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Prevent Plumbing Disasters during the Holidays

Whether you’re taking your family away for a three week trip to Collie, WA or putting your business into holiday shutdown mode over Hanukkah, it’s important to make sure your plumbing is in good working order before you leave. Failing to do so could mean a very unpleasant homecoming!


1. Shut off Your Water Supply

Turning off the main valve of your water supply is essential to minimising water waste while you’re away, as well as mitigating any unforeseen plumbing disasters. There might be some complications with your plumbing system while you’re away; a burst pipe or major leak might occur, causing severe water damage.

The damage can be minimised if you’re able to turn off the main valve of the water supply. Less water will come out of the leaks or bursts if there is no continuous water inflow from the main valve. It’s also recommended to drain out the water to ensure that there is little to no water that is inside the pipes and fixtures.


2. Check Your Sump Pump Is Working

The sump pump is a plumbing device that absorbs water in the basement and disperses it outside your house. If you don’t have a sump pump or have one but isn’t functioning, then your basement is prone to flooding. Check the sump pump is still operating well before you leave for holidays.

You may be able to check it yourself, although calling a plumber is always best. Remember that a sump pump needs electricity to function so if the power is out then it’s pretty much useless. Install a battery backup in case there is a power outage. Another alternative is to set-up a generator for your sump pump to work in case there is no electricity.


3. Insulate Your Pipes for Winter Travels

If you’re vacating your home or business in winter and the pipes aren’t already insulated, do it now. Frozen pipes are one of the primary causes of pipe bursting. Insulate the pipes with an insulation blanket or foam. This will help in keeping the pipes warm and prevent freezing.


4. Get Your Water Heater Checked

A water heater is an intricate plumbing device that needs a lot of maintenance. Hire a plumber to inspect any water heaters before you leave to forestall any complications worsening while you’re away. You may be able to visually inspect the water heater on your own but you might miss something. Nothing can beat expert eyes so it’s better to have a professional check the appliance. This will help ensure that there won’t be problems that are overlooked. You should then turn off your water heater to stop it from needlessly consuming energy.


5. Check for Leaks

Identifying and rectifying leaks before you travel is incredibly important. Any leaks inside the property can become a big problem if you are not there. Think mould, mildew, rot and even structural damage. Leaks outside the property or underground are even worse, because they may lose water continuously while you’re away leading to huge water bills and other problems.

Have a residential or commercial plumber do a thorough inspection of all pipes, using CCTV inspection if necessary, to identify and repair any leaks.


6. Have Someone Check In

No preventive maintenance can replace an actual human being who can check your home or business. Have a family member or a trusted neighbour check your property once in a while. They should know the number of your trusted plumber in case an emergency does occur. For businesses, it might be worth hiring a commercial plumber to check on your business at least once during the shutdown, just to make sure no problems have arisen.


Get in Touch

Before you leave your home or business vacant for the holidays, make sure your plumbing is inspected by the best-qualified plumbers. Get in touch with G.F. James Plumbing today on 02 9649 1099 or enquire online.

Geoff James
Written By:

Geoff grew up in Berala near Lidcombe in Sydney and attended Birrong Boys High School where he finished his Year 10 school certificate. Geoff was encouraged by his uncle to consider plumbing as he had done a bit of plumbing work on weekends during his school years. DJ Childs Plumbing in Canterbury offered him a plumbing apprenticeship and he spent most of his time working on plumbing maintenance and new roofs on commercial sites. Geoff on Google+.