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Should I Shut My Water Off Before Going on Vacation?

turning off faucet

Going on vacation is a time to relax and enjoy a break from your daily routine. However, leaving your home unattended for an extended period can lead to potential issues, especially regarding your plumbing system. This guide will provide essential tips on safeguarding your home's plumbing while away, including the crucial question: should you shut off your water before vacation?

1. Shut Off the Main Water Supply

Turning off the main water supply to your home is the most effective way to prevent water damage while you're away. Shutting off the water eliminates the risk of leaks or burst pipes that could lead to costly repairs. Locate the main shut-off valve in your basement or near the water meter, and turn it clockwise to close it. If you need help with how to do this, consult a professional plumber or check out this guide.

2. Drain Your Pipes

After shutting off the main water supply, it's essential to drain the remaining water from your pipes. This step helps prevent freezing and potential pipe bursts during colder months. To do this, open all faucets and flush all toilets in your home, turning off any water appliances, such as your dishwasher and washing machine.

3. Insulate Exposed Pipes

Insulating your exposed pipes can help prevent freezing and potential damage if you're going away during the winter months. Use pipe insulation, heat tape, or even old towels to wrap around your pipes, focusing on areas more susceptible to freezing, such as those in unheated spaces like basements, crawl spaces, and garages. The American Red Cross provides helpful information on preventing and thawing frozen pipes.

4. Set Your Water Heater to Vacation Mode

Many modern water heaters come with a vacation mode setting that allows you to maintain a lower temperature while you're away, saving energy and reducing the risk of damage. If your water heater has no vacation mode, you can manually set the temperature to its lowest or turn it off completely. Keep in mind that if you choose to turn off your water heater, you'll need to relight the pilot light upon your return, which can be a complicated process for some homeowners. Consult your water heater's manual or a professional plumber for guidance.

5. Have a Trusted Neighbor Check on Your Home

Even with all these precautions in place, having a trusted neighbor or friend check on your home periodically while you're away is always a good idea. They can ensure that everything is in order and notify you of any potential issues that may arise.

Plumber in Milford, CT

By following these steps, you can have peace of mind knowing that your home's plumbing system is protected while you're on vacation. If you need assistance shutting off your water or have concerns about your home's plumbing, don't hesitate to contact Tri-City Heating and Cooling experts. Our team of experienced professionals is here to help you with all your HVAC and plumbing needs in Milford, CT, and surrounding areas. Call us today at (203) 303-5700 to schedule an appointment!