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Old 01-20-15, 11:38 PM   #5
Helper EcoRenovator
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Sonoma County NorCal
Posts: 32
Thanks: 6
Thanked 5 Times in 5 Posts

My wife's cousin left home for a couple of weeks once, on arrival back home there was a stream of water cascading down from the living room above the garage . Apparently shortly after their departure a toilet tank broke (1930's LA area home), the water ran for days. Couple hundred thousand in damage to the entire house, insurance covered it, but man . . .

My house is in Northern/coastal California, moderate climate not too much concern about frozen pipes. When we leave, I either shut the house valve off (well and irrigation on), or turn off the power to the well in the winter when irrigation is off. Water heater goes to pilot (~3 therms/mo), recirc pump off, along with most electronic stuff (power strip or timer switch).

Our vacation house is at 4000 ft in the Sierras, not too far from Lake Tahoe . Most of the year, we shut off water at street and switch off the electric water heater. From November through February, we winterize by shutting off water at meter, opening all valves and draining all lines. RV antifreeze is used in traps, toilets and dishwasher to protect them. The heat pump is left in standby, I have a wifi thermostat to turn it on in advance of our return. I don't drain the water heater.

I had to add a valve to manually drain the dishwasher supply line, having been awarded a frozen/busted valve once after a particularly cold snap - causing a bit of excitement after turning the main valve on and finding our kitchen filling up with water on entry.

Pretty warm up there now, as our water woes continue out here

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