Every time we leave the house for a few weeks, I have visions of coming back
to a house that has been flooded from either a burst water heater or two (in
the attic) or burst pipes from a freeze.
As a precaution,I have considered turning off the water at the outside
shut-off and draining the pipes inside by opening the faucets.
What disasters lurk in this procedure? Can I just return home, turn on the
water and sputter the air out of the pipes, or is there some fundamental
embuggerance that I am overlooking? Will this require re-lighting the gas
in the water heater?
Turn off the water at your main shut off. Open a faucet, the lowest in the
system is preferable, to relieve the pressure and drain off some water.
Turn off your hot water heater by shutting of the gas. Yes, there is some
sputtering in the water line when you first open the main valve and open
some faucets but no big deal. It takes nothing to relight the hot water
pilot. This is the safest way to leave your house for any extended period
of time. I do it even for over nights. Cold weather (below freezing temps)
protection requires a bit more things to do.
One additional thing. Remember that toilets and drains hold water, if
the temp really drops they will freeze and may be damaged. Also any liquids
in the frig or out like pop, can also freeze and damage things.
Just how far you want to go depends on how paranoid you are. If the
worse happens, I am sure you will be happy you were what I might call
paranoid. My insurance company might call it prudent. :-)
a) Do everything everyone else said. You will also need to put RV
anti-freeze in the toilet / sink traps if you are worried about them.
b) If you want the 80/20 solution just turn off the water valve and reduce
the water heater to pilot.
Hope this helps,
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