Summertime is here, and many Gainesville residents are ready to relax. Before you retreat to a week at the beach, be sure to check your plumbing system. Nothing puts a damper on your summer like coming home to a plumbing emergency, such as a burst pipe — not to mention the money required to repair both the burst pipe and water damage. Gainesville plumbers at Quality Plumbing of Gainesville Inc. share four plumbing to-dos before you leave for vacation.

1. Adjust The Water Heater Setting

If you follow a daily schedule, your water heater may already be set on a timer, heating the water to ideal temperatures during the day you’re most likely to bathe, wash dishes and do laundry. But many homeowners are unaware that their hot water tank even has a timer. Adjusting the settings on your water heater can help save on energy costs while you’re away.

Check your water heater and determine if there is an alternate setting, sometimes identified as “vacation mode.” If your water heater doesn’t have alternate settings or modes, simply lower the water temperature. This will safeguard your water heater, hot water pipes, and plumbing.

2. Clean Garbage Disposals

Don’t forget about your garbage disposal! Any lingering food debris left behind in the garbage disposal or drain can cause a clog — as well as breed bacteria, attract insects and exude an unpleasant smell. Before heading off on a trip, pour a do-it-yourself solution down the disposal. Mixtures such as a one-to-one ratio of hot water and vinegar are ideal for preventing smells and pests.

3. Add Bleach To Toilet Bowls

Undisturbed water can create an unsightly water-line ring around the toilet bowl. This stain may be difficult to remove and tarnish your commode. Not to mention, stagnant water produces a foul odor that nobody wants to come home to smell. Add about one-half of a cup of bleach to your toilet bowl before leaving town to prevent stains and unpleasant odors. Be forewarned: If you have a house or pet sitter, be sure to tell them to flush the toilets before they are used! Bleach mixes with ammonia in urine to create a dangerous gas.

4. Turn Off The Water

If you’re away for an extended period, you won’t be using the water at home. So it’s best to turn the water off via the main shutoff valve. Our plumbers in Gainesville, FL, note that by turning off the water supply a pipe cannot spontaneously burst, a leak cannot steadily drip and plumbing emergencies are avoided. Although, if you do encounter an emergency, rest assured that our plumbers are readily available for plumbing services and repairs.