Ah, vacation time! You’ve earned some R&R and no-worries bliss on a getaway: Maybe someplace tropical, quality time with family, or some bucket-list adventure. Everybody needs a recharge sometimes.
Note that we said “no-worries bliss.” There definitely can be some vacation stress if you’re fretting about the state of your home while you’re gone, imagining the potential disasters that might be unfolding.
And if you’re too carefree and aren’t thinking about some contingencies, you may find a whole pileup of worries upon returning home.
Fortunately, you needn’t stress about this sort of thing if you take the proper steps to prepare your home for that vacation window. Because water issues are among the most consequential when it comes to the well-being of your home, you can certainly turn to Greco & Haines for assistance when it comes to ensuring your household well system is good to go for your getaway.
Here are five tips for prepping your home ahead of that well-earned vacation of yours.
1 – Shut Off the Water Supply
Shutting off the water when on vacation — or, failing that, otherwise safeguarding your home against water emergencies — is one of the most important steps to take. After all, pipes can burst a leak, and plumbing fittings fail unexpectedly.
A leak is always a headache to deal with, but if it happens while you’re gone for even just a couple of days, it can be downright disastrous. Extensive and expensive water damage can result in short order. And it’s the sort of thing too many folks don’t think about in the slightest until it happens.
Shutting off the water supply at the main valve is the best way to prevent this kind of disaster.Of course each home is different and may require advice first, you cannot shut off all water systems depending on the system in the home. That’s true for a vacation any time of year, given a leak can develop at any point, but the stakes are certainly raised in one of our Connecticut winters: If your furnace conks out or if some of your supply lines are situated in unheated areas such as a crawlspace, cold weather might result in frozen — and, all too often — burst pipes.
You should know where the main water shutoff valve is in your home. It’s a good idea to test this shutoff valve ahead of your vacation to make sure it’s still doing its job; after all, these valves can degrade and fail.
If you can’t turn off the water to your house — maybe, because you have somebody who’ll be watering your plants — consider shutting off some of the individual water supply lines to unneeded fixtures. The hoses connecting to a washing machine are notorious points of failure, so you ought to shut off that supply at least (and consider replacing unreliable rubber washer supply hoses with stronger stainless-steel alternatives).
Turning off your water softener is a good idea if you’re shutting off your water supply. Depending on your situation, it’s also often smart to turn off your well pump as well to prevent damage in case of a power outage or leak. In that case, you’ll also want to turn off your water heater (and, if a gas model, shut off its gas supply).
2 – Adjust the Thermostat
If you don’t have one of those new-fangled smart thermostats, you’ll want to set your thermostat accordingly before leaving for vacation. In winter, make sure to keep it at or above 55 degrees F to protect houseplants and prevent frozen pipes. Though, as we’ve said, you should take further preventive measures in case the furnace decides to break down while you’re gone.
In summer, meanwhile, consider turning up the thermostat to save energy.
3 – Unplug Your Electronics
You also need to account for your electronic devices before leaving for vacation. Unplugging devices or turning off surge protectors safeguards electronics from power surges and saves you money by eliminating “vampire voltage.”
4 – Put Your Water Heater in Vacation Mode
How you deal with your water heater on vacation depends on its type. We already mentioned turning off your well pump, in which case you’ll want to turn off the water heater as well. Otherwise, setting your water to vacation mode is recommended.
If your model doesn’t offer vacation mode, lower the temperature to save energy and money.
5 -Tell Your Neighbors (and Security Company) You’ll Be Away
It’s always a good idea to clue a trustworthy neighbor or two that you’ll be away on vacation. They can keep an eye on the place, watch out for suspicious activity, and maybe swing by once or twice to make sure everything’s fine.
And also inform your security/alarm company of your trip plans.
Turn to Greco & Haines for All Your Well System Needs
Ensuring your well system is in working order is a good task to cross off your vacation-prep list. Here at Greco & Haines, we can help you assess your system and prepare it for your time away.
From checkups and tests to installations and emergency repairs, our services are available seven days a week and 365 days a year. Get in touch with the Greco & Haines team at 203-735-9308, 203-777-2256, or (toll-free from any CT area code) 1-800-922-2958, or use our online contact form.