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ftareen
Shutting off water main while on vacation

We live in Wisconsin & during winter we are planning on two week vacation. I am planning to shut down the water main while we are gone. What precautions should I take after shutting down the water main? I have
- Water heater: Would it get damaged if for some reason water drains out of heater. A technician recommended shutting down the cold water supply to water heater & also said that
“Most (if not all) water heaters have low water cutoffs built into the unitroll (or aquastat). The tank has a dip tube for inlet. This dip tube normally stops 4 to 8 inches above the unitroll. This ensures that for whatever reason, if the cold supply loses pressure, the water isn’t siphoned out of the tank completely. This avoids the tank being "tricked" to continuously run to try to maintain temperature if all of the hot water is used up. This also avoids the possibility of a melting dip tube or catastrophic failure of the tank.”
- Water softener: Shall I unplug water softener?
- Shall I remove air from the piping system by opening some.

dj1
Re: Shutting off water main while on vacation

What have you done on previous occasions when you went away on vacations?

Where are your pipes running? under the house, exterior walls, interior walls, attic? Will you keep the house heated?

HoustonRemodeler
Re: Shutting off water main while on vacation

Unless you can drain all the low spots in the plumbing this may be not be very useful. You will reduce the amount of damage, but I can't see how your plumbing is run from here. If the plumbing was built with freezing temps in mind, you should be OK. WHat do your neighbors do?

Fencepost
Re: Shutting off water main while on vacation

What kind of water heater do you have? Gas? Electric? Oil? Boiler heat exchanger? Wood-fired?

Mastercarpentry
Re: Shutting off water main while on vacation

An easier approach would be to leave everything on with minimal heat, then hand a key to a relative or trusted neighbor and have them do a quick look-around a couple times a week. When you get back and all is well treat their family to dinner- having a 'caretaker' you can count on like that makes the mind rest easy which is worth the cost :cool: It saves you from shutting everything off, blowing the pipes clear, turning off the water heater, shutting off the unneeded electrical circuits, and still not knowing if someone threw a rock through a window or that the heat quit the day after you left. And all that 'preparation' has to be un-done right away when you return; not the best way to end a vacation :eek: Longer-term I'd do the prep, two weeks no.

Phil

dj1
Re: Shutting off water main while on vacation
Mastercarpentry wrote:

An easier approach would be to leave everything on with minimal heat, then hand a key to a relative or trusted neighbor and have them do a quick look-around a couple times a week. When you get back and all is well treat their family to dinner- having a 'caretaker' you can count on like that makes the mind rest easy which is worth the cost :cool: It saves you from shutting everything off, blowing the pipes clear, turning off the water heater, shutting off the unneeded electrical circuits, and still not knowing if someone threw a rock through a window or that the heat quit the day after you left. And all that 'preparation' has to be un-done right away when you return; not the best way to end a vacation :eek: Longer-term I'd do the prep, two weeks no.

Phil

...And don't tell them that there is cash under the mattress.

ed21
Re: Shutting off water main while on vacation

Turn off the water & water heater. Turn off softener. Turn off ice maker, etc.
Turn the heat down if you want, but not off.
If you have any pipes prone to freezing, drain them down.
When you come home turn everything on and you're good to go in about a half hour for hot water.

bill
Re: Shutting off water main while on vacation

I go to florida every year for a month, I live in montreal canada.This is what i do . I shut off the water at the main and open every faucet ect. then i pour plumber anti freeze in all the traps, dishwasher, laundry machine toilets ect. I turn off the hot water tank. I then turn the heat to about 45 degrees f. I also have some one check the house every three days( my insurance say i must have some one do this to be covered).

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