May 01 Should I Shut Off My Water Before Going on Vacation?
With the weather warming up and summer in sight, it’s the time that we start planning our vacation. Between booking hotels and packing your bags, have you thought about what your home needs while you’re away? No one wants to come home to a plumbing emergency or flooded home, so should you turn off your water supply before you go on vacation?
The Risk of Water Damage While You’re Away
You might not expect to come home from vacation to a flooded home, but leaving your home unattended for weeks or months can create a possibility of this scenario unfolding. With water running under pressure through your pipes, and your plumbing system left unchecked for long periods of time, a small vulnerability or leak can leave your home flooded by the time you return from vacation. With no one at home, the water damage can be catastrophic by the time you even realize there’s an issue.
Shut Off Your Water Supply During Vacation
Turning off your main water supply during vacation is a smart way to avoid unexpected flooding while you’re away. You should turn off the mains water supply when you’re away from your home on vacation, even for short weekend trips. This keeps your home safe from flooding while you’re not around.
How to Turn Off Your Mains Water Supply
To prevent the risk of a plumbing emergency while you’re out of town, locate your mains water supply valve, and turn it off so that additional water cannot flow into your pipes. The mains water supply valve for your home may be situated in a variety of locations, including in the basement, crawl space, outside your home or at your concrete slab. It is imperative to know the position of your mains water supply valve – not only to turn off your water before your vacation but to shut off the water supply if you experience a plumbing emergency while at home. Your mains water supply valve should have a wheel control for the lever handle. To shut off your water supply, turn the valve to the ‘closed’ position (for round handles, turn the wheel clockwise, for lever handles, turn the lever perpendicular to the pipe).
If you’re unsure of the location of your mains water supply or if you don’t know how to turn your mains supply off, contact your plumber as soon as possible to show you how to do this.
What Else Can You Do?
In addition to shutting off your mains water supply, there are other actions you can take to protect your plumbing while on vacation.
- If vacationing during winter, consider draining all the water from your plumbing in addition to shutting off the mains supply. This prevents the risk of pipes bursting due to water inside freezing and expanding.
- Inspect supply lines to your outlets and appliances before you go away. If you notice any frayed, damaged or leaking supply lines, have these replaced before you leave your home.
- Test that your sump pump is plugged in and operational before you go away to avoid returning to a sewage flood.
- Check your gutters for leaf and debris build-up to optimize drainage and prevent flooding to your basement or foundation in the event of heavy rain.
To protect your home, save water and prevent damage, shut off your water supply before you go on vacation. If you need help locating your mains water supply or instructions on how to shut it off before your vacation, call your local plumber for advice for your system.