How To Prevent Plumbing Problems In Your Big Bear Lake Vacation Home

big-bear-lake-plumbing-problem-prevention.jpgLittle do homeowners know that a house some special attention for the plumbing system if it is going to sit empty for any length of time. Unfortunately, plumbing problems can arise if it sits without being used. If you’re not home to have it fixed, the consequences can be significant.

Don’t turn off the water supply to the house. The plumbing system in the home is meant to hold water. The fixtures like commode, sinks, showers, bathtubs, all have an area of the pipe or in the fixture itself that’s meant to keep a certain amount of water in it. But when a home sits empty and no one uses the water, the water evaporates and therefore isn’t present like it needs to be.

Have Someone Check The Plumbing While You’re Away

The water should be present in the pipes because if it’s not, gasses bubble up as they always do from the septic system, but this time they’re allowed to escape in the home. That means that all the time the home sits and the water is missing, dangerous methane can be building up in the home. Not only can it be dangerous over time if the home is tightly enclosed with little natural ventilation, it can also be very stinky and noxious.

If you plan to go on vacation or plan for the home to sit unused, it’s best to have someone come by every week or so and flush the commodes and run water through the water pipes wherever there are drains like in the shower, laundry room, sinks, etc. That way, there’s no stench or danger when someone enters the home.

Leaks & Frozen Pipes

Another issue common with homes that are unoccupied is frozen pipes or leaks springing out of nowhere.

You’ll want to ensure there is some power in the home so you can keep the HVAC system at a decent temperature to prevent freezing. Warmer indoor temperatures help the pipes in the exterior walls and near foundations to keep from freezing. You don’t need it warm necessarily, just not too cold where there’s no heat getting to the pipes.

A heating tracing cable can be installed on the pipes to keep them from freezing. Again, have someone regularly come by to check the plumbing and watch for leaks.

Wrap The Plumbing Pipes

Be sure all the outdoor or any exposed plumbing faucets or pipes get covered and insulated well during the winter. What can happen if the home sits and the pipes freeze?

You could be coming back to your vacation home faced with the aftermath of a horrible leak. Water expands as it freezes because it takes up more space, yet the pipes only hold under so much pressure. Expanding water makes them burst because there’s nowhere else for the water to go.

You don’t want to end up with leaks that flood the home when no one’s there. And, you don’t want to deal with a surprise flood the first time you come back to the house. It’s best to insulate and wrap your pipes and do a lot of prevention instead of fixing later.

All in all, the plumbing is often neglected when a home sits empty because owners don’t understand what the plumbing system really needs. If you’re not able to take care of some preventative measures, just give our expert Big Bear plumbers a call here at Bear Valley Plumbing & Heating and we’ll go over and do an inspection to ensure everything is as it should be!


If you are looking for a Big Bear plumbing, heating & air conditioning contractor, please call 909-584-4376 or complete our online request form.