Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Re: How do people secure their homes while traveling (especially in winter)?
Old 02-08-2007, 10:52 AM   #21
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
cute fuzzy bunny's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Losing my whump
Posts: 22,697
Re: How do people secure their homes while traveling (especially in winter)?

Yep, just duct tape it shut and put it out at the curb.
__________________

__________________
Be fearful when others are greedy, and greedy when others are fearful. Just another form of "buy low, sell high" for those who have trouble with things. This rule is not universal. Do not buy a 1973 Pinto because everyone else is afraid of it.
cute fuzzy bunny is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Re: How do people secure their homes while traveling (especially in winter)?
Old 02-08-2007, 11:37 AM   #22
Moderator
Sarah in SC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Charleston, SC
Posts: 13,456
Re: How do people secure their homes while traveling (especially in winter)?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cute Fuzzy Bunny
Yep, just duct tape it shut and put it out at the curb.
Ditto that as a Hugo survivor! Weeks without electricity...yuck! But my dad had to try to save theirs--when the power came back on, he turned the temps lowest possible for a couple of days and then went in with a chemical mask. It was still pretty funky, and didn't pass Mom's sniff test even after he bleached it! Hello....new fridge!
Sarah
__________________

__________________
ďOne day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it's worth watching.Ē
Gerard Arthur Way

Sarah in SC is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: How do people secure their homes while traveling (especially in winter)?
Old 02-08-2007, 11:41 AM   #23
Administrator
W2R's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 38,934
Re: How do people secure their homes while traveling (especially in winter)?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cute Fuzzy Bunny
Yep, just duct tape it shut and put it out at the curb.
In the LBYM spirit, I scrubbed and scrubbed at it (four very thorough cleanings with bleach, charcoal, and every other method I had ever heard of), but the smell had permeated the insulation inside the doors of it and it could not be saved. So, that is exactly what I ended up doing.

Happy end of story - - I got a brand new Kenmore refrigerator (after 8 weeks delivery time due to a bazillion others in front of me on the waiting list). I absolutely love my new refrigerator. It matches the black granite countertops in my kitchen, and my electric bill has gone down, and it has all the features that I wanted.
__________________
Already we are boldly launched upon the deep; but soon we shall be lost in its unshored, harbourless immensities.

- - H. Melville, 1851
W2R is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: How do people secure their homes while traveling (especially in winter)?
Old 02-08-2007, 12:19 PM   #24
Moderator Emeritus
Nords's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Oahu
Posts: 26,620
Re: How do people secure their homes while traveling (especially in winter)?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Want2retire
I never thought anything could be so foul.
Rolls of unused toilet paper immersed in seawater and jammed into the nooks & crannies of an oil-soaked bilge for a couple months. Then spend a couple weeks standing around sniffing and asking "Hunh-- what's that smell doing back here?!?"

Give me a sanitary-tank inspection any day...
__________________
*
*

The book written on E-R.org, "The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement", on sale now! For more info see "About Me" in my profile.
I don't spend much time here anymore, so please send me a PM. Thanks.
Nords is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: How do people secure their homes while traveling (especially in winter)?
Old 02-08-2007, 12:34 PM   #25
Administrator
W2R's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 38,934
Re: How do people secure their homes while traveling (especially in winter)?

Oil and seawater soaked TP, huh? I'll make sure to avoid that!

We didn't have water to clean with for the first 3 weeks or so after Katrina, or electricity so we could see to do it. I opened the refrigerator door once on day 5 to put the contents in garbage bags and take it outside. Oh, the eye-watering, gagging thick stench! It filled my home.

After that, I was certain that I would have to remove the carpet and drywall before I could move back into my home!!! I thought they would be irrevocably permeated with that foul, foul stench, because it was so strong. I was even researching online to find out if the few plaster walls that I have would have to be replaced, as well. But all such drastic measures turned out to be unnecessary.

By now my house doesn't smell at all, as far as I can tell. The new refrigerator is fabulous, and Sears honored a $200 off (national) sale on that model, even though refrigerators were in such great demand in New Orleans in October 2005.
__________________
Already we are boldly launched upon the deep; but soon we shall be lost in its unshored, harbourless immensities.

- - H. Melville, 1851
W2R is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: How do people secure their homes while traveling (especially in winter)?
Old 02-08-2007, 04:42 PM   #26
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 225
Re: How do people secure their homes while traveling (especially in winter)?

Thereís lots of very good information to be found in this thread. Iím chief of police for a small Cape Cod town. Itís remarkable how many homes in my little town (3,100 people live here year round, summer around 20,000) suffer burst pipes over a winter. Iím having my dispatcher research the exact number for me as I type this, as this thread convinced me the subject would be a good one for public dissemination.

The damage that burst pipes do to a home, especially when the water is flowing from an upper floor, is staggering. When I leave for a weekend I shut my water pump and the valve leading from the water tank. Better than nothing. When I retire Iím going to do a few things to protect my home:

Have an alarm installed (and this is a very safe town, really). Include a temperature sensor in the system.

Hire a person to check my home on a regular basis. Nothing is as frustrating as when my guys and fire dept personnel show up to a flooded home, manage to shut off the water supply (we often have to break in to shut down the water pump), and have no one local to contact to start dealing with the situation.

One question for members of the forum. Whatís RV anti-freeze? Would this stuff be OK for a septic system to tolerate?

Thank,

Rich


__________________
Rich is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: How do people secure their homes while traveling (especially in winter)?
Old 02-08-2007, 04:48 PM   #27
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 225
Re: How do people secure their homes while traveling (especially in winter)?

One last thought. Whatever you do prior to leaving for the winter, write it down. That way, when you return, you can easily "reassemble in reverse order."

Rich
__________________
Rich is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: How do people secure their homes while traveling (especially in winter)?
Old 02-08-2007, 08:14 PM   #28
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 225
Re: How do people secure their homes while traveling (especially in winter)?

Since 2002 my town has had 34 homes which suffered burst frozen pipes. Two years saw ten such incidents (the worst two years) and since the start of 2007 we've had four reports of burst pipes. As the weather here has not been above freezing for over a week I suspect the first day we have a meaningful thaw will show us that we have additional homes with the problem.


Rich
__________________
Rich is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: How do people secure their homes while traveling (especially in winter)?
Old 02-09-2007, 09:18 AM   #29
Dryer sheet wannabe
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 20
Re: How do people secure their homes while traveling (especially in winter)?

I've got a second home in the mountains of northern Arizona, which sits unoccupied for months at a time in the winter. I shut off the pump, close the main water supply valve, and drain the supply pipes. I also leave the cabinet doors open under the sinks, to let some warm air in and near the drains. I close off the rooms that have no plumbing, then leave the heat on at 50 F. That heats the core of the house, including the area with the pump and storage tank. The heat is a propane stove which works even in an electrical outage.

My main worry is if the stove should fail. Then I'd freeze the traps, toilets, storage tank, and hot-water heater. The stove has never failed...yet. We did have a 6-week power failure this winter (a squirrel committed suicide on the transformer supplying our house). By the time we returned, our freezer/refrigerators were interesting, to say the least. The propane stove kept things from freezing and just warm enough for the the material in the freezers to experience reincarnation in a fairly disgusting form.

I've seen ads for devices that will sense a low temperature or a power failure, then telephone you and tell you about the problem. The one I see most advertised is "TemperatureGuard".

Does anyone have any experience with these things?
__________________
DW is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: How do people secure their homes while traveling (especially in winter)?
Old 02-09-2007, 09:12 PM   #30
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Okanagan Valley
Posts: 805
Re: How do people secure their homes while traveling (especially in winter)?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich

One question for members of the forum. Whatís RV anti-freeze? Would this stuff be OK for a septic system to tolerate?

Thank,

Rich
RV antifreeze is an antifreeze used by recreation vehicle owners for their potable water systems.... meaning it is not harmful (well, I wouldn't drink any), but means that once drained out, it will not cause humans harm. On that basis, I don't believe it is harmful to septic systems, but may be detrimental in large quantities. A typical home that has been properly drained of water (including fridge and laundry washer lines) should not need more than 2 or 3 gallons of the stuff...if that.

I would ask an RV dealer or even a plumbing contractor that question regarding harm to septic tanks.
__________________
AltaRed is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: How do people secure their homes while traveling (especially in winter)?
Old 02-10-2007, 09:14 AM   #31
Moderator Emeritus
Martha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: minnesota
Posts: 13,212
Re: How do people secure their homes while traveling (especially in winter)?

In our old cabin when we would winterize we would put rv antifreeze in the traps. The amount involved should not harm septic systems. We had a gravity drain system so it was easy to drain the fresh water system and could do so in a matter of minutes.

One of the upsides to living in our apartment when we leave during the winter we have a trusted tenant take care of the building when we are gone.
__________________
.


No more lawyer stuff, no more political stuff, so no more CYA

Martha is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: How do people secure their homes while traveling (especially in winter)?
Old 02-10-2007, 10:16 AM   #32
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 225
Re: How do people secure their homes while traveling (especially in winter)?

OK, this is weird. This morning the water purifier unit (not sure of its correct name) went on. Shortly after I went down to the basement to get something. A line from the unit (a translucent plastic one) had just sprung a pin-hole leak and was making the whole floor wet. Turned the by-pass valve and it eventually stopped leaking. Plumber coming, but man, talk about timing.

Don't want to think about what would have happened had we been away for a couple of days/weeks....
__________________
Rich is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: How do people secure their homes while traveling (especially in winter)?
Old 02-10-2007, 10:22 AM   #33
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
cute fuzzy bunny's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Losing my whump
Posts: 22,697
Re: How do people secure their homes while traveling (especially in winter)?

Sounds like the drain line for flushing the membrane. Its just a piece of regular flexible plastic line and should just have a hose clamp holding it in on either end. When we had a softener i replaced that every few years 'just because'.
__________________
Be fearful when others are greedy, and greedy when others are fearful. Just another form of "buy low, sell high" for those who have trouble with things. This rule is not universal. Do not buy a 1973 Pinto because everyone else is afraid of it.
cute fuzzy bunny is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: How do people secure their homes while traveling (especially in winter)?
Old 02-10-2007, 10:24 AM   #34
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Outtahere's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 1,677
Re: How do people secure their homes while traveling (especially in winter)?

Anything can happen while you're away. We spent two weeks in FL, the 4th day there my dad called to tell us the furnace was acting up. The forcast was for below 0 weather so he set up space heaters in the cellar and the house (dog wouldn't stay with them) and had it fixed the next day. I can't even imagine the mess we would have come home to had we boarded the dog and just left. As much as dh complains about living next to FIL more times than not he's grateful he's there.
__________________

Dogs aren't our whole lives, but they make our lives whole. - Roger Caras
Outtahere is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: How do people secure their homes while traveling (especially in winter)?
Old 02-10-2007, 12:22 PM   #35
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 91
Re: How do people secure their homes while traveling (especially in winter)?

We have hot water heat. So it needs to be left on. Woudn't those pipes burst as well if the house froze?
__________________
ZMAN is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: How do people secure their homes while traveling (especially in winter)?
Old 02-10-2007, 12:39 PM   #36
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 844
Re: How do people secure their homes while traveling (especially in winter)?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZMAN
We have hot water heat. So it needs to be left on. Woudn't those pipes burst as well if the house froze?
Yes, in a worst case scenario. Sometimes FHW systems have anti-freeze instead of water, but unless you specifically called for it, its probably water. If the heat goes out long enough, your whole system can freeze up. Happened to me in my first house 20 years ago...not fun.

__________________
farmerEd is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: How do people secure their homes while traveling (especially in winter)?
Old 02-10-2007, 10:15 PM   #37
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 225
Re: How do people secure their homes while traveling (especially in winter)?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cute Fuzzy Bunny
Sounds like the drain line for flushing the membrane. Its just a piece of regular flexible plastic line and should just have a hose clamp holding it in on either end. When we had a softener i replaced that every few years 'just because'.
That's what it was. The plumber fixed it by cutting the bad part of the line and reconnecting it. He told me it would only have leaked while the unit was working. Still....
__________________
Rich is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: How do people secure their homes while traveling (especially in winter)?
Old 02-11-2007, 06:36 AM   #38
Full time employment: Posting here.
UncleHoney's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Columbus
Posts: 769
Re: How do people secure their homes while traveling (especially in winter)?

Quote:
Originally Posted by magellan
Hello,

I'd really like to be able to monitor the inside temperature remotely, but I haven't found a good solution that's priced right.

Jim
I didn't read this thread till this morning so maybe I'm a little late, usually the case duh.

For an inexensive way to monitor house temperature try this. Find an OLD mechanical thermostat, one without mercury contacts, that you can set for a temperature you would never expect the house to get to, like 45.

Wire a 470 ohm resistor in series with the thermostat and connect it to your phone lines, only takes two wires. Locate the thermostat where it gets good air circulation. Remember to set the thermostat for a temperature you would never expect in the house.

The 470 ohm resistor is the secret to the whole thing. If the thermostat ever closes and the 470 ohm resistor is connected across the phone lines it will look like a phone is off the hook and any caller will get a busy signal.

I used the system for years to check on my parents house when they were in Florida every winter. Sure beat driving 12 miles to see if the furnace was working.

UH
__________________
100% retired and working hard at it.
UncleHoney is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: How do people secure their homes while traveling (especially in winter)?
Old 02-11-2007, 02:07 PM   #39
Dryer sheet wannabe
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 20
Re: How do people secure their homes while traveling (especially in winter)?

Quote:
For an inexensive way to monitor house temperature try this. Find an OLD mechanical thermostat...
Clever. I bet I've even got an old bimetal-strip thermometer sitting around somewhere.

Thanks.
__________________
DW is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: How do people secure their homes while traveling (especially in winter)?
Old 02-11-2007, 04:52 PM   #40
Moderator Emeritus
Nords's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Oahu
Posts: 26,620
Re: How do people secure their homes while traveling (especially in winter)?

Quote:
Originally Posted by UncleHoney
Wire a 470 ohm resistor
Am I the only engineering curmudgeon wondering where we'd even go to buy a 470-ohm resistor these days, let alone find someone under the age of 40 to show us the color chart to verify it's the right resistance?

Sometimes when I'm stuck in Radio Shack (while my teen oohs & aaahs over the cell phones) I'll drift over to the electronics supplies (what's left of them) and ask the first clerk to offer assistance to please gimme a MOSFET for an IC breadboard. On a bad day I'll strike out the entire team, including the shift manager who thinks I want to go to a grocery store...

Ironically I bet any of those people could sell me a $69.99 black box that'll phone me when the house temperature drops below 45 degrees.
__________________

__________________
*
*

The book written on E-R.org, "The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement", on sale now! For more info see "About Me" in my profile.
I don't spend much time here anymore, so please send me a PM. Thanks.
Nords is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Ideas on how to keep home secure when traveling in ER chinaco Other topics 5 05-13-2007 10:04 AM
So why do most people turn off their brains when financial issues come up? HobbyDave FIRE and Money 51 01-05-2007 02:41 PM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:36 AM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.