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Preparing Your Home for Your Next Vacation | Tips from Your Trusted Crowley, TX Plumber

Preparing Your Home for Your Next Vacation | Tips from Your Trusted Crowley, TX Plumber

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The last thing you want to do after having an amazing vacation experience is to come home to a major plumbing disaster. Flooding from a second story left unchecked for an extended period can ruin the drywall, frame, and structure of the house costing thousands of dollars in repairs as well as the displacement of your family due to unlivable conditions in the home. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to prevent these kinds of plumbing nightmares from ruining the fond memories you gained from your vacation. Here are some tips on what you can do if you need help from a plumber in Crowley, TX.

Have Someone Check Your House

While you are on vacation, it is a good idea to have someone you trust to enter your home daily and make sure no unexpected issues are happening while you are away. Although this may give you peace of mind, water damage can happen in a matter of hours, so even one day with water pouring out of a busted pipe is enough to cause thousands of dollars in damage. Extra precautions are necessary. Regardless, it is still a good idea to have someone check on your place while you’re gone just in case.

Sink and Toilet Leaks

Each sink and toilet in your home has a shut off valve. If your toilet tank cracks or a pipe breaks under your sink, water will continue to pour out for days while you are on vacation. This can especially cause a lot of damage if this happens on a second story. To prevent this kind of disaster, you can shut off the valves for each toilet and sink. If you are unsure how to turn off the valves or you just want to have them inspected to make sure they are in working order, be sure and call a plumber to look at your valves. A plumber can also replace your old, rusty valves with newer ones that are easier to turn.

Washing Machine Leaks

Washing machine hoses have constant water pressure just like pipes, but they sit outside the walls and are not made with the same sturdy materials. When a hose breaks, this can cause a flood and costly repairs. Standard hoses typically only last around three years. Before going on vacation, this is a good time to check them and replace them if they look cracked or damaged. Rather than replace standard hoses with another set of standard hoses, one option is to replace them with stainless steel armored hoses which last longer and are less likely to rupture. If you aren’t sure if your hoses need to be replaced or how to replace them, call a plumber to make sure the job is done right so you are left with peace of mind. A plumber can discuss which type of hose will last the longest and prevent water leaks from your washing machine.

Water Heater Leaks

If you have a water heater tank in your garage or basement, water heater failure can cause extensive damage and flooding. Even with the water main turned off, the water in the tank itself can still leak out. It can be dangerous for a water heater to continue to heat if it’s empty because of a leak. The best approach is to turn off the water heater while you are gone for an extended period and partially drain the water. Even if your garage or basement reaches freezing temperatures, there will be room in the tank for the water to expand if it is partially drained and the water starts to freeze. If your water heater has a vacation mode, you can safely leave it on during your vacation because it will keep the remaining water in the tank heated at a low temperature. If you aren’t sure how to safely turn off your water heater or how to set it to vacation mode, be sure to call a plumber. A qualified plumber can help you with either an electric or gas water heater to make sure you are taking every precaution to avoid water damage during a vacation.

Sprinkler System Leaks

For a vacation during warmer seasons, such as in Crowley, TX, your sprinkler system may still be running while you are on vacation. While this may help keep your plants watered, a broken pipe can also cause a flood in your yard with water running into the street wasting hundreds of gallons and raising your water bill. The best way to prevent this type of costly disaster is to turn off the main water valve. For an extended vacation or for plants that need daily watering, you can talk to a plumber about installing an automatic shut off at the water main valve that will turn off the water during any unusual changes in water pressure associated with a leak. This type of automatic water detection can work for any type of leaks inside the house as well.

Swamp Cooler Leaks

If your home has a swamp or evaporative cooler, the pipe that circulates the water can break and cause the water to leak out. Because most swamp coolers are on the roof or in the attic, this can cause water damage. The best way to prevent this type of disaster is to turn the water off at the water main or install an automatic shut off system. Talk to a plumber about the best way to prevent swamp cooler leaks while you are on vacation.

Sump Pump Failure

While you are on vacation, rainwater can also cause issues. If there is a major storm and your sump pump isn’t working properly, you could come back to a flooded crawlspace or basement. Check your sump pump before you leave to make sure it is in proper working order. Dump a bucket of water into the sump pump pit and make sure it kicks on. If it doesn’t look like it’s working, you should call a plumber immediately. Even if your sump pump does seem to be in working order, it is a good idea to have a plumber check it out to make sure it doesn’t have any components that are worn and need replacing.

Preventing Melting Ice

If the power goes out while you are on vacation, the ice from your ice maker can melt, leak out, and leave a puddle around your refrigerator which can possibly cause damage to your flooring. Be sure to empty the ice and turn your ice maker off, especially if you turn the main water valve off. Contact a plumber to make sure you are taking every precaution to prevent water damage while you are on vacation.

Preventing Frozen Pipes

When water freezes, it expands. Water left in your pipes during freezing temperatures can expand and break your pipes. When you leave for your vacation, do not turn off your furnace or heater. Instead, reduce the heat to 50 to 60 degrees to keep your house warm enough to prevent pipes from freezing. In the case of a power outage, your home can still reach freezing temperatures so extra precautions should be taken to make sure there is very little remaining water in your pipes while you are gone.

To drain your pipes, turn off the main water valve and open all of your cold water faucets to allow the water to drain. Be sure to flush your toilets as well to empty the tanks. You can add RV or marine antifreeze to the remaining water left in the toilet bowl and sink traps to prevent this water from freezing and cracking the porcelain in the toilet tanks or the sink pipes.

If you are unable to find the main water valve, don’t hesitate to contact a plumber. You can also ask a plumber about the best methods for insulating your external pipes including heat tape.

Turn Off the Water Main

Turning off the water main is the best way to prevent major water damage disasters no matter what type of leak you might have while on vacation. It is the only guaranteed way to prevent major water leaks from anywhere inside your home or outside in your sprinkler system. This will not only save you money from your water running for long periods, but the damage to your home can cost thousands and take months to repair. If you’ve never turned off your water main before or you aren’t sure where it even is located, you can call a plumber to show you where it is and to check to make sure it is in proper working order.

Do a Dry Run

Before actually leaving for vacation, turn off your main water valve far enough in advance before your vacation to detect any problems. If you rarely or never have turned off the main water valve, you may find that the valve is stripped or broken which can cause a water leak. You want to find this out far enough in advance to have time to call a plumber and have the main water valve repaired, not when you are about to head to the airport to catch a flight. If you don’t plan to turn off the main water valve, check the valves in advance at each sink and toilet as well as the water heater and washing machine to make sure they are not stripped or broken. If you find any issues with any of your valves, be sure to call a plumber right away. You can also have a plumber come and replace them with newer valves that are easier to turn off and on.

Automated Shut Off Options

If turning off the water main isn’t an option because you need to run your sprinklers or because you plan to have a house sitter, there are several options available to automatically shut off the water to your home in the event of a broken pipe or flood. Some of these devices have sensors that detect water and send a message to a device attached to the water main. Other devices detect changes in water pressure. Some devices can send a message to your smartphone so you can turn off the water yourself. Consult with a plumber before you go on vacation to find out all of the options available to you to prevent a water disaster not only during your vacation but even when you are at work or away from your home.

Contact Benjamin Franklin Plumbing Before Your Next Vacation

For any issue you have preparing for your next vacation, Benjamin Franklin Plumbing in the Crowley, TX area, is here to help. Our professional team can help prepare you to prevent extensive water damage during your next vacation. They can check your valves, sump pump, and water heater to make sure they are all in proper working order. They can help you find your water main valve and show you the proper way to turn off your water heater. This type of preparation is a perfect example of an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure. If you know of anyone that has had a major water damage disaster while they were on vacation, you know that they would much rather have had a simple visit by a plumbing professional such as those at Benjamin Franklin Plumbing instead. Contact Benjamin Franklin Plumbing in the Crowley, TX area before your next vacation so you can avoid being the horror story that makes other people take precautions before their vacations. You will be so glad you did when you can come back to your home that is safe, dry, and disaster-free because you took the time to make sure you were doing everything you could. Benjamin Franklin Plumbing’s 24-hour support number is located right on their website homepage.