When traveling, there are always natural worries that you will encounter. You may chide yourself for not locking the back door or accidentally leaving the coffee pot on, but there are much more dangerous things that can happen while you’re not home. This is especially true if you plan on leaving your home for at least a week or more during wintertime. If you live in an area that is known to reach deep freezing temperatures, then you should be wary of leaving your house unattended. Indeed, the risk of a frozen pipe is something that can produce major headaches and thousands of dollars’ worth of damage. The last thing you want to come home to after a pleasant vacation is a house that’s been massively flooded. But, there are a few precautions that you can take to avoid this issue.
Although we tend to think of anti-freeze as something for cars, it can also have benefits in your plumbing system. Make sure you get the non-toxic type of anti-freeze that is made specifically for marine environments. This is because the toxic anti-freeze varieties can end up causing problems in the ecosystem when the drained water makes it back to the world. In any event, a little bit of non-toxic anti-freeze poured down the drains and into the toilet prior to leaving can help keep everything from freezing and cracking.
Eliminate Water in the Toilet
If you won’t be in the house for longer than a couple of days, you’ll also want to make sure the toilets aren’t holding any water in them. Even a well-insulated house can reach freezing temperatures if there is no heater to diminish the effects of the cold. If there is no water in the toilet bowl or toilet tank, then you won’t have to worry about the expansion and contraction of major shifts in temperature. Simply turn the water off and flush every last bit of water from the toilet tank and bowl. If you have to, use towels or sponges to get out as much water as possible.
Turn Off the Water Completely
A long trip that will last as long as three weeks or more should necessitate the entire cessation of water flow to the house. No one is going to be using the water for the entire time that you’re gone and you can easily just switch it off at the main shut-off valve. This way, you can rest assured that you will not have any problems when you get back, and you never run the risk of running up the water bill inadvertently. Just make sure to drain the water softener and pressure tank before you do this.
Traveling is certainly fun, but if you’re going to leave home for a number of days, you should be aware of the potential winter dangers. If you ever do have a frozen or burst pipe, you should never hesitate to call an emergency plumber for assistance.
About the Author
Greg Lence has 20 years of experience as a plumber and shares his experience throughout the internet so that people can save money on their plumbing problems.