Prepare your home before vacationSince we opened our doors 30 years ago, we've seen A LOT of plumbing emergencies. For example, one year, a family went away to Disney for a week. When they came back, their house looked like Elsa's castle. NOT the Disney memory they wanted. Many of the heating and plumbing pipes froze up, then burst. A Rapid Service plumber was able to complete the repairs.
There are a few ways this could have been prevented. If you're going away for the holiday, we'd like to share some tips to avoid coming home to a plumbing disaster.
Turn off the waterTurn on all the faucets in your home. They should include bathroom & kitchen sinks, tubs, and showers. Now, turn off the MAIN water shut-off in your home. All of the sinks should stop running. Close all of them except for one. Now, all the water is drained from your pipes. Keeping a faucet turned 'on' takes the pressure off the plumbing system. This can prevent a frozen or burst pipe.
Also, make sure your outside hose is disconnected and the water to your outside spigot is shut off. This will prevent a burst pipe that could flood your basement.
Leave the heat onHeating systems are much more efficient these days. You don't need to turn the heat off while you're away. If the heating system chokes up, or a pipe freezes, you could wind up spending more money on a plumbing repair, than you'd save on heating. "Smart" thermostats provide you peace-of-mind while you're away. Honeywell has several thermostats that use WiFi. You can control them with an app on your smartphone or tablet.
Before you leave for the holiday, take a quick look around your heating system. If you notice any leaks, call a local Colchester plumber to have them repaired before you go on vacation.
Seal up draftsTake a walk around your basement. Make sure all the windows and doors are shut and locked. If there are any cracks or gaps, caulk them up. The cold air could freeze your pipes. Drafty winds are the worst near plumbing equipment. Want some additional security? Look into water alarms. Honeywell, again, has a great option that works with your smartphone. They have a Freeze and Leak Detector that can be placed near the sump pump, water heater, washing machine, and under sinks. It will send an alert to your smartphone if it senses a leak or a pipe about to freeze.