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How to Prevent a Plumbing Leak Before Going on Vacation

Suitcase? Check. Hotel confirmation? Check. Preventing a flood from occurring while you’re away? Negative. When it comes to vacations, your plumbing doesn’t take any days off and can certainly wreak havoc with no notice at all. If looking to return to a dry home, then here are some simple ways to take precaution:

Inspect Supply Lines

Whether it’s your toilet or dishwasher, chances are that they’re hooked up to a supply line in your home. If you need a refresher, then these “lifelines” are flexible pieces of tubing that are hooked up to the back of appliances/fixtures that are connected to the large, metal pipes in your home (which supply gas/water).

If you plan on inspecting your supply lines, then the task is quite simple and only takes a few minutes to do so! First, you’ll want to grab a flashlight before inspecting the lines. Next, make a list of the different appliances/fixtures in your home that have a supply line (i.e., washing machine, toilet, etcetera). After that, it’s time to inspect each supply line.

When doing this step, run the flashlight from top to bottom on the line and make sure no cracks/leaks are present. If you do happen to notice a discrepancy (even if it’s minor), then it’s essential to have that replaced before you go on your trip — and Pipe Wrench Plumbing, Heating & Cooling, Inc. can help!

Close Main Water Valve

Running out the door in a hurry, because you’re going to miss your flight? If that’s the case, then it’s important to shut off your main water valve. Not only will this help keep your home flood-free, but it will give you peace of mind knowing that there won’t be any surprises (in general) when you return home. Of course, many homeowners know where their main water valve is located — but if you happen to have forgotten, then it’s quite simple to find this essential piece near the water meter.

When you locate your water meter, you’ll find one of two valves in your home:

  • Gate Valve: Known as one of the original types of water vales, the gate valve is shaped like a wheel and will shut the water off with a few simple twists.

  • Ball Valve: If you don’t happen to see a wheel-like valve, then your home plumbing is equipped with a ball valve — which happens to look like a lever. When the valve is off, then the handle will stick out from the pipe (on the side). However, when the valve happens to be on, then the handle is lined up with the pipe.

Now, if you closed your main water valve but feel as if the water is still on, then it’s essential to turn on a faucet (or two) to see if any water comes out. If nothing happens, then you’ve turned it off successfully — but if there’s still a steady of stream of water, then either you need to turn it off or give Pipe Wrench Plumbing, Heating & Cooling, Inc. to replace the valve!

If you run into any problems with your home’s plumbing, heating or cooling, and prefer to forgo the DIY route, our technicians are here to help! Visit our website to learn more about the services that we offer here at Pipe Wrench Plumbing, Heating & Cooling, Inc. or call (865) 518-7008 to speak with a representative directly.