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Avoid Plumbing Disasters: Pre-Vacation Checklist for Texas Homeowners

As summer approaches, many of us look forward to vacationing and taking a break from our daily routines. However, amidst the excitement of packing and planning, it’s crucial not to overlook preparing your home for your absence, especially your plumbing. A little preparation can prevent unwelcome surprises upon your return, such as leaks, water damage, or unnecessarily high utility bills. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help Texas homeowners prepare their plumbing before heading off on their summer adventures.

1. Check for Leaks:

Before you set off, inspect your home for any leaks. Check faucets, pipes under sinks, and your water heater for any drips or signs of moisture. Even a minor leak can escalate into a major issue if left unattended for days or weeks.

2. Clear Your Drains:

Ensure all your drains are clear of any clogs. This includes kitchen sinks, bathrooms, and any external drains. Baking soda and vinegar can be a quick fix for minor clogs, ensuring you don’t come back to unpleasant smells or backed-up water.

3. Turn Off the Main Water Supply:

For most vacations, it’s wise to shut off the main water supply. This measure drastically reduces the chances of water damage due to a leak or a burst pipe. If you have a sprinkler system or outdoor plants that need watering, you may consider leaving specific lines active or ask someone to water them periodically.

4. Adjust Your Water Heater:

There’s no point in heating water when no one is home to use it. Turn your water heater to “vacation” mode if it has one. Otherwise, lowering the temperature setting will reduce energy usage while you’re away.

5. Appliances and Toilets:

Check that all water-using appliances are in good working order and that there are no leaks or issues with the hoses or connections. Give your toilets a once-over to ensure they’re not running or leaking from the tank or base.

6. Consider Your Sump Pump:

If you have a sump pump, test it by pouring water into the sump pit to make sure it activates and pumps out the water efficiently. This is especially important in Texas, where sudden summer storms can occur while you’re away.

7. Notify a Neighbor or Use a Monitoring Service:

Inform a trusted neighbor about your trip and ask them to occasionally check on your home. Some homeowners opt for smart home monitoring systems that can alert them to any water-related issues while away.

8. Secure Outdoor Plumbing:

Ensure all outdoor hoses are disconnected, and valves are turned off. This prevents any potential leaks and exposure to the hot Texas sun, which can degrade hoses and fixtures.

9. Drain Lines if Away for Extended Periods:

If you’re planning to be away for several weeks or more, consider draining your pipes, especially if there’s a risk of power outages that could affect your home’s climate control.

10. Prepare for Your Return:

Have a plan for checking your plumbing upon your return. Look for any signs of issues that may have arisen while you were away, and address them promptly.

By following these steps, you can enjoy your summer vacation with the peace of mind that your home’s plumbing is secure. This preparation helps ensure that you return to your home just as you left it, without any unexpected plumbing surprises. Safe travels and enjoy your well-deserved break!

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