Shut off Your Water Even for Short Weekend Trips

There’s an unusually long list of things you need to do before going on that weekend trip – getting your accommodations in order, arranging for a pet sitter, ordering a refill on meds, arranging for a ride to the airport, unplugging appliances…

Shutting off water supply is likely the last on your list. After all, what could go wrong in a weekend, right?


Water damage is not a huge concern for most homeowners.  But it’s a real possibility.  It’s a nightmare having to come home to drenched carpeting and flooded basements right after a dream vacation getaway. What to do?

Shut Off  Water Supply

Shut off water - San Diego, CAWe urge our customers to always shut off water supply when they travel.  Main water shut off valves are of two types. Gate valves (the ones with a wheel) are common in older houses.  Ball valves (the ones with a handle) are common in newer homes and are less prone to wear and tear.  In areas where the climate is warm, the main shut off valve is typically outside the house, attached to an exterior wall. If you aren’t quite sure where yours is, have your neighborhood plumber come over.  Everyone should know where the main shut off valve is so anyone can stop water flow in an emergency.

If you have an automatic sprinkler system set up or if you are having someone over to water your plants in your absence, shut off the valves to the most common sources of water emergencies. These include washing machines, dishwashers, and icemakers.  Individual valves are installed on water supply lines to toilets, most appliances, and faucets. Not sure what these may look like? Common supply valves feature circular or oval handles that you turn clockwise to stop water flow (Lefty Lucy, righty tighty).  Icemakers are notorious for causing leaks.  So remember to shut these off. Your refrigerator icemaker’s valves are usually located in the basement or under the sink.

Remember, a water leak can turn into a flooding catastrophe in a heartbeat when nobody’s around to deal with it right away.  Water damage is the second most common homeowner’s insurance claim.  Leaking appliances and broken pipes caused by freezing weather and storms run up to millions of dollars in damages annually. When a pipe bursts while you are away, water can bring havoc on furniture, flooring, and carpets.  Even the structural integrity of your house can be compromised.

Don’t come home to a flooded house. Shut off water lines.