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Vacation Home Plumbing

Your first weekend getting away to the vacation home…pure heaven.

However, a plumbing disaster can turn your slice of heaven into pure agony. How bad could it be? Imagine several burst pipes spewing water or someone catching a respiratory infection from bacteria in your plumbing. A plumbing emergency can cost you thousands of dollars and keep you from enjoying your vacation home during the weeks of repair work.

Read on to learn about the risks, the worst case scenario, and why your vacation home isn’t ready for summer without a plumbing inspection.

Winterization 101

Learning about your summer plumbing begins with winterization. Just because your property is on the beach front, doesn’t mean your home is exempt from cold temperatures. It might always feel balmy when you’re there over the summer, but temperatures can drop anywhere.

winterized vacation home

Winterization, or weatherization, is the process of preparing a home for cold temperatures and months without people.

Basics tasks of plumbing winterization:

  • Shut off water
  • Insulate pipes
  • Add non-toxic antifreeze to drains
  • Drain water heater

Those are the most basics steps to protect your house’s plumbing. However, some vacation home-owners don’t know how or don’t have time to winterize.

At Ben Franklin Plumbing, we specialize in vacation home winterization. When you return to you vacation home after a long winter away, the steps you took during the previous fall determines where you should start now. We have two separate sets of advice to get your vacation home plumbing in top shape for the summer season: one if you winterized your home and one if you didn’t.

Non-Winterized Vacation Home

No judgments if you’re here.

While it is safer to winterize your beloved vacation home, you aren’t doomed if you haven’t. You just need to know what to look for to make sure a catastrophe isn’t about to strike.

What are the Risks?

Burst pipes are the biggest risk of not winterizing your home—and a major reason to consider doing it for next year. When the water in your pipes freezes, it expands as it turns to ice. The expansion can fracture or even split open metal pipes – flooding your home with gallons upon gallons of water. A large pipe break causes an indoor Niagara Falls. Imagine walking into your summer home, after a few months away, to witness the walls and floors curled from water damage, mold growth, and peeling paint. A small fracture, however, might only start cascading water when you begin using the plumbing again.

How Can Ben Franklin Help?

If a pipe does rupture, you’ll need a plumber ASAP to clean up the mess. That’s what a plumber can do in an emergency. However, we recommend a preventative inspection to catch issues before they arise.

For example, a plumber could discover minor cracks in your pipes before the water starts flowing. If you shut-off electricity to save money, the stagnant water in your hot water heater can grow bacteria, including Legionella which causes Legionnaire’s disease. Your plumber will need to sanitize the water tank, before its used, to keep anyone from getting sick.

Bottom line: Bringing out a plumber for an early summer investigation can save your vacation BIG TIME.

winterized vacation home

Winterized Vacation Home

Good job on taking charge, whether you winterized by hand or hired a pro. Now that summer is here, you need to make sure the house is ready for your family and friends.


The steps you take while de-winterizing are determined by what steps you took to winterize in the first place. Essentially, you need to reverse anything you did in the fall.

If you hired a professional to winterize, you need to hire one to de-winterize. Failing to properly de-winterize might keep your plumbing from working or even cause some damage. Imagine if your smart, preventative measures turned into a bigger problem. Irony.

Finally, Did you follow a DIY internet checklist, like most brave homeowners, but forgot exactly what you did? Fear not, we are experts in getting a house ready for summer, following a winter layover.

How Can Ben Franklin Help?

In addition to making sure your plumbing system is 100% de-winterized, a plumber can give you-peace-of-mind with a thorough summer plumbing check-up. Just remember plumbing, works best when used every day. Because of that, a plumber should inspect the individual fixtures for signs of damage following months of disuse.

Lastly, a beginning of summer inspection is the perfect opportunity to have a plumber check for other lurking issues. For example, a clogged line, which can occur in any season, is plumbing Armageddon. You’d notice the telltale warning signs of the clog at your everyday home. However, you only visit your vacation house a few times a year. The raw sewage nastiness of a clogged line can sneak up on you.

Bottom Line: You did the right thing by winterizing your vacation property. Now, keep that winning streak going by scheduling a summer plumbing checkup.

Wrap Up

Your vacation home is a little piece of heaven. Nothing feels quite as good as a blissful weekend away. However, a plumbing emergency can quickly turn a great weekend into one of the worst of your life. Regardless of whether you winterized your vacation home or not, Ben Franklin Plumbing can make it 100% ready for summer.

Contact us to have a conversation about you summer home and all of your plumbing needs.

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