Should you turn off the water valve before a vacation?

Summer is in full swing here in Victoria, and that means many people will be taking time off work to travel both near and far. But it can be stressful leaving your home empty, and many homeowners worry about theft or damage to their home. A current debate that is ongoing among homeowners is the question of turning off the main water before leaving in order to prevent a burst water line. So, is this worth it?

A water line can burst at any time of the year, but when nobody is around to notice the flood the damage can become even worse. Even if you are going on a short two or three day trip, water damage can be catastrophic, so it is probably a good idea to try and shut off your water. If you decide to shut off your main water valve before departing on your trip, you may need to find out where it is first. Depending on the home, there are a few places it could be, but the most common places are in basements or crawlspaces. If you have never interacted with your main water valve before, it is a good idea to ask your plumber to show you the location of the valve and how it works. Make sure that the plumber checks that the valve actually works as well, so you know your water will actually be shut off while you are gone. A second step to take during the winter months is to drain the water lines after shutting off the valve in case of furnace failure. This is easily done by turning on a faucet either in your basement or on your main floor.

If you cannot find your valve or cannot turn off the water for another reason, your water company may come to turn your water off at the meter for you. Homeowners should check with their municipality to see if this is available, or to find other options.

Once your water valve is safely turned off, take time to enjoy your vacation without worries about flooding at home!

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