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Planning your plumbing for summer holidays

How to maintain your plumbing and heating over the summer months without issue

We always associate plumbing problems with winter months due to the freezing temperatures and snow and rain but there are significant benefits to looking after your plumbing over the summer as well as the winter.

Looking after your plumbing when you go on holiday

If you’re going to be away for a week or two in the summer, it’s wise to take a few precautions that could protect your plumbing and heating and avoid potential issues. Some may even save you a bit of money.

  • Turn the water off at the stop tap – turning the water off may seem a little over cautious but it’s the best way to avoid an unexpected leak while you’re away. Often the main reason cited for not doing this is because the stop tap is in an awkward place and/or difficult to turn. If this is the case it’s worth considering having a SureStop installed as it gives you an easy-to-turn tap in a location of your choosing (and trust us when we say that the time to find you can’t turn the tap is not when you hammer through a pipe!). Nothing can spoil the memory of a lovely holiday more than returning to a flood at home
  • Turn off the water heater on your boiler – obviously your heating will be off anyway over the summer but you could turn off the water heater as well while away. Leaving the water heater on isn’t really an issue in terms of risk but you’ll use less energy and therefore save a little bit of money. Obviously you’ll need to turn it back on again before you can jump in the shower when you get home
  • Check drains before you go – when you get home, no doubt you’ll spend the next few days washing all your holiday clothes so the washing machine will get a real hammering. Blocked up drains may not be able to cope with the volume of water going through and could cause flooding (also a good idea in case there is a lot of rain while you're away - this is England after all!).

General summer maintenance

Aside from your holiday checklist, there are a few other things that you can do to keep your heating working well over the summer and ready for autumn:

  • Turn the heating on periodically – it may seem counter-intuitive to turn the heating on when the weather is warm but just turning it on for 15 minutes or so once a month will keep the system working well and avoid problems when you turn it back on when the weather gets cooler. Perhaps set it to come on when everyone’s out (even easier if you have a smart system that you can operate remotely!)
  • Get the boiler serviced – summer is a really good time to get your boiler serviced as it’s less disruptive. It also identifies any potential issues and gives you chance to resolve them before you need it in the winter
  • Conduct proactive maintenance – because you don’t need the boiler for heat over the summer, it’s a great time to do all the sensible, proactive things that will prolong the life of the system and make it more efficient. This could include adding inhibitor to prevent sludge build-up, conducting a powerflush if you suspect you already have it or bleeding your radiators to get rid of any trapped air that could be compromising them.

These small things could potentially make a big difference in terms of avoiding problems and keeping your boiler working better for longer so they’re well worth doing. If you need any further advice, or would like to book a service or other plumbing or heating services, then give us a call on 0333 577 0151 or complete the form opposite.

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