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Extended time away - water shutoff? Vehicle?

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Extended time away - water shutoff? Vehicle?

If you're away from home for the winter (say 3 months), would you shut off the water main?

What about your vehicle? Just leave it parked in the garage or?

Any other tips?
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Apr 18, 2005
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Definitely water shut off.. and keep your house at least at 15c to prevent other stuff (furniture) etc from cracking.

Car.. battery tender and maybe even lift it a bit to prevent flat spotting.
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Feb 11, 2007
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cessnabmw wrote: If you're away from home for the winter (say 3 months), would you shut off the water main?

What about your vehicle? Just leave it parked in the garage or?

Any other tips?
Yes, shutoff water.
Yes, park car in garage, disconnect battery terminal.
Have someone check on the house regularly, or at least have a webcam to monitor it.
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Thanks! Do I need someone to maybe drive the car around for a bit every week or is it ok to just sit for 3 months with battery disconnected?
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Best to drive around to roll tires/start the car every month by relatives. If you do, then don;t disconnect car battery.
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cessnabmw wrote: Thanks! Do I need someone to maybe drive the car around for a bit every week or is it ok to just sit for 3 months with battery disconnected?
What car/year is it? It should be fine for 3 months no driving. If you want someone to drive it, they will need to drive it every 2 weeks, for at least 25min to get everything fully up to temperature.
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inflate the tires to the max psi on the sidewall.
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TomLafinsky wrote: 1) Shut of main valve

2) Drain water from pipes and flush toilet (after shutting off valve). So if ever house reach freezing temp you won't have burst pipes. Also drain the water heater a little bit (maybe 5 gal AND make sure to fill it up properly on your return to get the air out of the tank- iow, open hot water faucet while filling up tank).

3) Check with your insurance - mine requires someone to enter the house every 4 days max to make sure furnace is fine in winter. Otherwise no coverage.

4) Is your garage heated or fully insulated? You don't need to do more than a battery charger connected to the battery. I own 4 vehicles and only connect to a battery charger (CTEK) when I don't use it for at least 5 months. 3 months won't drain your battery, unless vehicle is exposed to -20C during all that time. And I've been doing that for 20 years.

There is more you can do but that's a start.
Thanks!

Will shutoff and drain as you have suggested.

Will inflate the tires to mag. Garage is not fully insulated. 10 year old home. Vehicle is a 2016 Honda Odyssey. I don't have a battery charger. Should I disconnect the battery?

Would appreciate any other tips please as well. Thanks!
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Do check insurance as above for occupancy/vacancy length requirements/conditions/stipulations. Might find your coverage void if no one stays or at least checks.

Disconnecting car battery can be a bad idea as the computer may need to recalibrate (requires driving around). Use a trickle or maintenance charger. Some cars drain power faster than others. The beige Corolla is pretty good (left alone 2-3 months and fine. Had to change batteries after a 5-6 month absence but the battery was ~10 years old at the tme.
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cessnabmw wrote: Thanks!

Will shutoff and drain as you have suggested.

Will inflate the tires to mag. Garage is not fully insulated. 10 year old home. Vehicle is a 2016 Honda Odyssey. I don't have a battery charger. Should I disconnect the battery?

Would appreciate any other tips please as well. Thanks!
Rather than disconnect the battery and inflate tires etc, perhaps have family member friend to drive it 30 min every few weeks. They're likely to be checking on the inside of house anyways so this shouldn't be much of an issue.
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A battery maintainer is best, but if he doesn't have one then there's no harm in disconnecting the battery.
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2016 Odysseys are a B**** to park in standard sized garages... so I would go ctek route rather than have someone take it in and out.

I have one and have to fold at least 1 mirror to get it in/out.
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cessnabmw wrote: Thanks! Do I need someone to maybe drive the car around for a bit every week or is it ok to just sit for 3 months with battery disconnected?
Drive the car a bit biweekly. It'll do.

Shutoff water.
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Shutting off water main without draining pipes is a bit useless, in case of a furnace fail and temps reaches below 0 pipes can burst. Less damages than pipe bursting + having huge water damages, but draining pipes will save mucho mucho water damages. My insurer requires to have someone physically inspect the house weekly to make sure that there is nothing wrong. Do not forget to have someone pick up the mail for you. Have tuners installed to turn on/off lights, or even better have wifi enabled switches installed. Have someone to clear snow from the driveway and path to the door.
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DoorCrasher wrote: Shutting off water main without draining pipes is a bit useless, in case of a furnace fail and temps reaches below 0 pipes can burst. Less damages than pipe bursting + having huge water damages, but draining pipes will save mucho mucho water damages. My insurer requires to have someone physically inspect the house weekly to make sure that there is nothing wrong. Do not forget to have someone pick up the mail for you. Have tuners installed to turn on/off lights, or even better have wifi enabled switches installed. Have someone to clear snow from the driveway and path to the door.
Shutting off the water and not draining pipes is not useless.

See my thread about my toilet hose coming apart. Stuff like that can happen and when it does you don’t want endless water pouring out for 3 months. Similarly if a pipe bursts very little water will come out.
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TLSRULZ wrote: 2016 Odysseys are a B**** to park in standard sized garages... so I would go ctek route rather than have someone take it in and out.

I have one and have to fold at least 1 mirror to get it in/out.
Yup! I usually fold both.
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Thanks again all!!

I called our insurance company and they need someone to only check once a month! They also told me they could put it on file that we are away. The home insurance premium would increase by about $90 for the duration we are gone to offset the extra risk. The vehicle will be put on storage mode and we would get a refund of $450 for that!

So far my plan is:

1. Shut off the main. Drain the faucets and flush the toilets after. Lower the temp setting on the hot water tank. Do I need to turn it off or just lower it? There is no vacation setting on it.
2. Unplug all eletronics
3. I have someone who will have a key and visit at least once a week (live 5 doors down on our street). They will check the mail / flyers and do a walkthrough of the house.
4. I will park the car in the garage. Need to decide on disconnecting the battery or get a charger. If disconnecting, do I disconnect both terminals or just one?
5. The two neighbours adjacent to me will use my driveway to park their extra cars and will shovel the snow if any.
6. I'll setup a couple of lamps with a WiFi Smart plug
7. Will set the furnace to 16C or 17C. Is that enough?
8. Will not start up the steam humidifier (water will be closed anyways)

Other options I'm looking at:

1. Setting up an IP cam to view remotely. Any suggestions on cheap ones and how many would I need?
2. Getting a ctek battery charger to use instead of disconnecting the battery.

Thanks again for all your help!
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fdl wrote: Shutting off the water and not draining pipes is not useless.

See my thread about my toilet hose coming apart. Stuff like that can happen and when it does you don’t want endless water pouring out for 3 months. Similarly if a pipe bursts very little water will come out.
Read what I said... If you turn off main valve, and do not drain pipes you may have water damages because water left in pipes could freeze. If you turn off main valve AND drain pipes, there will be no burst as the pipes will be empty or very little water damages from the little water left in the pipes after being drained
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Great suggestions.

Just wanted to add for water main and cold valve for hot water tank... IF these have not been normally turned off/on then they can sometimes leak in off position... sometimes just have to open slightly to stop leak and still have water off.

BUT check by doing that way before leave.
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Keep the door from the garage to the house locked if you have an attached garage.

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