Plumbing is probably not at the forefront of anyone’s mind when getting ready to go on holiday. Most people are only worried about whether they’ve packed everything and that they’re going to be on time at the airport.
However, if you’ve ever come home to find a flood or a burst pipe, you’ll know that a few simple checks are well worth the few minutes they’ll take. So here are a few things to check and switch off before you lock the doors and go and enjoy some sunshine.
Ensure all taps are switched off
It seems blindingly obvious but make sure you make a conscious effort to go around your house and check all the taps are firmly off before you leave. Sometimes people simply forget they haven’t turned one off the whole way which is fine if you’re in the other room but not so much if you’re across the continent for a week or two. It’ll take about a minute to do and could save your house from water damage or usage costs if you’re on a meter.
Turn your water off
You might want to go one step further and actually turn your water off. While plumbing is safer and more reliable these days that doesn’t mean it’s flawless. Plenty of people come home to find a flood in their house which can put a downer on the holiday, especially if you find out about it while next to the pool.
The safest thing to do is to just shut off the main water supply before you leave. You’ll have to locate the mains water inlet pipe and turn the stopcock valve. You should ideally know where this is already in case of a flood when you’re at home too so take a few moments to locate and remember it.
Shut off your hot water heater
If your water is heated by a traditional tank water heater, this is probably going to be one of the biggest energy drains in your house. So leaving it running while you’re away for a week or two is simply wasting energy and money.
Set a timer for your central heating if necessary
Sometimes turning everything off isn’t an option. If you’re going away in the winter and the pipes are at risk of freezing over, then it’s worth setting a timer for your central heating to avoid this.
Frozen pipes can end up bursting as the ice melts and there is too much pressure. Alternatively, ask a friend of relative to turn it on for you while you’re away. That way they’ll be able to check that everything is okay when they visit.
Set yourself reminders
It’s a good idea to set reminders of things to do before you leave like switching off appliances and locking up. The same goes for your plumbing. First of all set one to remind you and the people you live with to make the checks above and switch things off before you all leave.
If you’re getting someone to check in on your house or turn the heating on then you might need to remind them also. Lastly, don’t forget when you come home to switch everything back on again and check everything’s working properly.
If you find that something’s not working or you forgot the above checks and need help with a leak or burst pipe then give us a call on 0151 522 0736.