Please offer suggestions for my house over a winter vacancy
January 2, 2008 10:50 AM   Subscribe

I will be vacating my house for a few months over the winter. Aside from some house plants there will be nothing organic in the house to worry about. I was planning on turning the heat down to near 40. The house is not particularly well insulated so, if we get a serious cold snap,which is entirely likely,I would like to be prepared. I was thinking of turning off the water from the basement so the pipes will be empty,therefore not freeze. Is there any danger in this? Have you any other suggestions?
posted by citybuddha to Home & Garden (4 answers total)
You want to drain the pipes, not just turn the water off. This sounds easier than it is: in all likelihood, your house doesn't have a drain near where the water line comes in.

That said, here's what you do:
- turn off the water
- find the lowest faucet that empties to the sewer (sink in the basement near the washer?)
- open that faucet, hot and cold
- open all the other faucets in the house. I'd start with the highest and work my way down.

Not sure what to recommend when it comes to the hot water tank. Obviously, you want to turn it off (the gas/electric) and make sure it's not full.

When you turn your water back on:
- make sure all faucets are open
- turn it on slowly

Do you have a sump pump in your basement? Might want to make sure the heat is on a little more than 40: you don't want water freezing in there...
posted by jdfan at 10:59 AM on January 2, 2008

If you don't want to rely on your furnace, have a plumber install the proper drains, then drain the pipes, flush the toilets dry, drain the water heater, etc. You are essentially treating your house like a cabin.
posted by caddis at 11:26 AM on January 2, 2008

1. It is recommended you keep your unoccupied house at least 50

2. Tags don't work how you think they work.
posted by nanojath at 11:27 AM on January 2, 2008 [2 favorites]

I just moved to New Jersey from Indiana this past month and I'm having to keep my old place in Indy until my lease is up (in March). A couple of my good friends are keeping an eye on things there (including watching the weather and turning on the water when things get particularly chilly). Do you have anyone there that could do this for you? In addition to the water issue, it might just be nice to have someone checking in from time to time to make sure things are safe and in order.
posted by Mookbear at 1:39 AM on January 3, 2008

« Older How do I be a godmother?   |   Hope me Obi-wan, Ground Control to Major Tom... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.