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Old 10-29-2013, 09:38 AM   #61
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Originally Posted by Jack_Pine View Post
How do you handle the air in the pipes when you get home?
Take off the aerator screen on the highest faucet and let the hot and cold water run until the air is gone. If you don't take off the screen, sometimes the coughing out of the air dislodges mineral deposits and clogs the screen, in which case you have to take it off and clean it anyway.

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Old 10-29-2013, 09:47 AM   #62
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Originally Posted by Jack_Pine View Post
How do you handle the air in the pipes when you get home?
Dislodging the air can be rough on old/not quite perfect piping. After the hissing and coughing is done it is a good idea to take take a look around and see if there are any obvious leaks. If it's inside a wall, well I guess you'll eventually learn about it.

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Old 10-29-2013, 10:08 AM   #63
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Hmmm... Re: Turning off the water...

Where? In our house, the shut off is in the utility closet... ( we have a crawl space underneath house.)

We call the city and have the water shut off at the street. In the case of a long term hard freeze, any part of the piping that comes from the city water main is vulnerable to freeze and bursting. This happened to us once when the shut off was in an unheated garage... the pipe burst and the garage flooded... fortunately with no serious damage.

The main shut off (at the street below the frost line) is usually a gate valve, which, over time, can leak, but still keeps the pressure down, and avoids serious flooding.

A small point on shutting off the water. Of course it means shutting off the HWH too. On coming back and turning the water on, we have had a problem in two houses.. relighting the HWH... The solution for us, when pressing the ignition click (snap) the button multiple times quickly. Cost me a $80 service call to find the out... offered here, for free!

One more point on shutting down... Paid $4 for a thermostatically controlled electric switch that I connect to a desk light, set in the window facing my neighbors house. I set the temperature to 35 degrees, so that if the furnace goes off, the light will alert the neighbor.

Will keep the thermometer set at 50 degrees when we leave this year, instead of the 55 degrees in the past.
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Old 10-29-2013, 10:42 AM   #64
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I forgot to say that when we are not at our high-country home, I always shut off the water at the meter, which is at the curb. I also drain the house plumbing.

It's standard practice here to put in the plumbing such that the main hot and cold lines in the basement or crawlspace are sloped towards a lower corner of the ground under the house, and ended up at two outside frost-free faucets. Opening these two faucets will allow draining of the inside plumbing.

One year, we had the water meter frozen. It was 2 ft deep. The record low temperature here was -25F (-32C). I have since run an electric line out there to power a heat tape, although the frozen meter was replaced free of charge by the water co-op.

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