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Important Considerations for Your House When Going on Vacation

travelPreparing for a vacation means making lots of lists and ensuring your home is protected in case of an emergency.

Forgetting to prepare your home when you’re away could result in serious plumbing repairs and extensive damage to your home.

Taking the time to take a critical look at your home and point out any potential hazards and make any home improvement preparations will give you peace of mind and allow you to truly relax on your vacation.

Don’t forget these important steps in preparing your home:

Prevent Burst Pipes, Leaking or Flooding While Away

Imagine coming home from your vacation. You open your front door, expecting to plop your luggage on the floor and take a nice long shower, but when you drop your bags, you hear a splash. A burst pipe has flooded your home and now you have a huge mess to deal with.

Simply shutting off your main water valve could have prevented this ordeal. This task literally takes only a few moments and could end up saving you thousands in plumbing repairs and water damage control. We recommend shutting the water valve off right before you leave, because once it’s off, you won’t be able to use your water or flush the toilet.

Set Your Water Heater to Vacation Mode

If you have a newer water heater, you probably have a vacation setting or “VAC” setting on the unit. This setting allows you to program the days you will be away.

Once it’s been set, your water heater will stay on standby in the lowest setting until the day before your expected return. At that time, the water heater will return to full power so you have hot water as soon as you get home.

For older units or water heaters without VAC settings, we recommend manually turning it to the lowest temperature or simply turning it off completely.

Prevent Gas Leaks and Electrical Issues by Disconnecting Appliances

disconnect-appliancesMany appliances in your home do not need to stay plugged in while you are on vacation. Electrical appliances should be unplugged before you leave to protect them in the case of a power failure or power surge.

Gas appliances also run the risk of developing dangerous leaks. Since you won’t be home to smell a gas leak and get it repaired right away, we also recommend unplugging gas appliances.

Appliances that should be disconnected include:

  • Electrical components such as the microwave, toaster, computers and Internet connections.
  • Gas appliances like the stove and oven.
  • If you are going away for an extended period of time, it’s also a good idea to unplug the fridge and freezer, however, make sure both appliances are empty before disconnecting them.

Eliminate Smells in the Kitchen by Cleaning your Garbage Disposal

Your kitchen preparation checklist probably includes emptying the garbage can, but are you forgetting another important waste receptacle? The garbage disposal often has small bits of food attached to the blades or lodged in the unit that will begin to rot and smell if left alone for an extended period.

Quickly clean the garbage disposal by turning it on and pouring a mixture of warm water and white vinegar through it. This will clean the blades and keep the unit fresh and clean while you’re away.

For additional help with preparing your Kirkland, WA home for a vacation, call 425-298-7179 and speak with the experts at Premier Plumbing today.


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