Should You Turn Off the Water Before You Go on Vacation?

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Mark Jardine
April 20, 2024
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Planning a vacation is exciting, but amidst the packing and itinerary arrangements, one crucial question often slips into our minds: Should you turn off the water before you go? Ignoring this could lead to a potential problem with plumbing, resulting in leaks, floods, and a hefty repair bill upon your return. In this blog, we'll delve into the importance of shutting off the water supply before jetting off, offering peace of mind and safeguarding your home while you're away.

Why Turn Off the Water?

Conserving water resources and mitigating the risk of water damage are critical reasons to understand why it's essential to shut off the water when it's not in use.
  • Preventing Potential Water Damage
One of the primary reasons to turn off the water before leaving for vacation is to prevent potential water damage to your home. Even a small leak or burst pipe in your absence can lead to significant destruction, causing structural damage and mold growth. By shutting off the main water valve, you eliminate the risk of any unforeseen home water pipe issues wreaking havoc while you're away. This basic preventive step can save you from the headache and cost of handling significant repairs for water damage when you come back.
  • Avoiding Wastage of Water
Leaving the water running while you're away poses a risk to your property and contributes to unnecessary water wastage. By shutting off the water supply, you're not only protecting your home but also conserving a precious resource. Additionally, it helps in avoiding plumbing pipe problems that may arise due to continuous pressure on the system in your absence. Conserving water is not only environmentally responsible but also ensures that you return to a well-maintained home without any plumbing surprises awaiting you.

How to Turn Off the Water

To ensure your home is safeguarded during your absence, follow these simple steps:
  • Shutting Off the Main Water Valve
Locate the main water valve in your home, typically found near the water meter. Usually situated in basements, crawl spaces, or near utility areas, it's identifiable by its lever or wheel. Turn it clockwise to shut off the water supply to your entire house. This essential step ensures that water doesn't flow through the pipes, decreasing the likelihood of leaks, bursts, or other piping problems while you're away on vacation.
  • Draining the Pipes
After shutting off the water, it's crucial to mitigate potential pipe problems by draining any remaining water from the pipes. Open faucets at both the lowest and highest points in your home to facilitate drainage. This preventive measure minimizes the risk of freezing during colder seasons and prevents pressure buildup, which could lead to leaks or bursts in the plumbing system. By adequately draining the pipes, you safeguard your home against unexpected pipe problems and ensure a worry-free vacation.

Consequences of Not Turning Off Water

Leaving the water on while you're away increases the risk of leaks, burst pipes, and other plumbing emergencies, resulting in costly damage repairs.
  • Water Damage Risks
Leaving the water on while you're away heightens the probability of various plumbing issues, including leaks and burst pipes. These can go unnoticed for an extended period, leading to significant water damage within your property. Such damages necessitate immediate and often costly repairs, which could affect your home's structural stability and require extensive restoration efforts to prevent mold and other related issues from developing.
  • Increased Utility Bills
Continuous operation of water appliances like toilets and faucets, without supervision, can significantly elevate your utility bills while on vacation. Even minor leaks or drips can add up over time, resulting in inflated water consumption and subsequently higher bills. This unnecessary expenditure can strain your finances and add to the overall cost of your vacation, diminishing the enjoyment and relaxation you intend to experience.

Tips for Turning Off Water Before Vacation

Before heading off on vacation, it's essential to follow these tips for turning off the water to ensure a worry-free trip, starting with checking for leaks beforehand.
  • Checking for Leaks Beforehand
Before shutting off the water for your vacation, thoroughly examine your plumbing system for any leaks or indications of damage. Addressing these issues beforehand is crucial as it prevents potential worsening while you're away. Fixing leaks proactively not only reduces the risk of water damage but also ensures that your home remains in good condition, providing peace of mind during your absence.
  • Informing Neighbors or Family Members
It's wise to inform a trusted neighbor or family member about your plan to shut off the water during your vacation. This proactive step enables them to keep an eye on your property and promptly address any emergencies that may arise in your absence. By notifying someone you trust, you create a support system that can intervene if necessary, minimizing potential damage and ensuring the safety and security of your home while you're away.

Who Should I Call for Professional Plumbing Services?

Before you jet off on vacation, safeguard your home with Home Alliance! Call us for thorough plumbing maintenance checks and ensure peace of mind while away. Our certified plumbers offer top-notch services from sewer replacement to gas leak detection, faucet repairs, and more. With years of experience and a commitment to quality plumbing services in Los Angeles, trust Home Alliance for all your plumbing needs. Don't leave your home vulnerable - contact us today!


In conclusion, turning off the water before vacation is a vital precaution to safeguard your home from potential water damage and conserve resources. By preventing leaks and avoiding unnecessary water wastage, you ensure peace of mind during your absence. Remember to follow proper steps for shutting off the water and consider informing a trusted neighbor or family member. Prioritize proactive maintenance and, if needed, rely on trusted plumbing services in Los Angeles to address any issues promptly. Travel worry-free knowing your home is protected.


  • Should I turn off the water if I'm only going away for a weekend?
Yes, it's still recommended, especially if no one will be home to address any unexpected issues.
  • Can I just shut off the water to certain fixtures instead of the main valve?
While it's possible, shutting off the main valve ensures comprehensive protection for your entire plumbing system.
  • What if I have a sprinkler system or outdoor faucets?
Make sure to turn off the water supply to outdoor fixtures and consider draining any remaining water to prevent freezing.
  • How do I know if my main water valve is functioning correctly?
Test your main water valve periodically to ensure it operates smoothly, and address any issues promptly.
  • Is it necessary to drain the pipes every time I turn off the water?
Draining the pipes can help prevent freezing and pressure buildup, but it's especially crucial in colder climates or for extended vacations.