Protecting the pipes from freezing when I'm traveling

danlyJanuary 25, 2014


I'm going to be traveling a lot for work, sleeping away from home for a few days at a time.

Can anyone please suggest some ways I can protect the house in case the power goes out while I'm away, or if the furnace decides to stop working?

I need a generator, but I'm also interested in a secondary back up heater that can auto start. What are some options there?
I know there is an alarm you can get that calls you if the temperature falls below a certain number.

Maybe just not worry about it so much? Will homeowners insurance cover burst pipes as long as I keep my furnace maintained?

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Sophie Wheeler

Turn off the water , drain the pipes and water heater. Every. Single. Time. Its the best way. Having a gnerator come on while you are not there to monitor it is dangerous. At best, it's wasteful of resources and finances.

And have your computers and TVs and othe energy hogs on a switch or power strip where you can also easily turn them off when you leave home for an extended period. Use a NEST or other smart integrated interface if you want to be abe to do it all by remote and spend a lot more money than just doing it manually.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2014 at 10:58AM
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Here is some correct information.

Here is a link that might be useful: Article

    Bookmark   January 25, 2014 at 11:56AM
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IMHO that article has some errors and mistakes....

I am not an RVer, but GOTO the forums at and read up on how those folks winterize their RV's.... this includes addressing toilets, sink traps, etc, etc.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2014 at 12:19PM
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You are referring to the practices of the RV folks. And obviously they work. But some of it is overkill. After 40 years experience as a landlord plus a full year of college physics as part of my degree, I do agree with the article as it relates to the plumbing supply system. It does not address commodes which can be damaged by freezing solid due to the shape of the passages. A wet-or dry vacuum empties the bowl in seconds.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2014 at 3:59PM
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bus-driver said, " a full year of college physics as part of my degree"

Well that pretty much says it all, doesn't it?

I'm sure the OP, danly, will remember your post if a severe freeze and power loss occurs while he/she is on the road.

This post was edited by saltidawg on Sat, Jan 25, 14 at 21:27

    Bookmark   January 25, 2014 at 6:16PM
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saltidawg, give us a succinct explanation of the latent heat of fusion of water, one of the simplest concepts in physics. And how the properties of water cause it to change state slowly. And how that slowness can be used to great advantage in avoiding freeze damage.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2014 at 10:04PM
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