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It’s that time of year again when many of us are preparing to go on vacation.
Here’s a handy checklist to help avoid plumbing emergencies while you’re away…
Find the main water valve for your home and turn it off. Most people don’t consider this, but if something inside your home breaks, having the main valve turned off will prevent your house from flooding. If your water valve is not accessible or you’re not sure where it’s located, shutting off the valves for your sinks and toilets can also help minimise any potential damage.
Take a look at your geyser, washing machine, dishwasher, refrigerator etc. Look for any dampness or standing water around these appliances and call us if you spot something, so we can help you nip it in the bud before you leave. Same goes for leaky taps – rather get them fixed asap.
While this may not directly be a plumbing issue, turning your geyser off will help save you money. Also, if you have a spa or heated pool, turn down the thermostat there as well. Do not, however, turn off the water pump for your pool, as algae will quickly make itself at home there.
We can give you all the tips in the world to prevent plumbing problems while you’re away, but ultimately one of the best things you can do is get a house sitter. They can either check on your home daily or stay at the house while you’re gone. This is great way to make sure that should something go wrong, there is someone there to deal with it immediately and notify you as soon as possible.
You should do a walk-through of your home a few days before you’re scheduled to go so that you have time, should you spot something, to get it fixed. At UPP, we are always available to assist our clients, to give you peace of mind and to help you have a relaxed holiday!
Staying at home for the holidays?
Here’s some water-saving tips for if you’re staying put and/or having house guests…
Using a dishwasher instead of washing up by hand can save you a considerable amount of water. This is particularly true if your dishwasher is high-efficiency or eco-friendly. Also, before loading the dishwasher, try to avoid rinsing off your crockery. This is a huge waste of water – just let the dishwasher do its job.
If you’ve got extra house guests over the festive season, you will need to do more laundry. Just make sure they’re full loads though. Same applies to the dishwasher – they’re designed to be run with full loads too. Additionally, laundering with cold water can alleviate water usage. If you have an old washing machine (or dish washer), it may be a good idea to consider upgrading due to the smart technology of newer appliances, which can save you money on utilities in the long run.
People run taps for a variety of reasons – usually to get water to the right temperature or for brushing teeth etc. It’s such a waste though and there are ways around it. For a cold glass of water, simply use ice. If you need hot water, use your kettle and close the tap while brushing your teeth. These steps may seem trivial, but they can lead to notable water savings. Another good tip is washing fresh produce in a bowl of water rather than rinsing under the tap – and the water you use to cook those vegetables can be reused outside in the garden.
Five minutes is the suggested amount to save gallons of water each day. If you have kids, turn it into a fun game – challenge them to keep to the limit by putting a waterproof timer in the shower. Also consider changing your showerheads to low-flow ones.
Toilets can use up to 27 percent of household water. That’s a lot for something that only deals with waste. There are many low-flow and dual-flush toilets on the market, as well as easy DIYs that can conserve water when you flush.
It would be a shame to let all that precious rainwater go to waste. Rainwater harvesting is a great way to cut down on your municipal water use and save water at the same time!
Read more about rainwater harvesting…

Plan ahead this holiday season…

Whether you’re away or at home for the holidays, at least now your plumbing and water usage is sorted.
For more water-smart advice and assistance, get in touch with us today!