plumbing is ready before taking a winter trip

If there is ever a time to get away, it’s best to do it when cold temperatures set in at home. There’s nothing quite like being in a warm, tropical locale and knowing there’s a mountain of snow and ice back home. Unfortunately, winter back home means a house that’s dealing with the winter, without a homeowner present. Luckily, there are several ways to ensure a house can weather the cold and bluster without a watchful eye or caretaker on-sight. Before the bags are packed and the seats secured for that early morning flight out of town, use these tips to get the house properly prepped for winter without residents.

Keep the Heat

It doesn’t need to be boiling, nor an indoor tropical paradise, but it’s better to leave the heat on while traveling in the wintertime. Keeping the heat set to a level above 55 degrees helps ensure that pipes will stay warm enough that they don’t freeze. It can also be helpful to keep the cabinet doors open to make sure heat circulates into harder to reach areas. Now is a perfect time for a furnace inspection.

Drain the Water Heater and Shut Off the Water Valve

Make sure the water heater is fully drained before leaving. It may take some time to refill after returning, but this way, should an incident occur that could potentially cause a water heater leak, the tank will be empty, and won’t create a lake within the basement. It also clears the water heater of any mineral buildups that may have accrued with continual use.

This is also a good time to locate the main water valve. Right before leaving, shut off the valve, to prevent water from sitting in the pipes, waiting to freeze or burst. The valve is usually located near the water meter and can be easily turned back on once the vacation is over.

Schedule an Inspection and Maintenance Visit

Before heading out for an extended winter trip, call a plumbing professional to come to conduct a thorough inspection of the home’s pipes and plumbing fixtures. This will help root out any potential

issues lurking where they’re least expected and allows them to be nipped in the bud before they blossom into a real problem. This also helps harbor peace of mind on a trip, as it alleviates the fear that something was overlooked before leaving, as any minor issues can be taken care of immediately with the professional there, or they can recommend a realistic timetable for when potential issues need to be addressed. Having a full picture of the health of your home’s plumbing helps keep a home healthy, and makes life easier.

Home is where the heart is, but when the ice and cold start to set in, sometimes it’s just best to get out of town for a few days. Making sure the plumbing is ready before leaving means coming back home well-rested and rejuvenated, rather than stressed that something happened, or something was left amiss. To help maintain your vacation peace of mind, give the licensed plumbers at Duane Blanton Family Home Services a call. The professionals of Duane Blanton will be able to schedule an inspection time that works best with your schedule and work with you to keep your plumbing in the best shape possible. If you need to prep your home’s plumbing before heading out of town, call up Duane Blanton at (815) 781-2567, or use your computer to conveniently schedule online through Duane Blanton’s online scheduling portal.

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