For people living in and around Vancouver, the winter time is the perfect time to get away for a nice relaxing vacation in a warm destination. Getting away from the hustle of daily life and the cold, unpleasant weather even for a short time is a great way to rest and recharge. That said, the last thing anyone wants to come home to after a relaxing vacation is a plumbing disaster that causes major water damage in your home. In order to prevent any plumbing issues from occurring while you’re away, the Vancouver plumbing experts at MidCity Plumbers have a few tips you can follow listed below.
Close the Main Supply Valve
If you plan on being away for an extended period, it may be a good idea to shut of the main water supply to your home. This will help prevent water from flowing through any pipes or supply lines in your home, which will go a long way towards preventing untimely leaks that can cause major water damage when left unchecked. Even if you aren’t planning to be away for a long period of time, it is a good idea to check the status of your main shut off valve on an annual basis. If you find the valve is no longer working properly, you should make sure to get replaced by an expert Vancouver plumber before you leave.
Sometimes it can be impractical to shut off the water supply to your entire home while you are away. You may have a sprinkler system or other appliances that require water flow even during your absence, which requires the main valve to remain open. If this is the case, you can still prevent leaks and other issues that lead to water damage from happening by making use of individual supply shut-offs. A kitchen or bathroom faucet will usually have built-in shut-offs for both hot and cold supplies, as well as your toilet. If you discover your supply lines aren’t equipped with shut-offs, or the existing shut-offs are too difficult to close by hand, you may want to contact a plumber to install new shut-offs before you leave.
Address All Minor Leaks
Even the smallest leak can lead to a major plumbing issue in a short period of time if allowed to go unchecked. A dripping faucet or a leaky toilet can quickly turn into a plumbing nightmare without prompt repairs from a plumbing expert. Even if the leak doesn’t lead to a burst pipe or other major issue, the constant flow of water can actually lead to a spike in your water bill. This cost can easily be avoided by having an experienced Vancouver plumber from MidCity Plumbers inspect the connections and status of all of your plumbing fixtures inside and outside of your home.
Drain the Supply Lines
This tip is a must if you plan to be away from your home for a long period of time during the winter. Many people who spend a number of weeks or months away from their home in Vancouver will often keep the heat set at a low temperature. This is a cost-effective measure when it comes to energy bills, but without the proper precautions, it can lead to expensive plumbing issues. As water pipes get cold, the water inside will freeze and expand. This can quickly lead to a burst pipe, which will cause major damage and potential safety hazards if water is allowed to come into contact with electrical outlets and connections. To keep this from happening, homeowners can empty the water from their supply lines by closing the main valve or individual shut-offs and running their faucets until the water in the supply lines has run out.
Upgrade Old Supply Lines
If a supply line has become old or worn down, there is no telling how long it will be until it bursts or springs a leak and floods your home with water. Supply lines to large appliances like a washing machine in particular can be susceptible to deterioration over time, especially if the lines are made of rubber. The rubber in these lines can crack and shrink after a few years. If you haven’t changed these rubber lines you may want to do so before leaving on vacation. Try replacing them with more substantial supplies made of braided stainless steel that are longer lasting and far less likely to burst.
Test Your Sump Pump
If your home is equipped with a sump pump in the basement, make sure you test it before you leave. Sump pumps are designed to keep water from flooding in your home by pumping it directly out through the main drain in your basement. If the sump pump fails to automatically engage when the water level reaches a certain height, this is a problem that should be addressed before you leave on vacation. Another precaution you can take to make sure your sump pump will work at all times is to hook up a battery back up to the pump. This will allow the pump to keep moving water out of your home in the instance of a basement flood, even if the power goes out.
For more information about keeping your home safe from water damage and plumbing disasters, feel free to contact the friendly plumbing experts at MidCity Plumbing today. You can also arrange for a full inspection and repair of your home’s plumbing systems before you leave for your winter vacation.