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Its summer and it’s the perfect time to plan that family vacation that you have been dreaming about for months now! While planning your trip outside of Pocatello you probably have a to-do list of tasks that need to be done to prepare your home for your absence. Stopping the mail and reprograming the thermostat aren’t the only things you should be doing to prepare your home. You should also focus on your household plumbing system.
If one of the pipes in your kitchen sprung a leak you would turn off your water and call a Pocatello plumber, right? What happens if you aren’t around to spot the water leak when it happens? The water will continue to flow, creating a water damage disaster. No one wants to return home from a pleasant vacation to find their home is a watery mess.
While the odds of your plumbing system springing a leak are slim, the stakes are high and the solution is simple. Whenever you plan on leaving your Pocatello home for extended periods of time during the summer, you can buy yourself some insurance by simply shutting off the main water supply to your home.
In most homes, the main shutoff valve to your water supply is located next to the water meter. The main shutoff can be a knob that can be turned by hand or a valve that requires a wrench to turn. If you are unable to find your shutoff valve, you can contact a Pocatello plumber for help. Even if you aren’t leaving your home for an extended period of time it is a good idea to know where your water shutoff valve is in the case of an emergency. Knowing where this valve is and how to shut it off can help you save your home from suffering from thousands of dollars’ worth of water damage.
If you have an automatic sprinkler system or irrigation system, this will also be shut down if you close your main water supply valve. To keep your lawn from drying up or your garden from dying you may want to use other shutoff valves to reduce the risk of flooding your home while keeping water flowing to your lawn and garden. If you are not sure where other water valves are located, a licensed plumber can help.
There is an added bonus to any summer vacation that you may not have thought about. Leaving your home unoccupied for an extended amount of time can save you money! When you don’t use your household lights, appliances, and electronics for an extended period of time you will see a big difference in your power bill, and you may also see a difference in your water bill while you’re letting fancy restaurants do the dishes and taking long showers in hotels.
A few more adjustments will help you save even more. If you have an automatic ice maker in your freezer, shutting it off before you leave will help you save a little extra water. Shutting down your water softening system will also help conserve energy and water softening salt.
The largest saving potential comes from your hot water heater. The water heater consumes more energy than most of your other home appliances, but if there is no one home to take hot showers or do the dishes, there is no need to keep it running. If you shut off your main water supply and water leaks or siphons out of the water heater tank by any means, the heating element could burn out if it continues to heat an empty tank.
The simplest way to turn off your water heater for vacation is to turn it off at the main breaker switch. Some modern water heaters come with a “vacation” setting on the heat control dial.
If you need help preparing your plumbing system for a vacation be sure to schedule an appointment with a trusted Pocatello plumber right away!