Avoiding Plumbing Emergencies When You Head Away on Vacation

Many families look forward to summer for months on end: backyard barbecues, pool parties, beach weather, and traveling out of town. If you’re planning on hitting the road for an extended time this summer, make sure to take certain precautions to prevent plumbing emergencies in your absence. Doing so may save you from having to call on emergency Pittsburgh plumbing services when you return from your trip!

Below are three ways to prevent plumbing emergencies while you are away on your summer vacation.

Shut Off the Water

The most obvious way to prevent leaks and water damage while you’re on vacation is simply to shut off the main water line that leads into your home. The shutoff valve for your house’s main line might be in a vault (plastic or concrete box) buried in the ground out by the street. If this is the case, you should be able to lift the lid, reach in, and turn the valve handle clockwise all the way. Be sure to call your local water utility for guidance if you have any questions or concerns.

For other homes, the water shut-off valve may be in the basement or outside storage room, with a lever attached under or near your water heater. This type of lever uses a ball valve and simply requires that you turn the handle 90 degrees to shut off.

Once you’ve shut off your main line and are ready to leave for your trip, run the faucets to double-check that the water has been shut off properly.

When you return from your trip, be sure to leave the faucets open before you turn your main water line back on again. This can prevent sudden spurts in water pressure that can damage your pipes and valves.

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Clean Your Sprinkler Heads

Now, shutting off the water is great for those of you who don’t plan on watering the lawn while you’re away. But if you continue to water your lawn in the summer, especially using an automated sprinkler system, then you should clean your sprinkler heads before taking that long trip. If the heads become clogged they can cause major problems while you’re away – like leaks in the pipes inside and outside your home. And even if they’re only partially clogged, that can still result in a lot of wasted water which soaks the area near the sprinkler head but leaves your lawn with yellow patches of dead grass. You don’t want to come home to that!

Have a Neighbor, Friend Or Relative Check On Your Home

Even with the precautions above, there’s no way to know that everything is fine while you’re on vacation, because there’s nobody there to double-check. That’s why it’s ideal to have a next-door neighbor keep an eye on things while you’re gone. If you aren’t very close with your neighbors, then try to at least have a trusted friend or family member stop by daily for a property a walk-through.

While you’re on vacation this summer, the last thing you want to do is worry about the condition of your home, so take some precautions to prevent possible plumbing problems. If you’re not able to do these things yourself, then call reputable plumbers to take care of it for you. Better to be safe than sorry.  The professionals at Mister Sewer will help you to take every precaution in order to keep your plumbing in tip top shape for your return!

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