During the last week I know of 4 people who had their water heaters fail and 2 years ago right now, my water heater failed. I did a little research and found that water heaters are more likely to fail during the winter months due to the fact that they have to work harder to warm up the colder water.
If you are going on vacation during the winter, or any time, and you have an old water heater, it would be a good idea to turn the water off while you are away. I did 2 years ago and only 40 gallons of water leaked out and most of it went down the floor drain so I had very little water damage.
It is also a good idea to shut the water off to the washing machine and as the hoses on the washing maching get older, replace them.
Some people I know shut off the water to the entire house when they go away on vacation.
Basement floods can be very expensive. Put this on your vacation check list!
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