[OT?] Going away for the holidays. Good idea to turn the main water valve in the house off?

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We're going through a nasty cold spell right now (-13F/-25C to -22F/-30C) and it's expected to last for quite a while yet. And my coworker suggested that I turn the main water valve off in the house before I leave in a couple of days for a vacation.
I will still have my furnace running when we leave for vacation, but I plan on having it maintain a temperature of 60F/15C while we're away.
Is turning the main off still a good idea? Also, should the furnace be set at a little higher temperature while we're away when taking the outside temperature into account? Thanks for your time and courtesy.
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termtests wrote:

Turning the water off won't hurt. Open a tap to drain the water out as well.
I would turn the furnace down to 45-50 if the thermostat will go that low. Unless you have pets staying in the house, there's no reason to keep it warmer than that, you just don't want pipes freezing.
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Unless you have pipes that freeze quickly at low house temps.
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wrote:

Well, my luck, I probably do. I'll take that into consideration and thanks for such quick replies, guys.
And I'm really sorry about this, but one thing I forgot to mention though was that I have in-floor/radiant floor heating in my basement, which has some kind of plastic pipes with hot water running through them.
Would that affect or change whether I should turn off the water or not? Or, as long as my water heater tank has sufficient amount of water to recirculate through the in-floor heating system, I should be OK? Thanks again.
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turn the heat to the water heater off (turn the breaker off if electric; turn the gas control to "pilot" if gas) and open the lowest faucet if you shut the water off. I would recommend doing this if you are going to be gone for more than a day or two. I second the advice to lower the thermostat, no need to heat the house to more than 50-55 degrees if nobody's going to be in it.
nate
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On Dec 15, 2:54�pm, termtests <> wrote:

turning water off good idea, and if you have a friendly neighbor put a lamp activated by a thermostat if the temperature gets too low. ideally a flashing lamp
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On Mon, 15 Dec 2008 13:06:52 -0800 (PST), " snipped-for-privacy@aol.com"

If you have a boiler, you need to maintain water to it. It usually doesn't need much, but if it needs any...
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<termtests> wrote in message

I would turn the water to the house off if there was any chance a power failure could result in your furnace stoppong to work.
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Freckles wrote:

pressure, so leaks are little or no problem.
-- aem sends...
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ooooooooooo amazing. plus, who cares.
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aemeijers wrote:

you forgot "water doesn't taste like a swimming pool."
nate
(but when you have a long, dry summer, it can taste like the underside of a car...)
--
replace "roosters" with "cox" to reply.
http://members.cox.net/njnagel
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wrote:

Come to think of it, we have had a three power outages in my area last month or so, the latest two happening just last night within hours of each other. The power was restored within about an hour after the power went out, but who knows what can happen.
One thing I forgot to mention was, sorry for not having mentioned this in my original question, that I have in-floor or radiant heating system that has plastic pipes running under the basement cement floor with hot water running through them.
Would that change whether I should the water to the house off or not? Thanks.
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On Dec 15, 2:54pm, termtests <> wrote:

If your thermostat is functional and accurate, and your furnace is properly sized and maintained, they will maintain an interior temperature of 60F whether its -20F or +50F outside. They already take the colder outside temperature into account by running more often.
Turning off your main water is probably a good idea. If the furnace fails while it's that cold, the pipes will freeze and burst.
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I would like to add that if the furnace did fail, even if the water shut off, the water main can still freeze at the point it comes into the house ( at the meter). This happened to a friend of mine. So I would make sure the main pipe is well insulated.
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on 12/15/2008 6:43 PM Mikepier said the following:

That's assuming that the OP has city water. He may have a well which pipe would be buried below frost level until it enters the house .
--

Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
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On Mon, 15 Dec 2008 12:54:06 -0700, termtests <> wrote:

If you're going to turn off the water, and open a basement faucet for the water to drain, you shoould open an upper floor faucet for air to enter the pipe. Both cold and hot water. (Someone here once explained how hot water pipes burst before cold water pipes do. No kidding. It made sesnse.)
This seems to imply draining the water heater, and i guess that doesn't cost any money becuase the water would be cold in a few days anyhow. When I went away for two months, not nearly as cold as your weather, i had no water heater so it wasn't an issue. You should have a pan and drain pipe for your water heater anyhow, so maybe don't worry about that. If it's in the basement, how cold will it get without heat. And if it freezes and cracks, it's about 600 dollars maybe but the odds of this happening are 1 in 2000?, so that's only 33 cents worth of risk.
And if you're going to do all this, you might as well pour anti-freeze in your traps. I think for me it took a half-gallon to do 3 toilets, 5 sinks, a shower and a bathtub. That's almost a cup in each, which might be more than i needed. I was trying for a 50/50 mix with the water. It was almost the last thing I did before I left, maybe saving a cup of anti-freeze to use in the last toilet. Flush the toilets before pouring in the antifreeze.
I hustled and this all took maybe 20 minutes (no time spent on water heater), and when I got home I only had to close two faucets and turn on the main valve. Oh, and I would have had to close turn on the water heater, if it was full of water.
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If you have a close neighbor, a once a day check is more than enough, as even without any furnace heat, at temps close to zero, a well- insultaed house will not drop below 32F in just one day. Definitely can drop in two days, so get a reliable neighbor.
A remote reading thermometer with the remote in your empty house and the base unit in the neighbors house would permit them to monitor your house very easily. The remote units are good for up to at least 50 feet with fresh batteries, so unless you are in a rural area, that is a good cheap way to remotely monitor the temperature.
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wrote:

Thanks so much for your quick and very detailed reply. Truly appreciate it. I'll print it out and follow the instructions accordingly.
But I aplogize for this, but I'm afraid I left out one bit of information about my house which might have some bearing on what should be done before I leave for my holidays.
I forgot to mention that I have in-floor/radiant floor heating system in my basement concrete floor that has plastic pipes with hot water running through them.
Can you think of anything I should be mindful of or do because of it? My water heater tank supplies the water for the radiant flooring system. Thanks agian.
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on 12/16/2008 12:09 AM termtests said the following:

Is your basement below ground and the floor below frost level? If so, the floor will not get below freezing temps so it should be OK, even if it shut off.

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Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
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wrote:

OK, that's good to know. Thanks.
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