Any downside to turning water off at empty property?


My tenants left and my rental property is now for sale. To keep costs down I want to turn off the water for the winter. Any downsides to this? Do I need to do anything special with the gas water heater?
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potential buyers might like to run the water when looking at home.
are you keeping the heat on?
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wrote:

They might even want to go to the toilet. The older the man is, the more likely that is. (I don't know about women.)
But otoh, if they are serious, you could turn the water back on then.

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Drain the water heater. Flush the toilets so no water is in the tank. Pour anti freeze in the bowls so the water does not freeze. Drain the water pipes. Search google.com for the words... winterize house
"Mr. Nonsense" wrote in message

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Mr. Nonsense wrote:

What cost are you actually going to defray? If it's unoccupied it's nothing but a connection fee at most which wouldn't think would be of any significant amount w/ no usage.
If you're actively in the selling mode, keeping the property in habitable state is probably better plan unless it's a slumlord-type rental that has little likelihood of selling to homeowner/occupant.
But, the answer to the original question is "winterize" --
--
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And you should check out your insurance policy. Some don't cover the property if it's been unoccupied for over a month.
R
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Unless you can discontinue service (ie eliminate the meter charge) how does turning the water off save money?
If oyu have sprinklers (outside water usage usually dominates a water bill) just turn them off.....we're headed into winter so the yard most likely won't need much / any water.
I had a property empty for a LONG time but kept the water on & did a (more or less) weekly walk through. Even empty houses need attention.
If the house is located where things might freeze and you're not keeping the heat on (or electric service outages happen) you might want to consider a "winter shut down"...which invloves draining plumbing that can freeze & adding water safe anti-freeze to traps.
cheers Bob
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I had a condo that was between tenants and thought I would be OK leaving the water on (actually it never crossed my mind because I knew it wouldn't be m/t very long). I did weekly walk thru's and didn't have a problem until one day I stopped by to check and the furnace stopped working and the water pipes broke and water was everywhere. It was a nightmare. Needless to say I always turn the water off if it's m/t for more than a couple of days. If I have well water I just turn off the breaker to the pump. That way if a line breaks at least I won't have water running until the next time I stop by to check on it.
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"Mr. Nonsense" wrote

Yes. No one will buy it. People want to be able to test it out. That includes flushing a toilet to see if it leaks, checking to see how long it takes for the hot water to come out hot, run water in sink an check for leaks. Basics like that. A *renter* may select a place without those tests, but a buyer will likely just walk out (or if warned that the water is off, just never opt to view it).
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Ok, end of story, I have dropped my idea to turn the water off. Though the bill does run around $15-20/month even if no water is used.
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Mr. Nonsense wrote:

Lousy time to be selling property, even though interest rates are down. Just so many houses out there it is a buyers market. Do you need to sell, or are you just tired of the landlord game? It may be worthwhile to just rent it out again, even at a lower price, to keep somebody in the place. There are houses around here that have been on market for close to a year, not slums or McMansions, just vanilla middle-class houses. (Yes, I realize that varies by area, but I haven't seen any reports lately of areas where the market is booming. Some places are just hurting less than others.)
-- aem sends...
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I assume the reason you are considering turning off the water is not the water bill, but rather the heating bill and you want to winterize the house. In any case, I would not advise turning off the heat and water in a property you are trying to sell. When buyers come to look at it, I think it will present better if there is at least some heat on, say 55F which shouldn't cost too much to maintain.
Don't know where you are located, but if you shut off the heat and let it go down too far, like to freezing, you run the risk of the building contracting enough that drywall cracks open up, etc. If you are worried about a water pipe breaking, you could just turn off the main water valve. If someone wants to turn it back on, they can easily do so.
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"aemeijers" wrote

Yup, it's a good time to rent.

I'm one of the few area still fairly stable. Big military influx and the house market had little of the 'boom' increase in value, keeping mostly fairly even with inflation overall. Hence a 3 BR 1 bath in a city lot in a decent neighborhood is about 150,000$, more if you have extra stuff.
More folks though are *choosing* to rent the houses because buyers (understandably) want to offer way less than the listed price. They keep hearing about folks in California and such giving .5mil houses up for 250,000 and think it's the same. Rents are going up and my next door place is rented to 1400$ (shoebox 3 BR 1 bath, 980sq ft?). Thats well over the price of buying that same house here per month including taxes and insurance.
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On Mon, 12 Oct 2009 12:09:28 -0400, cshenk wrote:

When we bought we just had the home inspector do that kind of thing, water purity tests, flow rates etc.
I think it was about $100 for the inspector (and he was there for a couple of hours; we were present for about half of it) which is virtually nothing against the price of a house...
Personally I'd just shut it off and drain the system down. I'd expect whoever shows folk around could handle turning the water back on temporarily so people could at least see that the system works, even if they have to take your word that the heater's OK.
cheers
Jules
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wrote:

And who's gonna drain it and re-winterize after each time whoever shows the folks around?
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On Mon, 12 Oct 2009 16:37:07 -0700, trader4 wrote:

That's for the seller and the realtor to work out...
Round here, they just don't bother; see the house during the colder months and it's pretty much a given that the water will be shut off and the owner will have drained the system - but it'll all get tested come inspection time.
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On Mon, 12 Oct 2009 07:52:50 -0700 (PDT), "Mr. Nonsense"

Make sure all services are on when prospective buyers look at the property. A buyer may pass up a property without working utilities, no matter what the excuse. If you already have a buyer, it doesn't matter.
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