You’ve been planning a vacation for a long time, and the day has finally come! You’ve gone over your checklist, your suitcases are packed, and you’re ready to go, right? Not so fast. There’s one item that should be on everyone’s checklist before leaving to go out of town. Have you checked your home’s plumbing? We at MN Roto-Rooter Plumbing & Water Cleanup have put together a plumbing checklist before you leave for your vacation to help prevent you coming home to a plumbing disaster. Here’s what to know.
CHECK YOUR TOILETS
A common problem with toilets is a leaky flapper valve. The flapper valve is the mechanism that opens and closes every time the toilet is flushed. When there is a problem with the flapper valve, the water in the toilet tank continues to run because the tank can’t fill all the way with water. One of the more common problems with the flapper valve is that the chain gets caught in the flapper or hung up.
So, check all the toilets to make sure the water isn’t running. If the water is running but the flapper valve and chain are fine, the flapper valve may have sediment buildup and needs to be changed. This can waste a substantial amount of water and run up your water bill. Call us at Roto-Rooter Plumbing & Water Cleanup to repair the problem.
TURN OFF THE WATER HEATER
Your water heater is an essential appliance that works around the clock to maintain hot water ready whenever you need it. The water heater uses a lot of energy to keep stored water heated to a specified temperature. In fact, the water heater is second only to the HVAC system when it comes to energy usage of appliances in a home.
If there is a plumbing emergency with the water heater, it could be a huge and expensive mess. Some water heaters have a vacation mode. Set the water heater to vacation mode or turn back the thermostat setting to save energy. You can turn the water heater completely off. Just keep in mind it will need several hours to heat water to the normal temperature when you return from vacation.
TEST YOUR SUMP PUMP
In the event your basement floods, test your sump pump to make sure it is working before going out of town. The first thing to do is check the circuit panel to make sure the breaker is on. If the breaker is tripped, there could be too many appliances running on the same circuit. You may consider having a dedicated circuit installed for your sump pump if it trips often. Lastly, to check the sump pump, pull up on the float switch. The pump should be activated and begin to make a humming noise. If the pump doesn’t engage, call Roto-Rooter right away!
TURN OFF THE WATER MAIN SHUTOFF VALVE
For extra peace of mind while you’re on vacation, turn off the water main shutoff valve. The water main shutoff valve controls all water that flows to your home. Everyone in your home should know where the water main shutoff valve is located. If you have a basement, the water main shutoff valve is usually located near the front foundation wall. Water main shutoff valves may also be located near the water heater or in a crawl space. If you can’t find your water main shutoff valve, call your plumber to assist you.
ASK SOMEONE TO CHECK IN
Are you having someone come by your house to water plants, check mail, or just make sure everything is alright while you’re out of town? Ask this person to walk through your home and make sure there are no problems with water leaking in the bathrooms and kitchen.
If ever you do find yourself with a plumbing emergency on your hands, call the professionals at Roto-Rooter Plumbing & Water Cleanup! We’re available 24/7 to handle your plumbing needs. Call us today (320) 207-1079!