Closing a house in the northeast next winter. I will shut off the heat.
I know I have to drain the plumbing, baseboard up stairs and put rv
fluid in the drains. What about the boiler in the basement? Will the
basement in an unheated house freeze? It gets 20 below zero here but the
basement is tight and normally 72 degrees with the heat on. The washer
is also in the basement. So what do others do in the north?
If the power goes out or something breaks at -20 things freeze in
hours if its kept at 40, and even at 40 pipes to near to exterior
walls can freeze at -20. Relying on a neighbor may also not work. best
is winterise everything and shut everything down.
Well, you do what you gotta do.
Draining, anti-freezing what you can is sure a good idea if you don't
I wouldn't worry about anything freezing here at 40F as the heat is
pretty consistent on the piping, none close to a touching an outside
I don't know what would happen to the water service if I let the temp
get to -20F.
It's a lead pipe coming a couple feet out of the concrete floor to a
valve then the meter, and can't be drained.
Meter is full of water and would have to be drained too.
I'd be concerned about walls cracking, nails popping, etc.
Just something I'd not be willing to do.
But you do what you gotta do.
Since I haven't done it, I'm just guessing.
Agreed, a fully shutdown "abandoned" house will deteriorate very
rapidly, which is why most insurers won't insure one.
I'd setup remote monitoring which is easy to do these days, and have
contact information for a local heating company you can call for
emergency service should the remote alarm go off. Of course drain down
all plumbing and toilets, RV antifreeze all drains, etc. so that they
aren't at risk should heating fail.
Our place sat empty over an entire winter in northern MN before we bought
it - as far as I know the previous owners just drained the plumbing
completely and left it at that. Power was shut off. I don't believe
anything special was done to the drains, either (although the outdoor run
to the septic system isn't particularly long).
Someone did come and check on it every couple of weeks, so it's possible
they turned the power back on and ran the electric heaters up, but I'm
not sure how much that'd help vs. just keeping the place on tickover
We've got no heat in the basement, but it seems to stay at around 55F
year-round no matter what the outdoor temperature - I'm not sure how much
further it'd fall if the place were left unheated though (the couple of
times we visited prior to buying, the owners had run the furnace up
beforehand). I suspect it'd stay above freezing, but possibly not by much.
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