As the holiday season approaches, many of us look forward to spending time with family and friends, often away from home. While it’s an exciting time, it’s also crucial to ensure that your home, particularly your plumbing, is well-prepared for your absence. I’m John Van Der Merwe, the owner of Plumbers Jhb, and with years of experience in the plumbing industry, I’m here to guide you through the essential plumbing checklist before you leave your home this Christmas.
1. Inspect for Leaks and Drips
Before you pack your bags, take a moment to inspect all visible pipes, faucets, and fixtures for any signs of leaks or drips. Even a small leak can escalate into a significant problem if left unattended for an extended period. Look for:
- Wet spots or puddles under pipes
- Dripping faucets in your kitchen and bathroom
- Water stains on ceilings or walls
If you find any leaks, it’s essential to address them immediately. A quick fix right now can save you from a potential disaster later.
2. Drain Your Geyser
If you’re going to be away for a considerable time, consider draining your geyser. This step is especially crucial in colder climates, where the risk of freezing is higher. Draining the water heater can prevent:
- Freezing damage: Water left in the heater can freeze and cause cracks or bursts.
- Sediment buildup: Over time, sediment can accumulate at the bottom of the heater, reducing its efficiency and lifespan.
Remember, if you’re unsure how to drain your water heater safely, it’s always best to call a professional plumber.
3. Check Your Sump Pump
For those with a basement, ensuring your sump pump is in working order is vital. A sump pump prevents your basement from flooding, especially during heavy winter rains or snow melts. To check your sump pump:
- Ensure it’s plugged in and the power source is reliable.
- Test it by pouring water into the sump pit until the pump activates.
- Listen for any unusual noises that might indicate a problem.
A functioning sump pump can be the difference between a dry and a flooded basement when you return home.
4. Prevent Frozen Pipes
One of the most common winter plumbing issues is frozen pipes, which can burst and cause significant damage. To prevent this:
- Insulate exposed pipes, especially those in unheated areas like garages or basements.
- Keep your thermostat at a consistent temperature, even when you’re not home. We recommend no lower than 13°C.
- Open cabinet doors under sinks to allow warmer air to circulate the plumbing.
These simple steps can help ensure that you don’t return to a home with water damage from burst pipes.
5. Shut Off the Main Water Supply
If you’re comfortable with the idea, shutting off the main water supply to your house can be a foolproof way to prevent water damage. This step is particularly advisable if you’ll be away for an extended period. To do this:
- Locate your main water shut-off valve. It’s typically found near the foundation in the basement, garage, or outdoors.
- Turn the valve clockwise to shut it off.
- Open a faucet on the upper level of your home to relieve any remaining pressure in the pipes.
By shutting off the water supply, you’re ensuring that, even if a pipe does burst, the damage will be minimal.
Preparing your plumbing for your absence during the Christmas season is a crucial step in safeguarding your home. By following these simple yet effective steps, you can enjoy your holiday with peace of mind, knowing that your home is secure.
Remember, if you’re unsure about any of these steps or if you discover a problem that requires professional attention, don’t hesitate to contact us at here. Our team of experienced plumbers is here to ensure that your home’s plumbing is in top condition, so you can focus on what truly matters this holiday season – spending quality time with your loved ones.
We are wishing you a merry and hassle-free Christmas!