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Old 11-07-2019, 01:02 AM   #1
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New Snowbird seeking advice

This will be our first winter away from the house. We live a little west of Columbus Ohio. So it will get well below freezing several times and usually for several days at a time. I'm wondering if I should turn the water off in the house. I will probably keep the thermostat set for 50 degrees or so. I can monitor and change that with my phone. We live in the country and have a well for our water so I don't know if turning off the water or just not using any water for 3 to 5 months will affect the well.
We are setting up some cameras to be able to keep an eye on the house and an alarm.
I appreciate any advice from those with experience in leaving the house empty for extended periods.
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Old 11-07-2019, 01:26 AM   #2
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I appreciate any advice from those with experience in leaving the house empty for extended periods.
Sell the house, sell the furniture. Next summer go to the PNW!

Drove by the house where I born in Ohio this summer. Also went by the house where we lived when I was little near Seattle.
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Old 11-07-2019, 03:39 AM   #3
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We didn't have a well but I always shut the water off. Opened all the faucets and left them that way until we returned. We were usually gone for 6 months. I always set the stat at 55. We live in Southern MI.
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Old 11-07-2019, 05:57 AM   #4
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We spend Jan & Feb in Florida and do have a well. I turn the well pump and the electric hot water heater off and set the thermostats at 45-50. We have oil hot water baseboard heat and haven't had an issue in 30+ years. We do ask the kids and neighbor to check the place once in a while. I must admit with the new camera stuff you can check the house yourself on your phone, slightly above my pay grade I guess I have to learn.
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Old 11-07-2019, 06:02 AM   #5
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We live in SE Michigan and are usually gone south in January and February. I always shut off the well pump and open all faucets. We set the thermostat to 55. I do not drain the plumbing system or put antifreeze in traps. We have remote web cameras and one has a view of the indoor/outdoor thermometer readout. Also a couple of motion sensors that send us a text alarm if triggered. We have great next door neighbors who keep an eye on things for us. Also family within an hours drive.
The first year we did this we did not have cameras/remote temp sensing. The furnace quit and when we got home it was 35 degrees INSIDE the house! Fortunately nothing froze, but the next year I installed a web camera.
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Old 11-07-2019, 06:44 AM   #6
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Since the last two posts mentioned web cameras..... IF you will still have home internet while traveling, check out the BLINK camera system. They alert your phone if they capture video plus you can set them for a temperature alert.
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Old 11-07-2019, 07:12 AM   #7
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When we would leave on extended trips I would shut the water valve off coming into the house. Set the thermostat at ~50F. We would put a light on a timer.





I looked at the Blink camera system, looks pretty affordable and robust. I assume there is not any type of monthly fee and that it simply connects to Wifi to broadcast info.
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Old 11-07-2019, 07:48 AM   #8
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Shut the water off. Drain the pipes as well as you can. Antifreeze the drain holes with at least a cup in each drain. Suck most of the water out of toilets and fill with antifreeze, also in the toilet tank.
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Old 11-07-2019, 07:58 AM   #9
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Live in the Dayton OH area. City water we turn off at the meter. Set the thermostat at 48 and have a monitor that calls us if the temp drops to 45. Shut off the water heater and unplug appliances that could be damaged by a power surge. Put lights on timers and have family check the house periodically We do have an alarm system for break-ins and the local police offer a drive by service that checks the house from the outside at least once per week..

We are gone most of the winter and have not had an issue other than having a water service line break between the meter and the house. Learned my lesson and now turn off water at the meter!
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Old 11-07-2019, 08:09 AM   #10
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We always flipped the Breaker, electric off
To the pump.
Set thermostat at 55 or so.
Wife put night lights in outlets in most rooms.

Then we always left a radio or tv on.
Volume low enough to just hear throughout the home.

Never had a security system.
But good neighbors down the road.

Never a problem.

Also

Stopped the mail
Had the snow removed like we were home.
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Old 11-07-2019, 08:31 AM   #11
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We live in FL, and travel in the summer, so no worries about freezing, but we always turn off the water at the street when we are going to be away. Having a simple thing like a running toilet or a leak at the water heater can run up a high bill very quickly. We have a well for outside water use and always turn off that pump and the water heater as well.
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Old 11-08-2019, 06:39 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jacwjames View Post
When we would leave on extended trips I would shut the water valve off coming into the house. Set the thermostat at ~50F. We would put a light on a timer.





I looked at the Blink camera system, looks pretty affordable and robust. I assume there is not any type of monthly fee and that it simply connects to Wifi to broadcast info.
No fees for Blink. Video gets sent to the cloud and a notice sent to your phone. Temperature alerts (low or high) get sent to phone also. You can also log in and capture a picture or video of any camera at any time. The only requirement is a wifi connection for the home. Cameras are battery powered with a three year life. I love the Blink system.
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Old 11-08-2019, 09:09 AM   #13
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Logic say's to prepare for the worst and hope for the best. I would drain the water and toilet bowls and hope the power doesn't go off, but if it does you all set. The cameras are a good idea and have one setup to watch a thermometer.
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Old 11-08-2019, 09:29 AM   #14
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Hello all, So we have a oil fired hot water boiler that supplys our hot water and heat via base board radiators.

If I shut off the water to the house to minimize any water damage, will not blow out lines and will leave the heat set to 60 deg. will the boiler loop (head tank) maintain level? With the water shut off the make-up valve is useless.

We have been gone the last 4 winters and leave the water and heat on and have friends check on the house. Thanks, Joe
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