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Plumbing Prep: 7 Things to Do Before Leaving for a Long Vacation


Your bags are packed, and the departure date is only around the corner. But you are not all set until you deal with your plumbing. Before going on a long vacation, every homeowner must consider how to safeguard their plumbing during their period of absence. 

You can get a professional plumber in Toorak for a formal plumbing inspection before your vacation. Since they are experts, your plumbing will be better protected. However, not everything needs an expert — you can handle it yourself to a fairly large extent. 

If you have a bit of plumbing experience, try implementing the following practices before leaving for your long vacation. 

1. Cut Off Water Supply

Before you step out of your home, you must ensure turning off the main water valve. You can also turn off individual water valves to the washing machine and dishwasher, if necessary. Some prefer this extra layer of protection. 

By doing this, you can prevent accidents or damage due to any unforeseen plumbing problem. Another advantage to this is that it also stops any hidden leaks from worsening suddenly when you are away. 

2. Tidy Up Your Garbage Disposal

Have you ever come back to a stinking home?

It’s one of the worst experiences one can have, especially after a relaxing vacation. The bad smell can linger around even after cleaning because it’s been settled for a long time. 

The only solution to this is avoiding the problem altogether. Do this before leaving for a holiday: Flip the switch to your waste disposal and check if any food is lurking at the bottom of the unit. Later, clean the system well with a pinch of baking soda and a few drops of vinegar. 

Some also add citrus peels to the system to make it smell fresh. You can try different methods, but the bottom line is to clean your garbage disposal before going on vacation. 

3. Use an Antifreeze

During cold weather, the water in toilets and drains can freeze, causing cracks and leaks. It can be serious trouble when you are not home. So, prevent water from freezing by using an antifreeze. 

The antifreeze lowers the water’s freezing point, ensuring the water in the pipes remains in a liquid state even when temperatures drop significantly. This measure adds a layer of protection to your plumbing, giving you peace of mind while you are away. 

However, remember to use antifreeze designed for plumbing systems and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for safe and efficient usage. You may also ask your plumber in Toorak for suggestions. 

4. Insulation for Exposed Pipes

If you have pipes in poorly insulated areas, it is recommended to insulate them properly before leaving. Basements, attics, and crawl spaces are some examples of poorly insulated areas. 

When temperatures drop, uninsulated pipes are at risk of bursting due to expanding frozen water. It leads to substantial water damage and expensive repairs. That is precisely why you shouldn’t leave your pipes uninsulated during cold seasons. 

Insulation acts as a barrier, retaining heat and preventing the pipes from reaching freezing temperatures. This simple yet effective measure maintains the integrity of your plumbing system and offers peace of mind.

5. Turn Off the Water Heater

Water heaters are some of the essential fixtures in plumbing. As much as they ease our lives, they can also wreak havoc if damaged. Therefore, turning off the water heater is a vital step in preparing your home before an extended vacation. 

If your water heater operates on gas or electricity, switching it off before leaving conserves energy and prevents unnecessary heating of water that won’t be used. This precaution also reduces the risk of potential malfunctions or leaks in the water heater while you are absent. 

However, if you have a tankless water heater, consult the manufacturer’s instructions, as some models may have specific guidelines for prolonged shutdowns. 

6. Keep Your Pool On

Contrary to other tips, you must let the pool pump run as usual. It is because the pump filters dirt and bacteria, circulating the water. This prevents your pool from growing algae. 

Not letting the pump on can result in the following:

  • Returning to a pool with a green mess
  • Needing expensive chemical treatments

Another solution to this problem is using a timer. Buy an inexpensive timer and set your pool pump to run for a dedicated period, say eight or ten hours, every day. 

7. Clean the Gutters

Ideally, gutters must be cleaned at least once or twice a year. Regular maintenance of gutters is crucial to your entire home’s functioning. So, you need to clean your gutters even when you are taking a vacation. 

Even when you think your gutters are fine, it is best to clean them before being absent for weeks. If they are broken or clogged, your basement may end up flooded and damaged. 

Final Thoughts

Plumbing prep is an essential item on your vacation’s to-do list. You will be spending weeks away from home, so you must ensure your home’s plumbing doesn’t run wild during your absence. 

Besides, you can also ask a neighbour or friend to keep an eye on your home while you are on holiday. Upon noticing any signs of plumbing distress, they can provide access to an emergency plumber in Toorak and fix the problem right away. 

Doyle Plumbing Group is known for their timely response and skilled work. If you already feel overwhelmed by the above list, you can simply call Doyle for a plumbing check. They can handle your plumbing while you take care of your other priorities. 


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