Water damage is one of the most common and costly disasters affecting U.S. residences and Benjamin Franklin Plumbing, The Punctual Plumber is on a mission to teach homeowners what they need to know about getting their homes vacation ready. Avoiding water damage is possible with the right preparation. As more Arizonans’ take to the road and the sky this vacation season my goal is for every homeowner to come back to their home and plumbing exactly how they left it – in working condition. Cracks in pipes as small as 1/8-inch can release up 250 gallons of water per day.
- According to the National Flood Insurance Program a 1,000 square foot home with just one inch of standing water will cost the resident more than $10,000 in damages.
- The cost doubles to $20,000 in damages with six inches of standing water.
- In fact, according to the Chubb Insurance Corporation 37% of all homeowners claim they have experienced losses due to water damage. The Insurance Information Institute has said these homeowners and renters accounts for billions of dollars in losses annually.
It’s imperative to check the plumbing around the home before leaving for vacation. If they aren’t careful homeowners can return from their vacation to their very own exotic plumbing adventure. There are several simple proactive things each homeowner can do to prepare and protect their homes for vacation.
Here are my top 10 plumbing tips before leaving for a weekend getaway or a six month excursion:
- Turn off the main valve to the plumbing system. Make sure the valve is properly working before walking away. There will still be water in the system, but no new water will enter into the system while you’re gone. Only turn it off if nothing around your home needs water, such as pool fills or pumps that need water while you’re away.
- If homeowners can’t turn off the main valve: shut off individual valves under your sinks, behind the toilets, at the Reverse Osmosis unit, behind the refrigerator and behind the washing machine. Only turn off the valves that are in good working order.
- Even if the main shut off valve was used, be sure no valves or supply lines are wet or leaking before leaving by checking under each sink and toilet in the home.
- If there is plumbing behind the refrigerator, pull it out. Check to make sure nothing is wet or corroded behind the refrigerator.
- Look around both the homes water heater and softener for wetness and leaks. Each has their own shut off valves that can be used to lessen the chance of water damage.
- If the water heater is in good condition, turn the thermostat to vacation on a gas heater. On an electric heater turn the breaker off at the main electrical breaker box. This will avoid wasting energy for heating water while away.
- Add water to all drains, and BioBen, before leaving to keep them wet and will help avoid returning to odors.
- Walk around the outside of the home make sure nothing is leaking outside before leaving.
- Homes with drinking water systems, especially older systems, need to be careful of any cracks in the line. Cracks turn into breaks. Breaks are often the culprit causing water damage in many homes. Some systems can be turned off individually at the valve under the sink to lessen the possibility water damage.
- If the homeowner is going to be away for an extended period of time, ask a neighbor to stop in and walk around the home to check that nothing has broken or continues to run while away.
I know these tips are fairly common, but I also know that if they’re not followed they can cause serious damage and cost upwards of $5,000. When they are followed these simple tips will protect homes and provide the owners with a little extra peace of mind while away.
For more information about Benjamin Franklin, The Punctual Plumber please visit: http://www.benfranklinplumbingaz.com/ or call 602-485-1111.