heat and water in second home


Old 01-01-05, 06:37 PM
Sam R
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heat and water in second home

I recently purchased a second home about 100 miles from my house. I plan to go there every other weekend or so until Summer and then will go every weekend. My concern is how to protect it during the winter from freeze-ups between visits. The heating system is hot water by gas. The local plumbing supply people tell me that when I leave I should shut off the water just before the meter where it comes into the house but leave the heat set to no lower than 60 degrees and to also leave cabinet doors open under kitchen and bathroom sinks. They also recommended that I buy a monitor that hooks up to the telephone that will alert me when the temperature drops below a pre-set value or when there is a power failure. This way, if there ever was a problem, at least I'm not dealing with extensive water damage. It does seem like a reasonable solution since I do plan to go to the house throughout the winter. Does this sound o.k.? What are the risks?
Also, there is a 12 by 15 foot room over an unheated and poorly insulated one car garage that is on its own zone. The supply and return pipes leave the baseboard and run horizontally for two to three feet or so into unfinished and unheated space behind the room and then down to the basement to the boiler via an inside wall that I believe is insulated. There is a small access door (maybe 14 by 15 inches or so) to the pipes that I leave open and I set the heat in this room to 66 degrees when I leave. Does this sound o.k.?
Thanks for listening.
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Old 01-02-05, 05:20 AM
KField's Avatar
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I think you should protect the plumbing as already suggested but I would strongly advise having propylene glycol anti-freeze added to the hot water heating system. A low water cutoff would also be advisable on the boiler. If power fails, or boiler fails, you will nit burst the heating pipes and then the plumbers will have a heated place to work on the other pipes. If a leak occurs in the heating system, the low water cutoff will protect the boiler from dry firing. It would be money well spent.

Old 01-12-05, 02:36 PM
Sam R
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Thanks, Ken.
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