I want to go away for a month this winter. I am concerned that I will get
a flood if my heat fails and my pipes burst.
If I remember right, hot water systems have a water supply to replace water
lost from the system.
Is there a problem with turning off the water supply where it enters the
cellar and still leave the heat on??
Any other hints ? Do I have to drain the domestic water pipes or can I
just leave the faucets open?
I am asking this because, maybe once a year, my furnace does not start
unless I hit the reset. Murphy's Law says it will happen while I am away.
You have to drain all of your pipes. Yes, you can leave the heat on, but if
it goes off, THOSE pipes will burst (unless you have antifreeze in your
system) and THAT will cost you an arm and a leg to repair if you have to
start digging into walls and floors to do repairs.
The best thing to do is turn you thermostat down low and have a neighbor
check on your house DAILY or you could get a Honeywell Watchman:
I have a lot of customers with summer homes in the area and they use one of
these. They will plug a spotlight (or lamp of some kind) into it and have it
shine torwards a neighbor's house. If the temperature of the house goes
below the set point, it will bring the light on and the neighbor will see it
and call (whoever: you, service company) because they know the heat is off.
It's possible to "freeze proof" a house but to do it right you have to
connect air and literally blow the water out of dips and accidental traps.
You also pour anti-freeze into the toilet, sink, and bath traps and the
dishwasher and the clothes watcher and the drain for the washer.
IF you have public water you should have the water shut off at the meter and
drain the line from the meter to your home.
OR you can just put in a back up heating system comprising a bunch of your
basis $20 1kW electric heaters set to someone like 45F. (If you can, get a
heater with a "freeze protection" setting.)
You shut off the main water anyway to reduce damage if your backup fails and
shut off the water heater.
The electrical heaters should be placed in the bathrooms, the kitchen,
laundry, the basement near the water heater and where the water pipe enters
Open the doors to under-sink cabinets (especially where the sink is on an
If your main heat fails your "backup" should keep most/all of the pipes from
freezing or at least reduce the extent of the damage.
Well, the catalogs that push the home automatic stuff (X-10, etc) have
relatively cheap gadgets which will turn one/off at various temperatures
(different models for different applications.)
Trouble with relying on a neighbor is that when the weather gets REALLY cold
he may be too busy with his own problems to get around to working your
"Bubba" wrote in message > >
Better yet, have a light that is on if the temps are ok. If the light is
out, something is wrong. It may just be a burned out bulb, but at least you
know something is wrong.