Should Water Be Turned Off in Empty House?

Do you have a home that is often left vacant? Are you planning to go on vacation for an extended trip? An important way to avoid damage to your property when leaving a home vacant is to turn off the home’s water supply! This helps to avoid a plethora of problems, including a burst pipe, issues with your plumbing system, a dripping hot water heater, or leaking supply lines. You will also avoid incurring damage to your home and your possessions, including any precious family heirlooms that you might be storing within your home.

Read on to learn more reasons why you should turn off the water when you leave a home vacant, as well as a checklist of things to do to protect your vacant home.

Reasons Why You Should Turn Off the Water Supply

Why exactly should you turn off your water supply while you are away? Here are some of the areas in which you can avoid serious water damage by turning off the water.

Avoid Any Water Damage and Repair Costs

Turning off the water in your home before leaving it vacant is a great way to ensure that you avoid expensive water damage and repairs.

Avoid the Stress and Inconvenience

Water damage can be a stressful thing to deal with, as the damage can be severe and widespread. Turning off your water will help you avoid the stress and inconvenience of having to clean up and repair water damage.

Avoid Broken Faucets

Broken faucets can cause leaks that create damage while your home is left vacant. If you turn off your water, your faucets can’t leak and damage your home.

Avoid Broken Water Supply Lines

Broken water lines can cause damage to your home while you are away. Turning off your water prevents such issues from wreaking havoc while you are away.

Avoid Water Heater Leaks

If your water heater develops a leak when you are living on your property, you will likely notice and fix it right away. If it happens when your home is vacant, the damage can go unchecked. Turning off your water ensures that you won’t find any surprise damage due to a leak.

Avoid Broken Washing Machine Hoses

Another culprit for leaks are your washing machine hoses. Turning off your water ensures that they can’t leak while your home is left vacant.

Bathroom Plumbing

How Do I Turn Off My House’s Water?

In order to turn off your main water supply, you don’t need to turn it off at every valve within your home. Simply locate the main supply valve and turn it off. This is usually located inside of your house where the main pipe enters the house. It can also be located outside where the pipe connects to your water meter.

If you can’t seem to locate the valve, check your home inspection report. The plumbing section of the report should indicate where your valve is located. If you still can’t find it, you can always talk to your plumber.


Leaving an Empty House Checklist

Here are a few other items to keep in mind if you are leaving your home vacant for any period of time:

  • In the winter months, drain water from your pipes to prevent water from freezing and causing the pipes to burst
  • Be sure to inspect supply lines to your appliances and repair any that are damaged
  • Inspect your sump pump
  • Check your home’s gutters for any buildup of leaves and debris


Does shutting off the water damage the water heater?

No, shutting off your water doesn’t damage your water heater. In fact, you should also turn off your water heater when leaving the home for an extended period of time.

Should I turn off my water when on vacation in winter?

Yes, you should turn of your water when on vacation in any season to avoid water damage caused by a burst or broken pipe, leaking water lines, and more.