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Old 10-29-2009, 08:11 AM
 
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Default question when leaving house for extended periods

for those of you who have 2nd homes, when you leave your house for an extended period of time, do you turn off you water in your house? i would hate to leave for 2 weeks and come back and find a flood in the house. is there anything bad that would come for shutting off main valve of water for a couple of weeks?
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Old 10-29-2009, 11:35 AM
 
Location: NW Las Vegas - Lone Mountain
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I would not leave water on in a house for more than a few days. Just tempting fate. I even know of people who turn off the water if the home is left unoccupied more than a few hours.

The newer homes almost always have a valve, generally in the garage, that turns off the house water. Make sure you know which valve is which...there may also be one that turns off all water to the property and you don't want to do that.

Older houses may have different arrangements...ours for instance is easiest turned off at a check valve where the house water enters the home.

Failing any house only valve you then have to go around and turn off each valve individually. Note that it is a simple thing to change all the little valves on commodes and things to high quality ones. I have all quarter turn ball valves on all those in my place. Five year or older valves may well not operate when needed if not regularly checked. It is painful to try and turn off a valve to a leaking appliance and have the handle come off in your hand.

Note that the attachments between the house plumbing and appliances and comodes and such should be of the high quality metallic armored sort. And the connection to the washer. Note that the leak tray on washers is of little use unless it actually works. About half of the ones I have seen had a problem...cracked, unsecured connection and in one case the drain terminated in the wall.
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Old 10-29-2009, 08:05 PM
 
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
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If you turn off the water you'd better turn off the hot water heater too. Don't forget that your landscaping needs daily watering in the summer, and once a week in winter. We never have turned the water off but maybe we should. Although we usually have a sitter for the dogs that comes by twice a day. If it's going to for lng periods you should get someone to check on things and maybe flush toilets and turn on showers, etc., so the valves don't dry out and need to be replaced, or the drains don't dry out and let sewer gas in.
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Old 10-29-2009, 08:39 PM
 
Location: NW Las Vegas - Lone Mountain
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buzz123 View Post
If you turn off the water you'd better turn off the hot water heater too. Don't forget that your landscaping needs daily watering in the summer, and once a week in winter. We never have turned the water off but maybe we should. Although we usually have a sitter for the dogs that comes by twice a day. If it's going to for lng periods you should get someone to check on things and maybe flush toilets and turn on showers, etc., so the valves don't dry out and need to be replaced, or the drains don't dry out and let sewer gas in.
Buzz - I would be very surprised if your tract does not have separate inside/outside cut off valves. I bet you have a valve that cuts off only inside.

As far as I know a hot water heater is fine as long as it is not drained.

You do make another good point. If a house is left with the water off long enough the water from the various traps will evaporate and the house will stink. It is better if someone comes through once a month and flushes or turns the water on in all sinks and showers.
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Old 10-30-2009, 12:20 AM
 
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
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Quote:
Originally Posted by olecapt View Post
Buzz - I would be very surprised if your tract does not have separate inside/outside cut off valves. I bet you have a valve that cuts off only inside.

As far as I know a hot water heater is fine as long as it is not drained.

You do make another good point. If a house is left with the water off long enough the water from the various traps will evaporate and the house will stink. It is better if someone comes through once a month and flushes or turns the water on in all sinks and showers.
I have all kinds of cut offs. I have the one in the garage that cuts it all off. Of course there is the one at the meter; plus valves under the sinks. I also have the manifold in the garage that allows you to turn off each individual valve in the house. Of course ours are behind the wall, not exposed like this one, but it's the same thing.
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Old 10-30-2009, 11:28 AM
 
Location: Beautiful Upstate NY!
12,244 posts, read 16,295,165 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by olecapt View Post
I would not leave water on in a house for more than a few days. Just tempting fate. I even know of people who turn off the water if the home is left unoccupied more than a few hours.
We turn the main off before leaving for work every morning and back on when we get home. The finished basement and all the hi-tech TV equipment cost too much to see it get ruined by a flood. Water heater stays full and left on with no problem. We have been doing this for years.
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Old 10-30-2009, 01:46 PM
 
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I pour RV anti-freeze into every trap before I leave for extended periods. It seems to evaporate more slowly than just water alone.

Even when I'm living in the house, I notice that the trap below the washer/dryer will dry out and start to smell. That's where I discovered that RV anti-freeze will last longer in the trap than just pouring a little water in there alone. I costs a couple of bucks for a gallon jug.

Another suggestion I've heard is to put mineral oil or vegetable oil in the p-traps but I haven't tried that nor vinegar which I've also heard that inhibits evaporation.

Anybody else used anything in the traps to help prevent evaporation when they leave for extended periods?

And, I always shut the main valve to the house off when I leave for more than a couple of days.
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Old 10-30-2009, 02:59 PM
 
Location: NW Las Vegas - Lone Mountain
15,757 posts, read 19,764,773 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scirocco22 View Post
I pour RV anti-freeze into every trap before I leave for extended periods. It seems to evaporate more slowly than just water alone.

Even when I'm living in the house, I notice that the trap below the washer/dryer will dry out and start to smell. That's where I discovered that RV anti-freeze will last longer in the trap than just pouring a little water in there alone. I costs a couple of bucks for a gallon jug.

Another suggestion I've heard is to put mineral oil or vegetable oil in the p-traps but I haven't tried that nor vinegar which I've also heard that inhibits evaporation.

Anybody else used anything in the traps to help prevent evaporation when they leave for extended periods?

And, I always shut the main valve to the house off when I leave for more than a couple of days.
I would think you would get a better result with the oils than with the Anti Freeze. Ethylene Glycol mixes with water and starts out about 65% water. It would slow evaporation some but how much would be a question of how much water is in the mix. It is safe.

.
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Old 10-30-2009, 05:09 PM
 
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
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You do know that it is probably illegal to pour that stuff in a drain don't you? At least vinegar won't show up in your water supply some day.
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Old 10-30-2009, 06:21 PM
 
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RV anti-freeze should be ok as it's made especially for plumbing applications ...it's not the same stuff as ethylene glycol, the automotive anti-freeze. In fact, I've heard that RV anti-freeze is actually drinkable.
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