Young Plumbing Young Plumbing
219-240-0075
Request Service

Plumbing Tasks to Check Off Before Leaving for Your Summer Vacation

tightening faucet

 Turn Off the Main Water Supply

Before you embark on your summer vacation, one of the most crucial tasks is to locate and turn off the main water shut-off valve in your home. This valve is typically found where the main water line enters your house, often in the basement, garage, or a utility room. To locate it, look for a round wheel or lever handle attached to a pipe. Once you've found it, turn the valve clockwise to shut off the water supply. If you have trouble locating the valve, consult your home's plumbing blueprint or contact a professional plumber for assistance.

Turning off the main water supply is a simple yet effective way to prevent potential water damage while you're away. By shutting off the water, you eliminate the risk of leaks and floods that could result from a burst pipe or faulty appliance. This precaution can save you from costly repairs and the headache of dealing with water damage. Additionally, it provides peace of mind, knowing that your home is safeguarded against unexpected plumbing issues during your absence.

Benefits of Shutting Off the Water

The primary benefit of shutting off the main water supply is the prevention of water damage. Water leaks can cause significant harm to your home's structure, leading to mold growth, wood rot, and damage to walls and flooring. By turning off the water, you mitigate the risk of such incidents, ensuring your home remains in good condition while you're away. Moreover, it helps conserve water, which is both environmentally friendly and cost-effective.

Another advantage is the prevention of plumbing emergencies. A burst pipe or a malfunctioning appliance can lead to extensive water damage, which can be both time-consuming and expensive to repair. By shutting off the water supply, you reduce the likelihood of such emergencies, allowing you to enjoy your vacation without worrying about potential plumbing disasters. This simple step can save you from the stress and financial burden of unexpected repairs.

Potential Issues and How to Avoid Them

While turning off the main water supply is beneficial, it's essential to be aware of potential issues that may arise. One common problem is the drying out of plumbing traps, which can lead to unpleasant odors entering your home. To avoid this, pour a small amount of mineral oil into each drain before leaving. This will create a barrier, preventing the traps from drying out and keeping your home smelling fresh.

Another potential issue is the malfunctioning of appliances that require a continuous water supply, such as refrigerators with ice makers. To prevent damage, turn off the ice maker and empty the ice bin before shutting off the water. Additionally, if you have a sprinkler system, ensure it's turned off or set to a rain delay mode to prevent it from running without water. By taking these precautions, you can avoid potential issues and ensure your home remains in good condition during your vacation.

Inspect and Secure All Faucets and Fixtures

Before you head out for your summer vacation, it's essential to thoroughly inspect all faucets, showerheads, and fixtures for leaks or drips. Start by checking each faucet in your home, including those in the kitchen, bathrooms, and laundry room. Look for any signs of water leakage, such as puddles, water stains, or dampness around the fixtures. Pay close attention to the base of the faucets and the connections to the water supply lines.

If you notice any leaks, address them immediately to prevent water damage and conserve water. In many cases, a simple tightening of the connections or replacing a worn-out washer can resolve the issue. For more significant leaks or if you're unsure how to fix them, consider contacting a professional plumber. By taking the time to inspect and repair any leaks, you can ensure your home remains dry and damage-free while you're away.

Tighten Loose Fixtures

Loose fixtures can lead to leaks and water damage, making it crucial to ensure all fixtures are securely tightened before leaving for vacation. Start by checking the faucets, showerheads, and any other fixtures in your home. Use a wrench or pliers to tighten any loose connections, but be careful not to overtighten, as this can cause damage to the fixtures.

In addition to tightening the fixtures, inspect the seals and gaskets for any signs of wear or damage. Replace any worn-out components to prevent leaks and ensure a secure connection. By taking these steps, you can prevent potential water damage and ensure your fixtures remain in good working condition while you're away.

Replace Worn-Out Washers and O-Rings

Worn-out washers and O-rings are common causes of leaks in faucets and fixtures. Before leaving for your vacation, take the time to inspect these components and replace any that show signs of wear or damage. To do this, turn off the water supply to the fixture, disassemble the faucet, and remove the old washer or O-ring. Take the old component to a hardware store to find an exact replacement.

Once you have the new washer or O-ring, install it in the fixture and reassemble the faucet. Turn the water supply back on and check for any leaks. By replacing worn-out components, you can prevent leaks and ensure your fixtures remain in good working condition while you're away. This simple maintenance task can save you from potential water damage and costly repairs.

Empty and Clean the Water Heater

Draining and cleaning your water heater is an essential task to perform before leaving for vacation. Over time, sediment can build up in the tank, reducing the efficiency of the heater and potentially causing leaks. To drain the water heater, turn off the power supply and the cold water inlet valve. Attach a garden hose to the drain valve at the bottom of the tank and direct the other end to a suitable drainage location. Open the drain valve and allow the water to flow out until the tank is empty.

Once the tank is drained, you can clean the interior by flushing it with fresh water. Turn on the cold water inlet valve briefly to rinse out any remaining sediment. After cleaning, close the drain valve, remove the hose, and turn the power supply back on. By performing this maintenance task, you can ensure your water heater operates efficiently and prevent potential leaks while you're away.

Inspect and Clean the Dishwasher

Before leaving for vacation, it's essential to inspect and clean your dishwasher to prevent clogs and leaks. Start by removing any debris from the filter and spray arms. Check the door seal for any signs of wear or damage and replace it if necessary. Run a cleaning cycle with a dishwasher cleaner to remove any built-up residue and ensure the appliance is free of clogs.

In addition to cleaning the interior, inspect the water supply and drain hoses for any signs of wear or leaks. Tighten any loose connections and replace damaged hoses to prevent leaks. By taking these steps, you can ensure your dishwasher remains in good working condition and avoid potential water damage while you're away.

Check and Clean the Washing Machine

Inspecting and cleaning your washing machine is another crucial task to perform before leaving for vacation. Start by checking the hoses for any signs of wear or leaks. Replace any damaged hoses and tighten loose connections to prevent water damage. Clean the lint filter and any other removable parts to ensure the appliance operates efficiently.

In addition to inspecting the hoses, run a cleaning cycle with a washing machine cleaner to remove any built-up residue and prevent clogs. Leave the door or lid open to allow the interior to dry and prevent mold growth. By performing these maintenance tasks, you can ensure your washing machine remains in good working condition and avoid potential water damage while you're away.

Test and Maintain Sump Pump

Testing your sump pump is a crucial task to ensure it operates correctly and prevents basement flooding while you're away. To test the sump pump, pour a bucket of water into the sump pit until the float rises and activates the pump. The pump should turn on and begin pumping water out of the pit. If the pump does not activate or fails to pump water, it may require maintenance or replacement.

In addition to testing the pump, inspect the discharge pipe for any signs of blockages or damage. Ensure the pipe is securely connected and directs water away from your home's foundation. By testing and maintaining your sump pump, you can prevent potential flooding and water damage while you're away.

Clean the Sump Pump Pit

Cleaning the sump pump pit is essential to ensure the pump operates efficiently and prevents clogs. Start by unplugging the pump and removing any debris from the pit. Use a wet/dry vacuum to remove any remaining water and sediment from the bottom of the pit. Once the pit is clean, inspect the pump for any signs of wear or damage and clean the intake screen to ensure proper water flow.

After cleaning the pit and pump, reassemble the components and plug the pump back in. Test the pump to ensure it operates correctly. By performing these maintenance tasks, you can ensure your sump pump remains in good working condition and prevent potential flooding while you're away.

Backup Power Supply

Having a backup power supply for your sump pump is essential to ensure it operates during power outages. Consider installing a battery backup system or a generator to provide power to the pump in case of an outage. Test the backup power supply regularly to ensure it operates correctly and provides sufficient power to the pump.

In addition to installing a backup power supply, consider setting up a monitoring system to alert you of any issues with the sump pump while you're away. By taking these precautions, you can ensure your sump pump operates efficiently and prevent potential flooding and water damage during your vacation.

Inspect and Turn Off Outdoor Faucets

Inspecting and turning off outdoor faucets is an essential task to prevent leaks and water damage while you're away. Start by checking each outdoor faucet for any signs of leaks or damage. Tighten any loose connections and replace worn-out washers or O-rings to prevent leaks. Once the faucets are secure, turn off the water supply to each faucet to prevent any potential leaks.

In addition to inspecting and turning off the faucets, consider installing frost-free hose bibs to prevent freezing and damage during colder months. By taking these steps, you can ensure your outdoor plumbing remains in good condition and prevent potential water damage while you're away.

Drain Garden Hoses

Draining and storing garden hoses is another crucial task to prevent damage while you're away. Start by disconnecting each hose from the faucet and allowing any remaining water to drain out. Coil the hoses neatly and store them in a dry, sheltered location to prevent damage from the elements.

In addition to draining and storing the hoses, inspect them for any signs of wear or damage. Replace any damaged hoses to ensure they remain in good working condition. By taking these steps, you can prevent potential damage to your garden hoses and ensure they are ready for use when you return.

Check and Secure Sprinkler Systems

Inspecting and securing your sprinkler system is essential to prevent leaks and water waste while you're away. Start by checking each sprinkler head for any signs of damage or leaks. Clean the heads to ensure proper water flow and replace any damaged components. Adjust the sprinkler heads to ensure they are directing water to the intended areas and not wasting water.

In addition to inspecting the sprinkler heads, check the control system to ensure it is set to the correct watering schedule. Consider setting the system to a rain delay mode to prevent it from running while you're away. By taking these steps, you can ensure your sprinkler system operates efficiently and prevent potential water waste and damage while you're away.

Young Plumbing Has Got You Covered This Summer

Taking the time to perform these essential plumbing tasks before leaving for your summer vacation can save you from potential water damage and costly repairs. By turning off the main water supply, inspecting and securing all faucets and fixtures, draining and cleaning appliances, testing and maintaining your sump pump, and preparing outdoor plumbing, you can ensure your home remains in good condition while you're away.

If you need assistance with any of these tasks or have any concerns about your home's plumbing, don't hesitate to contact Young Plumbing. Our team of experienced professionals is here to help you with all your essential plumbing needs. Reach out today to schedule an appointment and ensure your home is ready for your summer vacation.

Call Young Plumbing now at (219) 240-0075 or contact us online.