Add “Plumbing” To Your Vacation Checklist.

Plumbing tips so you can relax while you are away.

Warmer weather not only means summer is right around the corner, but it also means that vacation season is almost here. While most people will focus on the traditional vacation to-do list like booking the hotel, buying tickets, and packing prior to heading out of town, it is equally important to take preventative measures so your home is safe from water leaks or other plumbing related issues while you are away. So, what exactly should you do before hitting the road? Here are a few tips from our plumbing checklist to give you peace of mind so you can truly relax while you are away.

Turn the temperature down on your water heater.

Some experts recommend completely draining your water heater prior to leaving for vacation to ensure there is no risk of leakage while you are away. However, this can be a tricky process for the DIY handyman. If draining the water is not your preferred option, turning the water heater off or the temperature down is another alternative. If your water heater is gas, the temperature can be adjusted to the lowest setting without turning off the pilot light.

If your water heater is electric, you can either turn it off at the breaker box or if it exists, use the switch on the water heater. Reducing the temperature on your water heater will minimize the risk of leaks since a minimal amount of water will circulate through the water heater while you are away. Might want to write yourself a note to turn the heater back on as soon as you return from your vacation.

Clean and verify that your sump pump is operating okay.

If your home has a sump pump you will want to make sure it is working properly prior to leaving for an extended period of time. Sump pumps can be the key to prevent flooding in your basement in the event that heavy rains occur while you are away. Proper maintenance and routine checks are the best method to ensure that your sump pump is functioning properly. Read one of our recent blogs to learn more about cleaning your sump pump basin and checking the pump for proper operation.


Inspect your irrigation or sprinkler system.

If your home is lucky enough to have a sprinkler or irrigation system installed to keep your lawn looking beautiful and green all summer long, you will likely want to keep it running while you are on vacation. Prior to leaving, we recommend that you check the system to make sure it continues to operate without any issues while you are away. Here are a few things to look for:

  • Inspect and clean sprinkler heads to check for damage and remove any dirt or debris.
  • Turn on the system and check the head, pipes, and connections for leaks or signs of pooling water.
  • Test the spray patterns to ensure the sprinkler heads are covering the desired areas of your lawn and garden. Adjust if necessary.
  • Look at the timer settings and adjust if appropriate for the anticipated weather conditions while you are away.

Clear your drains and garbage disposal.

To prevent the emergence of bad odors or unwanted bugs, you will want to make sure all of your drains are flowing properly prior to leaving for vacation. Even a minor clog can grow bacteria and attract pesky bugs. There are a few DIY remedies including the use of baking soda or biological cleaners. If you have tried these methods with no such luck, BlueChip offers a drain cleaning service that is sure to get your pipes flowing again.

For your garbage disposal, food particles that are stuck in the disposal can also cause bad odors and attract bugs. We recommend turning your garbage disposal on while running water and then pouring ice into the disposal. This will help break up and flush out any loose particles. As a general rule of thumb, it is best to clean your disposal once a month by using either a disposal cleaner or a mixture of vinegar, baking soda and hot water.

 Shut off the main water supply.

Last but not least, if you want to ensure that there is no possible way for leaks to occur inside your home while you are away, the best option is to turn off your main water supply prior to heading out of town. After shutting off the main water, you will need to run a faucet to relieve the pressure and ensure water stops flowing.

If turning off the main water supply is not feasible, you can also turn off the water at each fixture like the sinks, toilets, washing machine, etc. This will allow you to keep your water turned on for other purposes like pool pumps, sprinkler systems, etc. while also minimizing the risk of leaks or flooding in the interior of the home.

Plumbing Checklist

If you are experiencing any issues with the plumbing fixtures listed in this article, or if you need assistance prior to heading out of town for vacation, Blue Chip Plumbing is always happy to help. Contact us here or give us a call today at (513) 999-6820 to speak to a plumbing specialist and get a free quote on any of our plumbing services.