Summer is in full swing and so is vacation season. Going on a vacation can be one of the best ways to recharge your battery – a great reward for the hard work that you do all year long. Returning to a flooded house is devastating. The worst water damage occurs when people are on vacation, because water is allowed to run, uninterrupted, for far longer than it would if you were home and aware of the leak. So this summer, after you have made all your travel plans, packed your bags and are ready to head out, there is one more thing you should do to ensure a wonderful end to your vacation: Turn off the main water supply to your home!
Closing the valve on the main water supply line cuts off water to the house but still allows outside sprinklers to work. If you end up having a leak within the home while the water supply line is shut off, the line will be under some initial pressure and some water will enter your home, but it will not continue to spray water and cause damage like it would if it was not turned off. So let’s say your washing machine water supply line (the most common source of home water intrusion) springs a leak while you are away. If you did not shut off the main water supply line before you left the house, literally thousands and thousands of gallons of water will leak into your home until someone physically turns off the water. If you shut off the main water supply line before you leave and your washing machine supply line springs a leak, it may only lead to 50 gallons entering your home from initial pressure, but then the water will stop. The difference in the total amount of water directly impacts the amount of damage you will have, as well as the amount of money it will cost to repair the damage and replace what you have lost.
Don’t know where the main water supply line is? It is really important that you know where it is – so find out – NOW! In Florida, newer homes often have them in the garage; older homes often have them outside. You may find that you need a large wrench to turn it off, and you may find that the valve looks like it is in need of repair – all reasons to locate the valve and check it out BEFORE you are ready to leave and enjoy the vacation that you have worked so hard to earn!