Vacation Tips for Your Home

You can easily overlook your support systems when going away for a weekend, vacation, or extended period of time.  If something happens while you’re away, you’ll come home to a nightmare and regret that you weren’t better prepared.

To make sure that you and your home don’t suffer unintended consequences of that weekend junket or well-deserved time away, here are a few tips that will allow you some peace of mind and protection during your absence.


whole house water shut off

Most all homes, whether or public water or well will have a main shut-off valve similar to above.

1. Find the main water shut-off valve and turn it off. If this isn’t possible, go through the house and turn the valves off under sinks, behind toilets, your refrigerator, and the washing machine. 

2. If you have a well pump, turn off the electric to it. If you prefer not to turn off your water heater, at least turn the thermostat back before leaving.  You should have a valve on the cold water feed into it.  If so, turn it off also.  This may save you a flood in the event the tank would fail.  Why heat water when not home?

3. Pour a little vegetable oil into drains, such as your sink, shower, tub, and floor drains before going away.  The oil is lighter than water and will help keep water in the trap from evaporating and help prevent sewer vapors from escaping and causing unpleasant odors.

4. Inspect appliances such as your washing machine, refrigerator (if you have an icemaker or water dispenser), and water heater for corrosion and leaking water pipe connections.

5. Have someone stop in and check on your home to be sure that everything is as it is intended to be.

Should you find that you have a leak or any other plumbing problems upon your return, contact us at 717.299.5641 or email us to schedule a service call.

Heating and Cooling

There’s no use running an air conditioning system or furnace when nobody is home, save to prevent pipes from freezing in the winter.  A programmable thermostat can drastically reduce your energy waste while you’re away.

Save money! Contact us now at 717.299.5641 or email us to schedule the installation of a programmable thermostat.         

thermostatSo what temperature setting should your furnace, boiler, or air conditioning be set at during your vacation?  Does the heat even need to stay on during a cold-weather hiatus?  We recommend that you keep your thermostat set at a minimum of 45 to 50 degrees. This will help to ensure that plumbing pipes, toilets, and drain lines in your home will be less likely to freeze.  A furnace/boiler tune up is also recommended before a vacation. Having a professional furnace/boiler tune up before a vacation will help ensure that the heating unit will be operating properly while you are away.  Concerning air conditioning, that is up to you.  We would suggest that you save energy and costs and either turn it off or turn your thermostat up to about 88 to 90 degrees during summer or warm weather. 

You want to be sure to have your heating and central air conditioning checked before the first cold snap or heat wave! Contact us at 717.299.5641 or email us to schedule a service call.


  1. Turn off and unplug all non-essential electrical appliances, including hair dryers, toasters and blenders.
  2. Unplug televisions and computers; they are susceptible to lightning and power surges.  Furthermore, they actually use small amounts of energy even when they are turned off.
  3. Unplug all power strips before you go away.  
  4. Make sure extension cords are not overloaded, and remove them from under rugs or furniture.
  5. Use a timer for indoor lights.  Consider plugging a radio into a timer also.  Look for a timer that can be set to a random pattern, varying the times the lights turn on and off each day.
  6. Have adequate lighting and a motion detector lights outdoors.
  7. Be sure to have someone who you know and trust stop in and pay a visit on occasion while you are away.

If you don’t have motion detector lighting in your home, have Brubaker Inc. install some for your family’s safety and peace-of-mind.  Contact us at 717.299.5641 or email us.