Vacations should be relaxing and worry free. That’s the whole point. A smart homeowner will ask his neighbor to keep an eye on the property and he will probably set some lights to go on and off on a periodic basis. Still, the potential for a plumbing problem exists that could cause damage and cost far more than the vacation. What should a prudent homeowner do to protect his plumbing and his home while he is on vacation?

Obviously, you could turn the water off to the entire house and not worry about any water problems. Most people, however, have a neighbor watching the dog or an automatic sprinkler system that needs a water supply. Not incidentally, it is inadvisable to turn the water off during freezing weather even if you are leaving for just few days. Instead, leave it on and allow one faucet to drip into the bathtub or utility sink. This should prevent bursting pipes in your home.

Regardless of the reasons, in the event that you can’t turn off the entire water supply to your home, take these intermediary plumbing steps:

  1. Close the connection to the ice maker
  2. Turn off the valves on all the toilets
  3. Ensure that all exterior connections are closed at the tap and just on the hose
  4. Ensure that air conditioning drains are clear

These are minor plumbing precautions to be sure and should take less than 30 minutes to perform. The benefits are significant and just start with no water to damage to carpets, heirlooms or appliances. You will also save on utility costs, on the aggravation when you get home and gain some peace of mind at the pool or on the golf course.

In the event of an emergency, be sure that a neighbor has a key to your house and the number of a reputable, dependable professional plumber. A water leak can cause tremendous damage in a few short hours. Immediate access and a emergency plumber can mean all the difference between a minor fix and costly remodel.