Your plumbing is a critical system for your home’s comfort and convenience. When going out, most people do not think about turning off the water supply, but if you are going on a short trip or an extended vacation, you may want to consider shutting it off. Here are a few tips on what to do before you leave home.
Protect Your Plumbing and Avoid Recurring Costs
Even if you are going out for the weekend, it is always advisable to shut off your water supply. While on vacation, faults could be developing gradually within your plumbing. They could be pipe leaks, water heater malfunctions or clogged drains.
Cracks and breaks in the piping can grow to significant sizes and cause flooding. You may return to a home with soggy carpets, moldy furniture and peeling wall paint. After your vacation, it can be stressful to wait for your plumber to fix and restore the water supply.
You would also have to clear the water to avoid further hazards in your home. Extensive water damage encourages moisture accumulation and the spread of mold and mildew to parts of your residence. Mold will trigger microbial issues that could impact indoor air quality and compromise your health.
Some of the issues that develop in your plumbing while you are away can shorten its lifespan. An aging or failing plumbing system is likely to require multiple repairs that may involve recurring expenses. Therefore, turning off the water can be a cost-saving measure. You can always consult Tarpy Plumbing, Heating & Air in San Diego if you suspect there is an issue with your plumbing.
Turn Off the Main Valve and Drain the Fixtures
The best way to avoid extensive damage to the premises is to totally turn off the water supply. Before you begin draining the faucets, you should first locate the main shut-off valve. You’ll typically find it in the basement or outside the house.
After shutting off the main valve, ensure you drain the water from all the fixtures. In summer, the temperature of the water raises the pressure inside the pipes. If there is a crack, parts of your plumbing could burst.
It is even more critical to drain hoses and faucets in the winter. San Diego has relatively mild winters, but temperatures can occasionally drop significantly in December. At close to the freezing point, water expands and can crack your pipes.
If you are going away in winter, be sure you leave your HVAC running. Plumbers advise opening the cabinets under the kitchen sink and any closet with an external pipe behind it. This ensures that warm air circulates to prevent frozen pipes.
Insulation of the piping or in the space it passes through is the most likely culprit for winter damage. Some pipes are more susceptible to cracking in extreme temperatures than others.
If you detect that your plumbing is already building up frozen water, you can let the water drip. You can also wrap pipes with clothes dipped in warm water, but the best thing to do is consult Tarpy Plumbing, Heating & Air for professional service.
Secure Your Household Appliances
Another reason you should turn off the water is to protect the appliances in your home. A fault could develop around plumbing that connects to dishwashers, washing machines or water heaters. With the water supply still on, some areas of your home could be subject to water damage.
Additionally, high water pressure can wreak havoc on valuable household equipment. The pressure will reduce the efficiency of your appliances, making them prone to frequent breakdowns. Faucets, showerheads and pipes can succumb to the force of water and eventually leak.
Your water heater has a mechanism to handle the expansion of water due to heat, but if you leave it on while on vacation, the pressure may exceed the equipment’s limit. As a result, it can trigger problems within the tank or other components of the system.
Most homes have a regulator valve that can adjust the pressure in the system. This is often near the main cut-off valve. If you don’t have one, your plumber can install this device to eliminate the risk of costly damage to your appliances.
Assess Your Drains and Clear Clogs
Your drainage system plays a crucial role in removing wastewater from your home. If there is a blockage, it can compound into a flooding problem. Water could back up into your house. You might then notice a strong odor from your kitchen or bathroom when you return from your vacation.
So, it would be wise to assess your plumbing drains before you go traveling. Start by testing the garbage disposal by pouring water through it. Observe the movement of water down the sink. Slow-moving water is an indication of a developing clog.
You can use a plumbing snake to get rid of soft clogs, but avoid using chemical formulations or bleach. Chemical cleaners can weaken the metal piping and cause cracks that will trigger leaks. They can also pose a personal hazard. Chemical cleaners can release fumes that can go through the pipes to other parts of the house. Despite their risks, they are unreliable for stubborn clogs. It is often better to leave the issue to a professional plumber.
If there is a problem with the drainage, you may notice uneven patches of grass growing in the lawn. This indicates that an underground pipe is leaking. A foul odor is also a sure sign of clogging or a blockage.
Another essential component of your plumbing system is the sump pump. Sump pumps are located in the basement to drain out excess water that would otherwise cause flooding. To avoid surprises when you return, ensure that yours is working before you leave.
If you suspect a clog or a leak, you can call a professional plumber to fix the problem. The team from Tarpy Plumbing, Heating & Air provides plumbing solutions that San Diego can depend on. Our staff will work fast and efficiently to avoid delaying your trip.
How to Prevent Plumbing Issues While Away
The primary reason for preparing your plumbing is to avoid problems that could cause water damage. The best way to prevent losses is to fix issues even if they seem mundane and benign. An inspection of your plumbing can detect problems before they become expensive to correct. Some faults can progressively become chronic issues that shorten the lifespan of your plumbing.
The professionals from Tarpy Plumbing, Heating & Air have the tools, experience and skills to pinpoint and address faults. They can use video detection to find leaks and clogs that are difficult to spot. Techniques like hydro-jetting are more efficient at getting rid of blockages that will eventually cause leaking. Our team has handled a wide range of residential and commercial plumbing projects. We can repair or replace fixtures, piping and water heaters. Besides that, we also install, repair and maintain heating and cooling systems. As a family-owned company, we believe in maintaining the highest standards of customer service. That’s why we treat our clients like family. Call Tarpy Plumbing, Heating & Air today for prompt service wherever you may be in San Diego.