=winter storm questions=

House: Oil burner Baseboard hot water
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Leaving for Florida and our house is located in the northeast where the temperatures are now below freezing.
We would like to leave the electric on since this house is due to be sold within the next 4 to 6 weeks and the buyers will want a walk-through with the electric on, the water on and the oil burner on.
We will drop the thermosat to 50 to 55 degrees for the next 4 to 6 weeks to conserve oil since nobody will be there.
We were thinking of draining the water from the pipes so that they do not freeze - but what would happen if the oil burner calls for water to heat the house?
Is there any way to keep the house at 50 to 55 degrees and at the same time drain the water so that do not freeze in the event of a power outage?
Thanking you in advance. Eddy
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You have a boiler with radiators? It will only need water if you have a leak, which you would notice now, or if it is a steam system. If not steam turn off all water at the main where it enters and drain pipes and drain everything, If you have a buyer they will understand as an inspection will be likely wanted by the buyer. If you have steam you should have shutoff vales in the basement to isolate the boiler, I know the boiler should not fail but antifreeze in traps will insure that.
" Freezealarm" by Control Products at Box stores will call your tel # if temps drop too low so you can notify a neighbor.
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systems' include a freeze sensor or other inputs such as a sensor to detect water on the basement floor and these will 'phone' an alarm centre company. But a suggestion! Your property insurance company may invalidate your policy if you do not have something/someone arranged to keep a regular check on your house! For example every couple of days, or at least twice a week etc. If damage occurred it is understood that insurer requires that an owner "Take all reasonable measures to minimize further damage etc".. One certainly is not meeting that requirement by leaving a house continuously unattended for five to six weeks and trusting that nothing will occur! If something were to freeze or spring a leak during the first week! Or if a window was broken out????????? But is it necessary to have the main heating system (especially if it contains water!) 'on' at all? It's below freezing here right now. Our below ground basement maintains about 50 to 55 deg. without any heat at all, So maybe a couple of safe electric heaters upstairs on the main floor would keep that area above freezing? Was in hospital recently for about a week. Our good neighbours had my keys and checked on the house and our vehicles regularly. They turned the lights off over our front door using a remote 'key fob type' switch, on their way to work and on again each evening, took a patrol around the property to check for any 'illegal' activity or entry and entered the house every few days to water a few plants and check otherwise! We do the same for them on occasion.
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Sounds like a bad plan. Also check your home-owners policy to see what it says about unoccupied houses.
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Chris Hill wrote:

Extremely good point. Policies may often have a clause stating that in the event that a house is unoccupied for 30 days or more, the insurance is not in effect. Unoccupied house = much greater potential for loss greater liability = insurance company saying, "sorry, sucker."
R
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Promise the neighbor a few bucks and give him the title as Landlord.
Since your selling the home and its most likely empty, make sure that there is oil in the tank (you'll get money for whatever is left over at the closing) and keep the house at 55.
If you have outside spickets, shut them off so they dont freeze up on you.
Even if you have a GREAT relationship with your neighbor, giving them something (money) is a good way of saying thanks for your help! If it were me I would at least give them 100.00 to do the job.
I would leave a few old lamps out with timers attached. It'll at least look like someone lives there. If the neighbor has a snowblower and cleans out the property I would give them more than 100.00. Again your selling your home, dont get ultra cheap when the closing is coming down the road in the middle of winter. If the house is kept up and clean, it'll close just fine.
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