Leave home = turn water off

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  #1  
Old 01-11-14, 06:51 AM
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Leave home = turn water off

Needless to say, with -2 F. Tues morning, I had nothing to do, yeah right. I can't stress enough if you leave home for a few days, or go on vacation, turn your water heater off and disable the water from outside the house!!

My guys Spent Tues, Wed, and part of Thu piecing water pipes together so people could function. Proper repairs and relocation comes later.

Got home yesterday early. Shoulder killing me. Another call to estimate repairs due to water damage. Saddle up.

Three story house, finished basement, plus attic. Humidifier unit on attic air handler froze Tues. they got home Thurs. 1/2" line pumping for 3 days with gravity taking it to all floors.

800 sf carpet, 1200 sf hardwood, baseboards (custom), general repairs. Luckily one of the water and mold companies were spot on and got things dried out. Then hardwoods start buckling.

Insurance has given the OK to R&R it all. I haven't finished my estimate, but I am at $65k so far.

Point. Water is not your friend. It can be a problem if you are home. If you are away, the word "problem" escalates.
 
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  #2  
Old 01-11-14, 07:49 AM
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People shouldn't live where it gets that cold. There have been some issues like that for people that live up in the mountains nearby. Homes were built just like the ones 3000ft lower. Insulated against the heat in summer in living spaces...but not cold in winter. Frozen pipes in the attic, garage, hose bibs, etc. My neighbor has a second home where it gets a little colder that he spends 2-3 days a week in and was amazed when I put those foam and plastic hose bib covers on mine. Didn't even know they made such things. Asked him how the pipes were run. Wide open in the attic, no pipe wrap at all. He still has to go up there when the temps drop in the 20's (maybe 5-6 days a year) and open faucets and such. We're both too broken down to be climbing around in the attic and adding heat tapes and insulation.
 
  #3  
Old 01-11-14, 08:16 AM
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These plunging deep freeze blasts have been plaguing people for years.

Larry....they were probably on a well right ? It cost them to flood their house too.
 
  #4  
Old 01-11-14, 08:56 AM
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People do live where it is that that cold and they plumb it so that pipes don't freeze. Here's a tip: keep the pipes inside the heated space!

Also use frost proof hose bibs that shut the water off inside the house.
 
  #5  
Old 01-11-14, 09:33 AM
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-2 in GA is unusual. Can't say I fault anyone too much done there for these things. I will say that air handlers in attics is dumb no matter what the climate. If the thermal boundary is at the roof line, then it is ok. It usually isn't.
 
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Old 01-11-14, 10:17 AM
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Pete, they are on county water, and yes it cost them! County matches water usage with sewer, so if you use 300 gallons of water you are billed at 600 gallons

We are on a well, but I just flip the well and water heater breakers when we go out of town. pet sitter has 20 gallons of pressurized water to water pets and knows to flip breaker if she needs more. I can live with a 20 gallon leak better than a multiple thousand undetected leak.
 
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Old 01-12-14, 09:43 AM
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A phone call should help the sewer portion of the bill.
 
  #8  
Old 01-12-14, 10:12 AM
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If people didn't live where it gets that cold, we'd have to rent a big bus to get us all out of Canada.

We just got snowed in to town for 4-5 days last week. 15' deep drifts on the road that the plows couldn't even get through. All roads in and out of town closed for 4 days. Now it's sunny, warm (above 0C) and raining and we've got barns collapsing under the weight of the snow.
 
  #9  
Old 01-14-14, 07:42 AM
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Wow. I timed mine, it comes out at a gallon every 22 seconds. IF it were wide open, probably just a slit though, it comes to 11,781 gallons in three days.

What kind of pipe broke, plastic?
 
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Old 01-14-14, 08:21 AM
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I think it was the 1/4" plastic supply. Hey, bunches of water fell!
 
  #11  
Old 01-14-14, 09:05 AM
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Surprising that more people don't use heat tape in attics & crawl spaces. Because they are switched by an in-line thermostat it won't ever cost a dime if the temps never fall--but will save your butt if they ever do ;-)

I just wonder how reliable an old heat tape would be that sits there un-needed for 20 years or more...?
 
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Old 01-14-14, 09:12 AM
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I use heat tape at my house and never had a frozen pipe.
 
  #13  
Old 01-14-14, 10:54 AM
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how reliable an old heat tape would be that sits there un-needed for 20 years or more
I think the heat tape under my house is 15-20 yrs old and best I can tell it still works like it should.
 
  #14  
Old 01-14-14, 02:33 PM
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I think the heat tape under my house is 15-20 yrs old and best I can tell it still works like it should.
I would guess you have the type with the thermostat outside the insulation and senses the outside temp? Anytime the outside temp is below 40 or whatever the tape came on and stayed on. Yes, I've had them last a very long time.

I'm not too crazy about the new 'energy efficient' ones with the thermostat under the insulation and senses the pipe temperature....on/off/on/off. I just had one crap out after maybe 3 years.

Maybe these new ones save a few pennies but I sure don't care to be under there every few winters installing a new one.
 
  #15  
Old 01-14-14, 02:48 PM
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I think it was the 1/4" plastic supply. Hey, bunches of water fell!

I'm sure! I think you may have to hire a few more guys, sounds like a huge job.
 
  #16  
Old 01-14-14, 03:14 PM
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Since he coaches the local college baseball team....hey, good strong backs...should be a snap on demo. Haven't thought about install yet.
 
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