As you get ready to walk out the door for your holiday, you likely run through the list of things you need to do one last time. You’ve locked all the windows and turned off all the lights. Maybe you even switched off the air conditioner for the week. These common things are all important, but many homeowners are wondering whether they should also turn off their hot water while on holiday.
Water damage is reported to be one of the leading causes of loss for homeowner’s insurance claims according to the Insurance Information Institute. Even a small trickle of water can cause significant damage if it is left to pool up for a week or longer. You might see even more damage if a pipe bursts and floods the entire home in your absence. The damage caused could be unpredictable, so it’s best to be prepared before you leave on holiday.
How can you better prepare for your next trip? Here are the three simple steps you need to take to prevent your home from turning into a flood zone in your absence.
Turn water off at the main shut-off valve
You should know where the main shut-off valve is to your house in case of an emergency. Head straight to this valve and turn it off before you walk out the door. This ensures that even if your pipes burst open, no water is going to flood through your home. While you might still come home to a plumbing disaster, the damage won’t be nearly as significant if the water was turned off during your trip.
Turn off the hot water heater
If you turned off the main water valve, it is always a good idea to turn off the hot water heater as well. The tank could empty itself of the remaining water shortly after you leave, but the heating element might not catch on quite so quickly. This could leave the heating element burning without any water to heat. Now, you are setting your home for a fire instead of a flood. Both can cause considerable damage that could be avoided by turning off the water and the water heater.
Drain the lines
If you plan to go on holiday over the winter, you need to drain the lines before you leave. All you have to do is flush the toilets and open a faucet to help clear water out of your pipes. This can prevent the water that remains in the pipes from freezing solid and bursting the pipes while you’re gone. During a summer holiday, you probably do not need to worry about draining the lines to your home.
No matter how careful you are, you might still have an issue with your hot water heater upon your return. Be sure to contact Classic Air Conditioning and Heating for any repair and maintenance needs you might when you get back from a wonderful and relaxing holiday!