While you’re relaxing in the sunshine, your plumbing system may be planning a surprise welcome for your return.
Let your plumbing system take a vacation, too!
Protect your water heater. Unless you protect it, your water heater may be under more stress while you’re away than when you’re at home.
When heated, water expands. If you don’t have an expansion tank, the expanding water places stress on your water heater as well as the piping and valves in your plumbing system.
When you’re at home, pressure is relieved every time someone uses water to wash their hands, flush a toilet etc. It doesn’t matter whether you use hot or cold water; either will relieve pressure.
When you’re away for an extended time, there’s no relief for the pressure so it is constantly rising and falling as the water heater cycles on and off. This is usually not a problem but if your water heater is getting old, or has a weak point in the tank, this pressure problem could result in a rupture.
If the tank ruptures while you’re away, water could run for days, resulting in a damp disaster.
Set the thermostat for “pilot” or “vacation.” Lowering the temperature will reduce the amount of expansion while saving energy while you’re away. If you have an electric water heater, turn it off at the breaker panel.
Turn the water off. For even more peace of mind, close the main water valve. This relieves all pressure and prevents a plumbing system nightmare.