If you are planning on leaving your home for a long period of time for any reason, whether it is migrating to a warmer climate for the winter, leaving your summer home to head back north, or finally taking that dream vacation, it is important that you take the right steps to prepare your home to be in the best possible shape when you return. An important part of this preparation is ensuring pipe maintenance.
Here are some ways to prepare your pipes before leaving home for a long period of time.
Turn Off Your Water Supply
Seeing as you won’t be there to need water while you are gone, turning off your water supply before you leave is the best thing you can do to ensure pipe maintenance while you are away from home. By doing this, you eliminate the risk of a leaky or burst pipe causing significant damage without anyone there to notice the leak and stop it.
After you have turned off your water supply (or hired a licensed plumber to turn it off if you are not comfortable doing it yourself), you need to drain your pipes of water by turning on all the faucets and flushing toilets to eliminate water from the tank and bowl.
Keep Your Plumbing Warm
While turning off your water supply is the best way to ensure pipe maintenance while you are gone, not all of you might be able to do this. Whether you are unable to turn off the water supply to your home because of factors such as having an older steam heating system, or you have other reasons to keep your water supply turned on, there are steps you should take to prepare your home by keeping your plumbing warm.
These are especially urgent during the winter in places where the temperature drops below freezing.
- Keep the furnace running to maintain heat in the home and prevent pipes from freezing.
- Set the temperature to at least 55 degrees and keep doors and cabinets open to help circulate heat against walls and where pipes are.
- If possible, shut off any unnecessary water, such as your washing machine and dishwasher, in order to reduce risk.