It can be disheartening to return from vacation only to discover your sewer lines are clogged, a water line has broken, or some other type of rooter service is required. To save you time and money, here are a few things you can do to guard against water and sewage problems when you are away from home. Note that it is still a good idea to have a friend or relative check on things if you will be gone a long time.
Clean and Disinfect
It is important to clean and disinfect everything in your bathrooms before leaving home for a period of time. Even a weekend away from home gives mold and mildew an opportunity to grow unfettered and longer trips can have even bigger problems. Clean everything from your toilet bowl and tank to your shower stall and sinks. Keep in mind that the other sinks and showers in the home need the same degree of cleaning.
Shut Off the Water
After cleaning up the area, you should also turn off the water to guard against leaks and freezes while you are away. This step isn’t necessary for a short getaway, but if you will be gone a week or more it is a good practice to get into. It’s best to turn off the water main but if you have appliances like an ice maker that need water regularly you can still turn off the water to your bathroom toilets.
Empty the Tank
After the water is shut off, flush the toilets a few times to empty the water out of them. It is rare for a toilet tank to spontaneously begin to link, but it could happen, especially if you live in an area that is prone to seismic disturbances. Don’t worry about any residual water in the tank. It won’t be enough to be a major problem.
If you are traveling during the winter months, the biggest plumbing issue to worry about will be frozen pipes. Turning off the water main is the best protection against burst pipes, but tanks, traps, and drains can freeze during an extended power outage. The solution is to use marine antifreeze, which does not contain harmful chemicals or create the noxious fumes of regular antifreeze. Add a little to your toilet bowl, and an ounce or so to every drain, from the shower to your kitchen sink.
For Long-Term Absence
If you will be away for a month or more, it might be a good idea to work out a plan with a family member, friend, or neighbor to perform some regular activities. In addition to checking the mail and mowing the lawn, inspecting your plumbing is a great idea. If you were able to turn off the water main that won’t be a big deal, but if the house has water pressure,it will benefit you to find out about a problem expeditiously.
It is far more cost-effective to prevent plumbing problems while you are on vacation. The consequences of not taking a proactive stance could include having to make an emergency call to your local rooter service, and that is an unappealing way to end your holiday.
Ehret Co. Plumbing & Heating
Ehret Co. Plumbing & Heating provides 24/7 household plumbing services for homes and multifamily buildings. We pride ourselves on our professional and quality work. Contact us through our online contact form or call us at 510-528-4292 for residential plumbing services any time, any day of the week.