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Old 10-31-2014, 12:24 PM   #21
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"Putters"=computer. Probably have some debate if plural requires two "t's" ;-)

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Old 10-31-2014, 02:03 PM   #22
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I do pretty much as described. We heat to about 50. Place is very well insulated and built into rock which provides a decent amount of heat. Pump off, all faucets open. Don't blow the lines though. One thing I don't do is antifreeze the toilets and cellophane the bowls. I have thought of it. I go up one or twice in the winter - I'd hate to forget that I had put the cellophane on! Also unplug all electronics. Empty fridge, leave doors ajar and flip breaker off. I used to have a telephone freeze alarm but after the first few years I stopped using it. A neighbour who lives nearby looks in now and then although last year had trouble getting in due to the snow depth. Never had any problems but there are worries leaving it to the elements. Do try to mice proof it as much as possible too.
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Old 10-31-2014, 03:08 PM   #23
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That's a new use, to me, of the term "putter." What is it?

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Computer would be my guess.
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Old 10-31-2014, 03:47 PM   #24
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One related question: Do you turn the shut off the water to the washing machine when not in use? I did not do so in Houston, and had to have a plumber out to get a new washer (put in a new valve). Now because of all the stories I turn the valves off when the washer is not running.
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Old 10-31-2014, 07:07 PM   #25
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I do pretty much as described. We heat to about 50. Place is very well insulated and built into rock which provides a decent amount of heat. Pump off, all faucets open. Don't blow the lines though. One thing I don't do is antifreeze the toilets and cellophane the bowls. I have thought of it. I go up one or twice in the winter - I'd hate to forget that I had put the cellophane on! Also unplug all electronics. Empty fridge, leave doors ajar and flip breaker off. I used to have a telephone freeze alarm but after the first few years I stopped using it. A neighbour who lives nearby looks in now and then although last year had trouble getting in due to the snow depth. Never had any problems but there are worries leaving it to the elements. Do try to mice proof it as much as possible too.
Regarding the cling wrap - absolutely have thought of that scenario - I put the tank tops on top of the closed bowl lids as a big hint. The cling wrap and clorox have cut mold growth in the toilet bowls a bunch.
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Old 10-31-2014, 07:12 PM   #26
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One related question: Do you turn the shut off the water to the washing machine when not in use? I did not do so in Houston, and had to have a plumber out to get a new washer (put in a new valve). Now because of all the stories I turn the valves off when the washer is not running.
You buy washing machine hoses that have a braided steel outer layer. Probably a good idea in any case.

GE 4 ft. Stainless Steel Universal Washer Hoses (2-Pack)-PM14X10005DS at The Home Depot
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Old 10-31-2014, 07:32 PM   #27
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Just turn off the main valve, that will prevent washer lines from causing damage if they break. No need to drain the lines, since you will have heat. You can get a freeze protector that will notify you if somethings happens.
Yes, this is what we do when we leave our house in Michigan for two months each winter. I keep the heat at about 54 degrees while we are gone. I purchased a temperature monitoring device that lets me check the house temp. from any computer or smartphone, and that works great. You do need to have a computer router that is on at the house for this to work. If the furnace fails and the house temp. starts to drop, I should know it before any serious damage is done, and can call my neighbor to go over and check things out asap. I have a couple of small electric infrared heaters that can be turned on for a short while to keep the house warm enough to keep pipes from freezing, until the furnace can be fixed (haven't had to use them yet, but you never know). Alternatively, if you have a landline phone, you can buy a device that monitors temp. and phones three different numbers if the temp. drops below a pre-set temperature. We have no landline phone here, so that wouldn't work for us. We've done this for 4 winters now, and have had no problems.
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Old 10-31-2014, 09:16 PM   #28
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.... clorox have cut mold growth in the toilet bowls a bunch....
We're planning to use those Clorox thingies that go into the flush tank & use them for a while before we leave to prevent the mold in the bowl.
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Old 10-31-2014, 09:30 PM   #29
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I check my AC in the summer remotely by checking electricity usage through the elect co website. If my usage is consistent with the previous year, then I figure my AC is working ok


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Old 10-31-2014, 10:39 PM   #30
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We're planning to use those Clorox thingies that go into the flush tank & use them for a while before we leave to prevent the mold in the bowl.
As a landlord I hate those in the tank clorox thingies - really hard on most of the rubber components - flapper valve, washers for the toilet tank - be warned. I just shut off the valve, hold down the flush lever, plunge as much water as I can, pour in a cup or so of clorox in the bowl and swirl it up onto the sides with a brush, then add the pink antifreeze, which loses it's pink color (thus also not staining the porcelain pink).
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Old 10-31-2014, 10:45 PM   #31
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As a landlord I hate those in the tank clorox thingies - really hard on most of the rubber components - flapper valve, washers for the toilet tank - be warned. I just shut off the valve, hold down the flush lever, plunge as much water as I can, pour in a cup or so of clorox in the bowl and swirl it up onto the sides with a brush, then add the pink antifreeze, which loses it's pink color (thus also not staining the porcelain pink).
To boot on recent tank valve packaging is a statement that using those tablets voids the warranty on the valve.
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Old 11-01-2014, 08:25 AM   #32
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One related question: Do you turn the shut off the water to the washing machine when not in use? I did not do so in Houston, and had to have a plumber out to get a new washer (put in a new valve). Now because of all the stories I turn the valves off when the washer is not running.
I assume you mean generally rather than when putting a house to bed for the season? If so, we don't even though we have the washer plumbed with a simple single throw valve that turns off the water to the washer. We've never had a problem.

If you are talking about where one puts a house to bed for the season, it would be redundant if you turn off the main and the electricity to the well pump (if applicable).
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Old 11-01-2014, 09:18 AM   #33
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I assume you mean generally rather than when putting a house to bed for the season? If so, we don't even though we have the washer plumbed with a simple single throw valve that turns off the water to the washer. We've never had a problem.

If you are talking about where one puts a house to bed for the season, it would be redundant if you turn off the main and the electricity to the well pump (if applicable).
I was thinking of the day to day issue. After all if one is gone for a couple of hours and a hose bursts it can still do a lot of damage.
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Old 11-01-2014, 10:37 AM   #34
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If your home is in a rural fire district with no hydrants, then turning off your water leaves the fire dept. with no water source if your home should catch fire.

Anyone know how the Insurance Companies are likely to deal with such a situation?

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Old 11-01-2014, 12:24 PM   #35
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If your home is in a rural fire district with no hydrants, then turning off your water leaves the fire dept. with no water source if your home should catch fire.

Anyone know how the Insurance Companies are likely to deal with such a situation?

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I'd like to hear opinions on this. Our well provides only about 3 GPM once the reserve of ~ 20 gallons is used, that won't do much for a fire in progress, unless it's a really small one.

They have pumpers and there are nearby swimming pools and retention ponds with a hook up to draw from, but from what I've heard, once a house has a significant fire going, it's gone. And water damage might be as bad as the fire.

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Old 11-01-2014, 12:49 PM   #36
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Rural area where my parents live, the fire company uses water tanker truck and will pump water from my parents pond and pool. When I was young, I remember a field fire where the fire company had hoses running from two different directions. One hose to my parents pond and another hose to a neighbor's pond about 1/4 mile away. My parents have 3 wells (1 house, 1 carriage house, 1 barn) and I never remember the fire companies using the wells. Have to ask my Dad.
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Old 11-01-2014, 12:58 PM   #37
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No pools or ponds nearby...but that isn't really what I was asking. I wondered if insurance companies would refuse to pay for fire damage, if the homeowner didn't leave the water on. We do pay a higher HOI premium because there are no hydrants.

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Rural area where my parents live, the fire company uses water tanker truck and will pump water from my parents pond and pool.
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Old 11-01-2014, 01:01 PM   #38
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No pools or ponds nearby...but that isn't really what I was asking. I wondered if insurance companies would refuse to pay for fire damage, if the homeowner didn't leave the water on. We do pay a higher HOI premium because there are no hydrants.

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The pipe that delivers water to a home is too small for firefighting. The firemen either hook up to a hydrant or use a truck with it's own water tank.
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Old 11-01-2014, 01:51 PM   #39
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Makes sense. Either way, we'd literally be toast...the same neighbors who wouldn't notice we were dead, would not notice the house was on fire until it was way too late to call the FD. So all I care about is whether the insurance would pay off.

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The pipe that delivers water to a home is too small for firefighting. The firemen either hook up to a hydrant or use a truck with it's own water tank.
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Old 11-01-2014, 02:08 PM   #40
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Our condo has this www.flologic.com. It's pretty neat. If it senses certain flows of water, a motor (with battery backup) turns the water off. It is good for places that might be unoccupied for a period of time, but it is also good for small leaks that might happen in an area of the house you don't visit often. It distinguishes between normal water use and a leak.
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