Nobody wants to return from their vacation and find out that their house has been flooded or their roof has a massive leak.

In order to prevent such problems, there are a few precautionary steps you must take before you leave your house.

Given below are the plumbing tips you should consider before leaving for a trip.

1. Shut Off Your Main Water Supply

It is a good idea to shut off your main water supply if you are going to be away for a long time. You will prevent the risk of damaging or flooding your house in case of a plumbing failure like pipe bursts and leaks.

Depending on your property, the main water valve could be located near the front of your house or in other areas like the garage.

After you locate the main water valve, turn it off. You should also turn off the isolation valves of your home plumbing fixtures for extra caution. Sinks, toilets, dishwashers, washing machines and water heaters have separate valves which should be turned off.

2. Set Your Water Heater To Vacation Mode

Majority of water heaters have a setting called the vacation mode which will help maintain an optimum temperature while you are away. The temperature will be lowered in order to conserve energy since you won’t be using hot water.

At the same time the temperature will be high enough to keep water flowing and prevent your pipes from freezing. It also reduces the risk of mineral buildup and corrosion.

If your water heater doesn’t have a vacation mode, adjust your thermostat to 50°F. If you are going to be away for a long time, you can consider turning off your water heater.

3. Check Your Faucets And Toilets For Leaks

Don’t ignore minor leaks thinking that you can fix them after coming back from your vacation. You don’t want to risk your home being drenched in water while you are away.

Thoroughly inspect your faucets and toilets for any leaks. If your faucets are dripping, it can be due to a worn out valve or other damaged parts. In order to fix a leaky toilet you might have to replace the seals or a broken flange.

If you are unable to fix the leak on your own, call a plumber.

4. Inspect All The Water Hoses

Make sure you inspect all your appliance hoses like the dishwasher and washing machine hoses. Rubber hoses can get worn out over time and this can lead to leaks if they are not replaced.

Inspect the hoses for any stress cracks, blisters and other signs of damage. Make sure you replace them if they appear damaged. If you discover leaks around your machine, bring it to the attention of a plumber.

5. Clean The Gutters

If your gutters and downspouts are clogged with debris, the rainwater will not drain properly. If it rains heavily while you are away, your foundation and roof might be susceptible to water damage if your gutters are not clean.

Clogged gutters also serve as breeding grounds for rodents and pests. You don’t want to come home to a rotting and stinking roof. Make sure you clean the gutters and downspouts properly before leaving for your vacation.

6. Drain Appliances Which Use Water

Make sure you drain appliances like your dishwasher and washing machine to prevent accumulation of moisture.

  • Start by turning off the appliance and unplug it from the outlet.
  • Find the water supply hoses of your appliance and turn them off.
  • Try to drain your drain hose which is usually located inside a large pipe on the wall. Hold it upright and let the water drain into a bucket. You should also drain the interior if necessary.

7. Make Sure The Sump Pump Works

Sump pumps regulate the flow of groundwater and prevent it from entering your home and flooding it. If your sump pump doesn’t work properly, your home’s basement or foundation might get damaged by water.

  • First make sure the sump pump is not clogged with debris. If it is, clean it properly.
  • Make sure the pump cord is plugged into the outlet. If the pump makes a humming sound when it is turned on, it works.

8. Clean Out Your Drains And Garbage Disposal

Dirty drains and garbage disposals can contribute to foul odors in your home. They can also serve as breeding grounds for bacteria and other disease causing organisms.

Make sure you clean out your drains thoroughly from all accumulated debris. Stick to natural drain cleaners which are free from harsh chemicals.

Drop a few lemon peels and ice cubes in your garbage disposal and grind them to clean the disposal blades.

9. Have a Professional Inspect Your House

If you want to go the extra mile, have a professional inspect your house. He will tell you exactly what needs to be repaired and replaced before you take off for your vacation.

If there are any hidden leaks or flaws in your plumbing system, he will also point it out.

10. Have Someone You Know Check In Regularly

If you have a trustworthy neighbour or a good friend staying nearby, you can ask them to perform checks every few days.

You should also give them your plumber’s number in case they feel like anything is off.


Water damage can be very expensive, especially in severe cases. Unless you want to be burdened with constant thoughts about the safety of your home, consider following the above safety tips.


Northern girl Laura is the epitome of a true entrepreneur. Laura’s spirit for adventure and passion for people blaze through House of Coco. She founded House of Coco in 2014 and has grown it in to an internationally recognised brand whilst having a lot of fun along the way. Travel is in her DNA and she is a true visionary and a global citizen.

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