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Preparing for Summer Vacations: Plumbing Must-Dos Before You Go

Swimming towel covered with a beach hat, starfish, sunscreen, and a journal.


Summertime is exciting. Whether you plan to go on vacation or rent out your summer cottage, there are plenty of potential ways to spend the longer, warmer days.

However, before you depart, it's a good idea to get your plumbing situation in order, lest potential pipe issues spoil your summer vacation.

If you plan to leave your residence for several weeks or even months, it's essential to make sure you get your plumbing in order before you go. A myriad of potential issues can arise if you just leave your plumbing, some of which you may not even expect.

After all, plumbing is something most of us take for granted. Our toilets almost always flush with no issue, our water temperature is rarely disrupted, and generally speaking, most of us don't have serious plumbing meltdowns more than maybe once every few years, if at all.

But while plumbing technology has certainly made strides in the last decade, maintenance is always necessary to prevent catastrophic issues in the future.

With that in mind, the pros at Advance Heating and Cooling are here with tips to prepare your plumbing for summer vacation!

Do not hesitate to contact us for any of your HVAC or basic plumbing needs, including repairs for a leak under the sink. Our experienced team of HVAC technicians is one phone call or email away, so don’t be afraid to reach out!



Woman smiling while sitting at kitchen island with a notebook and a coffee mug.


Breaking Down the Checklist

Just like you need a checklist to make sure you've packed everything you need for a vacation, groceries and necessities, or even locations you absolutely must hit on your trip, you need to have a plumbing checklist.

While it may seem like a lot to do before a fun summer vacation, it’s going to save you a lot of potential hassle in the future!


1. Have a Neighbour or Trusted Family Member Check on Your Property

It's important that you have somebody keep an eye on your property to ensure that there are no issues. Even a small leak could become a big issue if someone isn't there to address it, so if you plan to take an extended vacation, have a neighbour or trusted friend/relative check in weekly to ensure all your plumbing is in order.

Make sure they have access to your plumber's number in case there are issues.


2. Check All Your Plumbing Before Departing    

Go around to all your plumbing and plumbing appliances for cracks or leaks, and check the hoses, valves, brackets, and the like before you leave for vacation. Pre-emptive measures are a good way to make sure that you aren’t departing with any potential pitfalls ready to pop off.


3. Keep Your Water Heater at the Lowest Setting or Turn It Off Completely

If you plan to take a very extended leave from your property, turn off the water at the main supply valve. However, if you have a house sitter, this may not be necessary. Keep that in mind before proceeding.


4. Unplug Your Appliances

Would you be surprised to know that appliances that are plugged in still use energy, even if they’re shut off? Not to mention, they could be potentially damaged if there’s a short or lightning strike. Plus, you can save money on your utility bill.


5. Clean Out Your Gutters

Your gutters play a vital role in re-dispersing rainwater away from your property's foundation. However, if they're full of debris or become full of debris, they're not able to do that.

Before you take off for summer vacation, set aside time to clean your gutters or pay to have someone do it for you. While cleaning your gutters isn't the most idyllic task, it will save you a headache in the future.


6. Rinse Out Your Drains

Did you know that pretty much every drain in your property can build up bacteria over time? If you and your family use them regularly, running water allows you to give them a little rinse.

However, if you plan to be gone for an extended period, bacteria will end up just... sitting there. This can cause gross odours that will linger throughout the house when you come home, and no one wants that.

To prevent this from happening, you can pour a 1/2 cup of vinegar and one cup of water down each drain before you depart.


7. Clean Your Toilets

If you don't flush your toilet for a long period of time, the bowl can develop stains. Therefore, it's suggested you clean them with a bit of bleach before you go on vacation.


8. Drain Both Your Dishwasher and Washing Machine

It's never good to allow water to sit in your appliances for a long time because it allows mold and mildew to permeate. To prevent this, it's a good idea to drain each appliance.



Get a Professional Plumbing Inspection

While there’s plenty of stuff you can DIY, nothing quite provides the peace of mind that a professional inspection does. While it may not be at the top of your priority list, having a professional inspect your property’s plumbing can not only quell potential concerns, but they could catch problems before they arise. A pro can offer you valuable insights and give you a rundown of best practices and provide advice on how to care for your plumbing system before you go away. This can save you money, time, and a serious headache when you come back from your vacation, so this is a step the pros at Advance Heating and Cooling highly recommend!



Other Summertime Issues Your Plumbing System Could Face, Vacation or Not!

Whether or not you plan to leave your home for an extended period doesn't spare you from the potential pitfalls of summertime plumbing woes. Unfortunately, as fun as the summer is, it can have potential problems. Here, we'll give you a heads-up on potential issues you should look out for as summer approaches.


Water Heater Problems

During the summertime, water heater issues become a homeowner's potential nightmare. The summer heat's intensity can cause serious stress on the tank and plumbing system, leading to cracks. As well, heavy hot water usage during summer can strain the system and cause it to fail.

A lack of insulation can be another root cause of water heater problems during the summer. To make sure your water heater doesn't fail out, watch for both wear and tear on the insulation and replace if necessary. You can also have a professional look it over.


Sprinkler spraying water on green lawn.


Outdoor Plumbing Issues

Your outdoor plumbing (such as sprinklers and hoses) can be a bit tricky in the summer sometimes. The intense heat and surge of water usage can cause damage to underground pipes, causing flooding to affect your yard and/or basement. Any damaged parts must be addressed immediately to help keep your system running smoothly throughout the summer months.

You can also have a pro ensure that all connections are secure and that no extra water is being wasted. This could be important to do before you head out for any trips if you intend to have your sprinkler system run while you’re gone.

Dishwasher and Garbage Disposal Overload

Using your dishwasher and garbage disposal more during the summer can be a potential plumbing pitfall if they're not properly maintained. The additional strain on your plumbing system can lead to clogs, backups and more. You can avoid this by not overloading your dishwasher and making sure too much debris isn't building up in your washer. It's also beneficial to do regular maintenance on your washing machine.

Garbage disposals can also be quite prone to issues during the summer. To avoid this, it's best to run cold water through your garbage disposal because hot water can cause grease to stick to blades more easily. It's also important not to overload this system with too much food at once, lest issues arise.


Issues with Your Sump Pump

With the arrival of heavy thunderstorms this season, the risk of basement flooding due to sump pump issues escalates. A malfunctioning sump pump can lead to unexpected floods, causing significant damage.

To safeguard your home, keeping the area around your sump pump clear of debris and dirt buildup is crucial. Furthermore, ensure that your pump is adequately powered to handle the influx of water from frequent summer rainstorms. Regularly inspect your sump pump to guarantee it is functioning optimally.

In addition to sump pump concerns, sewer line backups pose another seasonal challenge. Increased usage and various factors can contribute to clogs, leading to overflows, backups, and costly repairs.

To mitigate sewer line problems, adopt proper disposal practices for fats, oils, and grease. Avoid flushing large items down the drain that are not suitable for toilets. Regular inspections of your sewer lines throughout the season can identify and address potential issues before they escalate into serious problems.


If you’re ready for summertime and are looking forward to going away, it can be beneficial to do a little bit extra before you depart to ensure that your plumbing is in order. Book a consultation with Advanced Heating and Cooling for all your plumbing needs!




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Vincent Afrouzi
Name: Vincent Afrouzi
Posts: 57
Last Post: July 10, 2024