Shutting off main water supply

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Old 12-28-13, 05:12 AM
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Shutting off main water supply

I've got a question about what the experts think about shutting off the main water supply when leaving the house for a week.

Gas water heater, and a gas boiler. Gas boiler would be left on, WH could be turned off or set to vacation mode i guess.

Would this be any cause for concern? The boiler shouldn't need any make up water... But what if it did? If it over pressurized and purged? The lwco would stop it from firing if it ever got too low?

Everything is working fine now and i see no issues but is there anything that i should look out for? Or test any components of the system? Or just not worry about it

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Old 12-28-13, 06:16 AM
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Do you have a LWCO???? It would be damned if you do, damned if you don't. Shut it off and you risk a dry fire if leaking if no LWCO, leave it on and risk a flood. Both are probably very low risk things for happening. Personally I would leave it on. Most leaks are not catastrophic and start slow and at least you would have heat and not risk pipes freezing and bursting. You could also get one of those leak detectors that call your phone too. I have always left mine on when leave.
 
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Old 12-28-13, 06:51 AM
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I think you're right, there is no lwco
 
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Old 12-28-13, 09:06 AM
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So is the gas valve safety enough to rely on? Would a no water situation cause a high temp shut off?

I am still leaning towards shutting off the main supply...
 
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Old 12-28-13, 09:40 AM
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So is the gas valve safety enough to rely on?
Which 'gas valve safety' are you referring to?

Would a no water situation cause a high temp shut off?
No, not reliably.

I am still leaning towards shutting off the main supply...
Let me ask this:

How long have you lived with the system and had the water valve turned ON to the system? Is there any reason for you to believe that the system may all of a sudden spring a leak while you are gone?

Which would you rather;

Possible dry fire of the boiler and subsequent damage to the boiler and possible house fire?

Water damage to the building from a possible leak?

Just some things to think about.

Do you not have a trusted neighbor, relative, or friend who could look in on the home while you are gone?
 
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Old 12-28-13, 10:15 AM
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Well i'm not sure what i am talking about, thats why i am asking the experts...

I guess i was referring to the high temp shut off of the aqua-stat. The only gas valve safety is the fact that it should shut off if the pilot goes out?

Ok so its about risk. And probabilities.

I've lived here about 4 years, its an older system but its been reliable. I have turned off the main water supply multiple times each year for various reasons.

I hear about toilet supply lines leaking, washing machine supplies bursting, old copper pipes springing pinhole leaks, etc.

A house fire would be worse than flood damage.

I do have people that can look in on the house, but maybe not everyday.

So i hear people say that you should turn the water supply off when you leave for even a couple of days. Do you disagree? Is the dry fire probability and the fact there would be nothing to stop it, out weigh the flood risk ( which seems more probable, but less damaging)?

What do most people do? And what do people who know what they are talking about do?
 
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Old 12-28-13, 11:12 AM
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So i hear people say that you should turn the water supply off when you leave for even a couple of days. Do you disagree?
It's hard to agree or disagree with different people's level of caution. I don't think that if I was on city water that I would turn off the main when leaving for a few days or a week. I'm on a private well myself and I DO turn off the well pump controller when I leave for vacation, along with the water heater... but I don't go on vacation during the winter so don't have to worry about the heating.

I DO run my boiler system with the feed valve to it turned OFF, but I am very anal about keeping watchdog on the gauges...

The reason that the aquastat can't really be relied on to shut down the boiler is that for one thing, even if it DID shut it down, as soon as it cooled it would allow it to fire up again.

Low water needs to be a 'latching' fault.

Generally speaking, if the boiler is dry and it fires up, it would be quite some time before the aquastat probe got hot enough to shut it down... by the time the upper part of the boiler got to 180 or whatever, I'm sure the damage would already be done to parts closer to the flame.

Ok so its about risk. And probabilities.
Just like real life!

What do most people do? And what do people who know what they are talking about do?
I guess the same as you! Weigh the risks and probabilities and make a 'best decision' they can based on what they know.
 
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