When you are leaving on vacation, you mostly don’t have to do anything to your home plumbing.  Unless you are leaving on an extended vacation, then you definitely want to do some things to protect your home.  These aren’t so much tips to keep from having flooding issues—although those are good, too.  These tips are odor control because unused plumbing can have issues.  As pipes dry out, sewer smells can come through. These odors are continually washed away with daily use, but if you are gone for several weeks, they can become a problem.

So, the first issue with home plumbing is that you have the number of a trusted plumber while you are away—or someone looking after your home does.  That way, you don’t have to start an Internet search while on vacation, hoping to read reviews at the last minute to find out who is OK to have in your home while you aren’t there.

The next step is to do the vacation prep.  You will see a lot of tips out there, but the main idea is to keep your pipes clean.  A few of these are quite simple:

  • Empty the dishwasher and clothes washing machine and put a couple of liters of water in there with a tablespoon or so of bleach.
  • Shut off water to toilet, flush it and even plunge it to empty the water.  Wrap it with plastic wrap to prevent evaporation.
  • Put a few drops of mineral oil down any floor drains.
  • Consider draining your water heater if you will be gone more than three weeks.

Doing these steps is only necessary if you are gone for an extended stay.  If you are gone for a week or less, even up to 10 days, you are likely fine.  Just have someone check on your house and alert that trusted plumber if anything unusual happens.