Many people look forward to going on vacation. Unfortunately, the relaxation you feel while vacationing can quickly be replaced with dread if you don't address some important plumbing tasks before you leave.

Here are three things that you can do to prepare your plumbing system for an upcoming vacation.

1. Check for Leaks

You want to take the time to check your plumbing system for leaks before you leave for a vacation. If you don't look for leaks, you could return to a flooded home. Inspect all of the faucets, pipes, toilets, and connection hoses in your home for evidence of damage.

Even a small crack can be cause for concern. These small cracks could easily give way under the pressure of moving water, creating a major leak in your home.

Be sure to have any damage or leaks that you uncover repaired before you leave on vacation to protect your home.

2. Clean Your Drains

If you haven't had your drains cleaned in a while, you should try to schedule a cleaning with your plumber before you leave on vacation.

Bacteria builds up inside all of the drains in your home. Routine use flushes the bacteria down the drain. If you leave on vacation, your drains will not be used for an extended period of time. This period of non-use can allow bacteria to grow rampant in your drain.

The result of this growth is a foul odor emanating from your drains. A professional drain cleaning will not only prevent your plumbing system from stinking up your home while you are away on vacation, but the cleaning can also help improve the function of your drains in the future.

3. Turn Your Water Heater on Low

Your water heater can use up quite a bit of energy. If you are using the hot water created by the appliance on a daily basis, this energy use makes sense. If you will be gone on vacation for an extended period of time, your water heater can waste a lot of energy keeping hot water ready for use.

Check to see if your water heater has a "low" or "vacation" setting near its base. Turning your water heater on low or activating vacation mode will help conserve energy and keep your utility costs low while you are enjoying your vacation away from home.

If you aren't sure how to adjust the setting on your water heater, your plumber can help you accomplish this task.