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Plumbing priorities before you leave for vacation

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As travel restrictions ease around the country, and the opportunity to vacation opens back up, homeowners will begin seizing the chance to get some time away. Before you leave for vacation, homeowners should take the opportunity to make sure their house is ready to handle any cold weather left behind. As bags get packed and plans get finalized, take a few extra moments to get the home’s plumbing prepped to tackle the winter cold, so when homeowners return, it’s not to an unfortunate plumbing surprise.

Drain the Water Heater and Shut Off the Water Valve

For homeowners with classic tank water heaters, draining the water heater before heading out for a prolonged period is a good practice to get into. While it may take a bit of extra time to refill once homeowners return, it is a smart preventative measure should something happen to compromise the integrity of the tank while the home is unoccupied. This also clears the water heater of any mineral buildups that may have accrued with continual use.

A tip for all homeowners, this is also a good time to locate the main water valve. Right before leaving, shut off the valve — particularly if there is a chance of freezing temperatures while away — to prevent water from settling in the pipes with the potential to freeze and burst. The valve is usually located near the water meter and can be easily turned back on once vacation is over. 

Don’t Crank the Thermostat, but Keep it Running

Adding extra heat is unnecessary while homeowners are away, but shutting it off completely is also inadvisable. Leaving the heat on while homeowners are traveling will keep the interior pipes warm enough to avoid freezing. It doesn’t need to be overly warm — around 55 degrees or just above is an ideal temperature to shoot for. For additional preparedness, open up the cabinets in the kitchen, especially below the sink, to allow the heat to circulate into areas where it wouldn’t usually reach.

Schedule an Annual Maintenance Inspection

If it hasn’t been completed recently, scheduling a plumbing maintenance inspection prior to heading out is a good idea. Calling in a plumbing professional to do a thorough audit of the home’s plumbing will identify and alleviate any minor issues before they compound into something much worse. 

This also helps homeowners key into issues that may not need to be immediately addressed, but that should be watched. This way, homeowners can plan ahead to tackle issues once they return, or if the trip is scheduled for longer than average, to take care of the issue now to get it out of the way. In either case, the inspection should give homeowners greater peace of mind, and allow for a much more relaxing trip without worrying about what is happening while they’re away.

Making sure the plumbing is ready before leaving means coming back home well-rested and rejuvenated, rather than rushing back worried that something was forgotten about or overlooked. To maximize the vacation mindset of worry-free relaxation before heading out, give our licensed plumbers a call. The professionals at Duane Blanton Plumbing, Sewer, Heating, and Cooling 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 us or use your computer to conveniently schedule online through our online scheduling portal.

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