There’s a lot to think about when you go on holiday, from securing your property to arranging for someone to feed the cat. But don’t forget about your plumbing.
Here’s a quick checklist you can follow to make sure everything is in order before you jet off to the sun so you can avoid worrying about something going wrong while you’re away.
Check for Leaks
First of all, check your entire home for leaks. The last thing you want to do is return to a flooded home.
Check all the pipes for any signs of leaks, and check the taps and fixtures in the bathroom and kitchen. If you are worried about leaks that are not visible, contact a plumber to take a look.
Do this at least a month before you go away. If you find any leaks, get them repaired so you can enjoy your holiday with peace of mind.
Clean the Drains
Clean out the sink drains before you leave for your holiday. Make sure there are no remains of food, which can lead to bacteria growth and bad odours.
Use a drain cleaner or tip some vinegar and baking soda down the drains to clear out anything that’s there so you can return to a fresh-smelling home.
Check All the Toilets
Give all your toilets a quick check and flush them to make sure they are working properly. It’s also a good idea to clean them all thoroughly before you go away.
Switch Off All Appliances
Just before you leave, make sure you turn off any appliances you normally use, including your dishwasher, washing machine and tumble dryer. There’s no point in keeping them on when you’re away.
But leave them open so the air can get in and keep them dry to prevent mould from growing.
Turn Off the Water Supply
If you’re going away for a longer period, turn off the water supply. This can prevent any problems from occurring, like leaks.
Find the shut-off valve and turn it off.
Decide What to Do with Your Boiler
You have a few options when it comes to the boiler. If you’re going away during the summer, you may want to turn it off, but it depends on the boiler, older ones with a thermocouple will need re-lit on your return and you may not want to do this.
For most modern models if you won’t be using it, turning it off is fine.
But if you’re going away during the winter, it may be best to keep it on, at least on a low setting. Or you can set a timer so it comes on at night. This can help prevent pipes from freezing, which can reduce the risk of burst pipes and serious leaks.
If you’re not sure whether you should turn your boiler off or keep it running, ask a gas engineer.
Get Help from a Friend
If you have a trusted friend or neighbour, ask them to check on your home while you're away every few days. They can then spot problems early and get them sorted. Give them the number of your plumber so they can contact them if there are any problems.
Then you can relax and enjoy your holiday without having to worry about anything going wrong with your plumbing when you return home.