You are about to leave for a relaxing vacation which you have been planning for weeks. Everything is packed and you are ready to go, you lock up the house and set out for a much-deserved break from the hustle of Vancouver, BC life. The last thing you are thinking about is your plumbing and appliances.
Plumbing emergencies happen when you least expect them and one of the more unfortunate times they can occur is when you leave your home for an extended period of time. Think about it, no one is there to catch a leak and call a plumber right away, so you are at risk for flooding and unexpected malfunctions.
The chances are low that you would ever have a serious plumbing emergency, like a burst pipe in your home while you are on vacation. However, whether you are going camping for the weekend or planning an extended trip, the last thing you want to come home to is a flooded basement or leaking pipes. As a homeowner in the Lower Mainland, you do not want to risk property damage or costly repairs. Luckily, there are some preventative measures you can take before your trip to help ensure things are safe and running smoothly when you return home. Minimize the stress and follow these simple steps to prevent plumbing emergencies on vacation.
Turn off the Water Supply
Many people do not know that you can actually turn off the entire water supply to your house. This is a safety feature and it is the first thing you should do if you ever experience flooding in your home. You can also turn off the water supply to specific appliances, such as the sink or washing machine, rather than the whole house if you choose. This can come in handy if there is a known problem with a certain appliance, such as that leaking sink you are going to eventually fix.
Before you leave for vacation, turn off the water supply to certain appliances. These include your sink, toilet, dishwasher, the hot water tank and even your laundry machine in most homes. This preventative measure ensures your bathroom and kitchen fixtures do not have any source of water. If you know your sink has a leak or the toilet has troubles with drainage, an easy way to ensure peace of mind is to simply cut off the problem at the source. Removing the water supply helps you avoid coming home to an unwanted mess or flood.
If you are unsure about how to turn off the water supply to common household fixtures here is a helpful post “How to Turn Off the Water to your House” that outlines the process. It also shares how to shut off the water supply to your entire house if you are looking to remove the water supply for multiple household appliances.
General Maintenance Check
Visually inspect your water heater, dishwasher and laundry machine before you leave, and ensure all appliances are turned off. Look carefully around the base of your sink, toilet, washing machine, water heater or dishwasher for any visible damage or pooling water. Also, check for visible stains that outline a waterline or puddle that has dried up. This is a sign that you have a leak or have had one recently.
Be sure that all pipes and valves are sealed tightly and that there are no signs of rust or corrosion. Pipes can wear out over time, this is a natural process but it can also cause unwanted leaks. If you live in an older home, or you are unsure of when your pipes were installed, it does not hurt to do a quick inspection to ensure everything looks up to date.
If you are in doubt, have your plumber do a maintenance check on the appliances that you are concerned about, before you leave.
Hire a Housesitter
If you have done your due diligence and turned off the water supply to your home and checked that all of the appliances are in working order, it is likely you will not experience a plumbing emergency while you are away. However, if you are still concerned about your home, you could ask a trusted neighbour or friend to check in on the property intermittently. Have them notify you directly if anything occurs and ensure they have your plumbers’ information on hand. If you have a pet who is staying home, or a garden that needs daily care, hiring a housesitter may be the best option to ensure everything is running smoothly at the house.
Contact Hillcrest Plumbing and Heating
If a plumbing emergency does occur while you are on vacation, the first thing you should do when you return home is to call your plumber. Hillcrest Plumbing and Heating offers 24/7 emergency plumbing services in Vancouver and throughout the Lower Mainland. Our team of talented experts can assist with flooding, burst pipes, leaks, clogs and much more. If you have any questions about how to assess your home appliances, turn off the water supply or want additional tips on how to prevent plumbing emergencies, contact us or call 604-879-1415 and we can help to answer any questions you may have.