Am I Overly Cautious

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  #1  
Old 07-17-11, 08:39 PM
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Question Am I Overly Cautious

When I leave my home for three days or longer, I always---
1) Turn the water main off
2) Turn off power to ALL unnecessary 220 appliances.
3) Two timers set to control lights and radio.
4) Unplug all unnecessary 110 items.
5) Turn Central unit up or down.
6) Have neighbor collect mail and newspaper.
7) Disconnect and unplug computer and TV sets.
8) Every time I leave my home, I sat my home security system.

I have never had a breakin or had items stolen from my property but I also don't leave items outside in easy reach.
My wife and kids laugh and say I am overly cautious and all this is not necessary.

I say if I have time why not
 
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  #2  
Old 07-17-11, 09:44 PM
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Cautious, yes, overly cautious, not really.

I suspect that few people are as cautious as you but they are also the ones that might come home to a flooded house or worse.

I don't know that I have been away for more than a couple of days since I got Internet access at home but back in the days when I might take a week or two vacation I would do something similar to you. If at all possible I would also have someone check the house every few days just to be sure that no one had decided to take up "squatter's rights".
 
  #3  
Old 07-18-11, 05:02 AM
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Giles, I do everything you do with the exception of 4 and 7. Since I have animals that need feeding, I also have someone come by everyday to do that and check on things.
 
  #4  
Old 07-18-11, 05:24 AM
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I do think that you are overly cautious. I don't see the necessity of unplugging appliances or shutting off the water main. Consider how many times an appliance has caused a fire in your home or how many times you've been flooded out while you were on vacation.

When we leave for a vacation I stop the mail and shut off the water to our washing machine and I think the washing machine thing is probably unecessary. And I lock the door, something we don't usually do.
 
  #5  
Old 07-18-11, 08:09 AM
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...shut off the water to our washing machine and I think the washing machine thing is probably unecessary.
Truth is, the water to the washing machine should be shut off at all times except when it is actually in use. This is usually stated in the instruction manual and also by all insurance companies. I doubt that 10% of the populace actually DOES shut off the water to these machines. My mother was the only person I have known that did it religiously.
 
  #6  
Old 07-18-11, 09:15 AM
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Furd - That may have been true years ago when most hoses were rubber. Braided hoses are much more reliable. The requirement to shut off the supply after each use may vary from manufacturers and insurance providers. My Whirlpool washer operating instructions has a caution to shut the supply when not in use for an extended period. Both installation and operating instructions mention replacing the hoses at 5 years. My HO insurance is silent about the washer supplies.

I've had a washing machine for 45 years and never had a hose burst but when we used the old rubber hoses I replaced them religiously. I dutifully shut the supply whenever we left for vacation. I kept doing it even after I switched to braided. I replace the braided hoses every 5 years or so and I suspect that's also a waste of time and money.

We don't shut sink, tub, toilet, shower, vanity supplies after each use? The reason - the materials are reliable and rare failures are unlikely to be catastrophic.
 
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Old 07-18-11, 04:00 PM
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If we leave for a weekend out of town, I shut off the well pump breaker. It allows the lady who takes care of the critters to have 25 gallons of water under pressure for watering, etc. If she needs more, she knows where the breaker panel is.
In my line of work, I have had my share of water damage repairs. Some small, some not. It scares the bejeebers out of me to think anyone would leave the house unattended with water pressure on.
Giles, you are cautious....overly cautious, borderline, but you don't need counseling or anything
My laptop goes with me, so I do unplug wifey's, and I unplug the cord to the strip on the AV equipment.
Remember, just turning things off at the breaker won't stop a lightening strike from damaging sensitive equipment.
 
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Old 07-18-11, 04:43 PM
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I get a quarterly newsletter from my homeowner's insurance company. At least once a year there is an article stating that claims of water damage as a result of burst washing machine hoses are among the top ten insurance claims across the nation. (It could have been THE top claim, I don't remember.) This insurance company suggests (they can't compel you) turning off the water supply when not using the machine AND replacing the hoses on a periodic basis.

That stated, I have never seen nor ever heard from a personal acquaintance of a hose bursting. While my mother was religious in turning off the water when finished I don't know ANYONE else that does. I don't and I only have a single hose on my machine with a quarter-turn valve.

...when most hoses were rubber. Braided hoses are much more reliable
My sister got a brand new washer and dryer in March and it has RUBBER hoses. The "braided" hoses only have the stainless steel braided COVER. Obviously a braided hose cannot contain water under pressure so underneath that shiny braid is a tube that is actually the pressure conveying part of the hose. The cover is to protect that tube. Now what is the tube made of? I don't know, maybe in some hoses it is PEX. Maybe in other hoses it is EPDM or polyethylene or vinyl or maybe even rubber, either natural or synthetic. Some of the less-expensive "braided" hoses used to connect faucets are not even stainless steel braid but some form of plastic. While i have never personally seen it I HAVE heard of "braided" hoses failing at the connector.

I don't shut the water off on my machine when not in use. It would be VERY easy to do so but like I stated in the previous post I doubt if 10% of the populace with washing machines turns off the water when not in use. I've never changed the hose, either. Maybe because it is a PEX tubing it is better than a "regular rubber hose" but what if the fittings come undone? As I recall it is just a brass nut on the hose with an O-ring inside the nut.

But the original question was asking if a person that turned off their water was being OVERLY cautious and I still say no.
 
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Old 07-18-11, 06:11 PM
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I guess my biggest problem is that I am a Tool&Die Maker and it has made me somewhat of a perfectionist.
I am just aware of how cheap most items are made today, especially since they are made in China. Not only can a W/M hose burst, the plastic Chinese made connector and the mixing valve can fail.
About three years ago, I went out of town for three days and I went through my ritual of cutoffs.
When we returned I went to the basement and turned on the water. My wife and I set down to eat our lunch and that took about 15 minutes.
To our surprise, water started dripping from the celing onto the table. I jumped up to check out the leak and found thet the Whirlpool double door refrigerator, that was about 1 1/2 years old, was squirting water in the floor
The refrigerator was the kind that had water and ice dispenser in the door and it malfunctuned.
Of course I will never know if cutting the water supply caused this problem--but I seriously dought it, but what if I had not turned the water off
For some reason "Murphy's Law" is a way of life with me
 
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Old 07-18-11, 06:49 PM
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Giles, I did a wall tile job in a galley kitchen for a client once. He unhooked the refrigerator and moved it out of the way for me. After I finished he put everything back in place. Like Clint Eastwood says "a man's got to know his limitations". I don't put things back unless I took them out to begin with.
Anyway, they left for Florida for the winter...didn't turn the water supply off to the house....ice maker hose wasn't on good. From the kitchen through the entire house all flooring, subflooring, joists had to be replaced or sistered. It leaked for 5 months
As a casual aside to my customers from Floriduh I always ask if they turn their water off when they leave. You'd be surprised to know half don't. We worked on a house today....owners live in Atlanta and only come up occasionally. We needed water for concrete. Lo and behold all the faucets were charged !!
 
  #11  
Old 07-19-11, 05:07 AM
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Just for the record, anytime we go away overnight or more, I pull the switch to the pumps. I confess I don't know what the average snowbird does in their winter home down here that's vacant for 6-9 months.

I also do several of the other items on giles' list, although not all of them.
 
  #12  
Old 07-19-11, 04:28 PM
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Originally Posted by the_tow_guy View Post
I don't know what the average snowbird does in their winter home down here that's vacant for 6-9 months.
Same dadgum thing they do up here for their getaway homes......nothing!!!
 
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