4 ways to get ready for guests (and 2 tips for travelers)

If you’re spending the holidays making memories with the people you love, the last thing you want to do is deal with plumbing failures or disappointments. So, we’ve got some tips that will help you through the next few weeks.
🏠 If you will have a house full of guests, you can do three easy things to make sure you’ll have enough hot water.

🚙 If you’ll be traveling, here are two money-saving, disaster-avoiding tips that will take less than 10 minutes to do.


1. Temporarily turn your tank temperature up. You can make your hot water last longer by raising the temperature of the water. Turn the temperature dial to “HOT.” Caution: After you turn it up, double check the scald guard on sink and tub faucets are set in a way that the hottest water coming out isn’t too hot. You don’t want anyone to get burned. This is especially important if you’ve got young kids around.
2. Install a “tank booster” and get all the benefits of turning your tank temperature up without the scald risk. This simple device increases your hot water capacity up to 234%. It does this by heating the water in the tank to 140º, but it prevents the hot water you come in contact with from exceeding 120º. There’s still time to have this small device added to your system before your company arrives. We can often install a tank booster the same day you call us at (925) 872-0805.
3. Do laundry (using cold or warm water, not hot) in the evenings and run your dishwasher overnight. This saves your hot water for showering in the morning and saves some electric costs by creating demand in off-peak hours.


1. Temporarily turn your water heat temperature down. Most water heaters have a setting on their temperature dial labeled “VACATION” or, if that setting is not available, choose “PILOT.” This drops your water heater’s temperature and reduces your energy consumption. If you’ll be gone for 3 or more days, go ahead and change your setting. It will be good for your wallet and the environment.
2. Turn off the water to your house. This is your best protection against a burst pipe or other plumbing failure. You can close the valve on the supply line and stop the water coming to the house (but still allows your sprinklers to work). If a pipe does spring a leak inside, the water will be limited to whatever’s in the system. It won’t continue to spray out of control. The difference could be thousands of gallons and tens of thousands of dollars in damage. If you don’t want to turn off the water to your whole house, I recommend closing the hot- and cold-water valves on the washing machine hoses. (While you’re standing at your washing machine, confirm that you’re using stainless steel mesh supply lines. They’re much less likely to fail.)
We’re sharing these tips now because Christmas is only days away. But you can use these same strategies any time you’ve got company or are traveling.
Thanks for letting us be your trusted plumber.