Going away on a summer holiday? Everyone at PG Plumbing and Gasfitting wishes you safe travels and a sunny, relaxing break. But we want you to keep smiling when you return home, and that means not coming back to a plumbing disaster. As an experienced emergency plumber in Auckland, we know these watery mishaps can happen at any time and that includes while you’re away. So, here’s a simple tip to follow before you leave: turn off the water!
When you shut off the main water shut off valve (the toby), no water can enter your house and wreak havoc that won’t be noticed for days or even weeks. If you decide this is the best course of action, you should run the taps to drain all the remaining water. And if you want to be super careful, you can also shut off the individual water valves on the washing machine, dishwasher, toilets etc.
If you’ve never shut off the main water supply before, you may be unsure where to find the isolated valve or the toby as it is more commonly known. If you live in a stand-alone house, the toby should be near the front boundary of your property, probably in line with a front hose tap. Look in the garden, grass or footpath area by the boundary of your house for the lid: a square metal lid for an older toby and a blue or black plastic lid for a newer one. If you’re in a townhouse, the toby could well be indoors, such as in the garage or hot water cupboard. If you can’t find it, contact your local council because if you’re on a council water supply they should have a record of where it is located.
There are a couple of other things you can do before you go. For example, check your water heater. If you see any water around the heating system, give us a call as this puddle might be a sign that your heater needs to be repaired, or even replaced. The last thing you want is for it to rupture while you’re not home. You can also turn the temperature down or put the system into holiday mode if that particular model has such a feature.
Finally, here’s another handy hint and we think it’s one you’ll appreciate. With your home being closed up for a considerable length of time, certain smells will build up and have nowhere to escape. This can be very unpleasant to come home to! So, to minimise awful odours coming from your drains, run ice cubes and cold water through your garbage disposal unit before you go away. This process will push food particles down the drain and they’ll properly wash away. Contact us and we can check your drains for other causes of nasty smells. And always leave the doors open on your washing machine and dishwasher so they can air out and prevent the build-up of mould and mildew.
These hints should stop you coming home to a damp and smelly mess. So put them in place now and enjoy your summer break without a plumbing care in the world!