Whether you're spending December 25th with relatives in another part of the country or jetting off to sunnier climes for a BBQ on the beach, there are a few important things you can do to avoid coming back from your holidays to plumbing problems this Christmas. Burst pipes, leaks and smelly sinks are just some of the costly and bothersome issues than could welcome you back from your travels if you don't take the proper precautions, so read the following tips to keep your plumbing system in top condition this winter season.
Turning off and draining down
Turning off your water supply before going away is important to prevent against burst or leaking pipes, which could cause considerable damage if not attended to. Open taps to drain away any water left in the house and flush toilets to clear water from the tank and bowl. An APHC member can drain your systems and can meet you on your return to refill them. Pouring anti-freeze into toilet tanks and bowls will protect against any remaining water freezing and cracking but if you choose to do this, be sure to use a non-toxic anti-freeze which has been rated suitable for plumbing systems.
Before leaving your home, take the time to inspect your pipes for any leaks by looking for any drips or puddles of water around the kitchen, bathroom or laundry room. If you find any of these, visit www.FindAQualityPlumber.co.uk to search for an APHC member plumber in your local area.
Lower the thermostat
Remember to put your heating onto the lowest setting and consider putting it on a timed function to prevent pipes from freezing. This also has the added benefit of using less energy and saving you money! Most modern boilers also have a pump control for frost protection which will turn on automatically if the temperature drops to a level which will cause central heating pipes to freeze. Bear in mind though that this method offers no protection to hot and cold water pipes.
Clean your drains
There's nothing worse than returning from a great holiday to bad smells coming from your sink. Guard against this by mixing half a cup of vinegar with half a cup of water and pouring down each of the drains before you go away. This will help to keep them smelling fresh and clean until you get back.
Ask a neighbour
If possible, ask a friend or neighbour to keep an eye on your home while you're away and check for any frozen or burst pipes. Ensure they have the number of a local APHC member to call in case of emergencies.
So as well as leaving enough time for packing, give yourself chance to protect your home from plumbing problems this Christmas. With the all hassle and money it could save you, you may be preventing against a very real case of the January Blues!