My wife and I are taking an extended vacation (3 months) and I am
wondering if I have to do anything special to close up the house. We
live in the Detroit area and we are on a well and septic. Should I
turn off the well, watersoftener, water heater, etc. or is 3 month
short enough to leave everything working.
there when gone??? if not: antifreeze in the toilet bowl and traps in
the tub, wash basins and maybe the washing machine.. anywhere the drain
water will sit while gone.. i would also turn the water valves off on
the toilet, the washer and anyplace that has water running so that if
you come home you dont find that a pipe or hose broke and you got a
flood.. i happened to me when my mother was away for a few days.. this
was in the south where it never freezes... she turned the heat off and i
had pipes in the wall leaking along with just about every pipe under the
house... it took me 5 days to fix the problem of leaving a house with no
heat.. the temp. went down to a low of 15 degrees and stayed there all
<< is 3 months short enough to leave everything working. >>
Check your insurance coverage now! You may have zero coverage in an unoccupied
house if there is, for example , a frozen pipe disaster. From this information
you can develop a plan to make sure you something to come home to. Good luck.
Whenever I leave for more than a week or so I turn of my well and water
softener. When you return be cautious about ingesting water that has
been stagnant for a long period. Bacteria may multiply in various
media. Activated charcoal is one place, ion-exchange resin may be
another. Don't use the water until your system has been well flushed or
Who is going to monitor your furnace? If heat goes out while you're
gone it may be an unhappy scene. I've seen paint fall from ceilings and
walls in large pieces in houses left without heat during the winter.
Jack Horvath Horvath wrote:
3 months in a Detroit winter?? Ummmmmmm.
Unless you have someone who can 100% guarantee that the
heat will remain on (even thru a power outage), you *must*
Drain well pressure tank.
Drain all the piping to all fixtures.
Drain water heater (shut off power/gas to it).
Empty toilet tanks.
Pour RV antifreeze (non-toxic) in the toilet bowls and all sink traps.
Drain washing machine including the pump.
Ditto for a dishwasher.
Steam or Hydronic boiler would need to be considered too.
I've been involved in a number of houses that froze up after
the heat went off; it ain't a pretty sight!
Absolutely, but don't forget the water treatment stuff or it will be busted
both internally and externally. Plumbing full of resin from a softener is a
really bad thing. And they don't have drains on them.....
You best hire someone responsibile to look after the place and under a legal
contractural basis. And check on the advice about your homeowner's insurance
not covering if your gone for that length of time; and get it in writing.
Quality Water Associates
Let me add a couple of ideas that may not have been already noted:
Unless you leave the heat and air on, your home is likely to experience
temperatures and humidity levels far different than normal. Consider the
effect on every part of your home and its contents. Something like a piano
could take a real hit. Cracks in plaster etc, are possible, but I would not
expect too much of a problem with that kind of thing.
Make sure all forms of food are out of the house. The frige should be
totally cleaned out and cleaned. I am not sure about leaving it on or
leaving it open. Some don't like trying to work when it is really cold.
Any food left anywhere can attract animals and inscects.
I would also suggest having someone check on the house at least once a
week. Have them try to make it look lived in and that mail or adds or
newspapers don't stack up. A quick tour of the home could identify water
leaks (roof for example) etc. Make sure the police know you are going to be
I left my house last year planning to retun in a couple of weeks. As it
turned out I was absent for a year. When I returned the food (other
than fresh produce) left in the refrigerator (a SubZero) was still
I'm now convinced that a good refrigerator is worth the expense.
Some don't like trying to work when it is really cold.
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