Best way to keep pipes from freezing?
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    Best way to keep pipes from freezing?

    Just curious what some plumbers might say........or other people with experience there. Still trying to sell my old house, and I'm worried about the pipes freezing up. The pipes are in the crawl space under the house, and we're keeping the heat at 60. I used to leave a drip going in the tub when it got really cold, and that would keep it from freezing up. Now that nobody is living there, should I just shut off the water at the main? Any advice would be appreciated.



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    Re: Best way to keep pipes from freezing?

    I'd keep the water dripping.



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    Re: Best way to keep pipes from freezing?

    Keep up a good drip.
    One of the worst thing you could do is shut it off.
    There will still be water in the lines.
    Keep the water movin' a bit and you'll be fine.



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    Re: Best way to keep pipes from freezing?

    If the house is vacant, I would turn off the water at the meter. If something catastophic did happen (ie - pipes freezing, supply line bursting, etc), you're damages are going to be minimal.

    In addition, I would not lower the temperature below 60 degrees and check on the house every other day or so when the temps are below zero for this many days in a row.


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    Re: Best way to keep pipes from freezing?

    We just shut off the water and dump antifreeze down the pipes/toilets at the lakes.


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    Re: Best way to keep pipes from freezing?

    I should add that if the house is vacant, stut off the water and drain the lines (if for an extended period of time) and winterize them.


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    Re: Best way to keep pipes from freezing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cloned4Life View Post
    I should add that if the house is vacant, stut off the water and drain the lines (if for an extended period of time) and winterize them.
    By drain the lines......just run the water in the various faucets until nothing comes out?



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    Re: Best way to keep pipes from freezing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclonepride View Post
    By drain the lines......just run the water in the various faucets until nothing comes out?
    Yes. Shut the main and turn on the lowest faucet on the house until the water drains out. Add antifreeze to your toilet tanks and bowl.



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    Re: Best way to keep pipes from freezing?

    Am I the only one wanting to make a dirty joke right now?



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    Re: Best way to keep pipes from freezing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cloned4Life View Post
    If the house is vacant, I would turn off the water at the meter. If something catastophic did happen (ie - pipes freezing, supply line bursting, etc), you're damages are going to be minimal.

    In addition, I would not lower the temperature below 60 degrees and check on the house every other day or so when the temps are below zero for this many days in a row.
    This is your answer.

    shut water off at main. open water valves, especially the one closest to the main, so all the lines can drain. If you can check your house regularly, don't winterize, but keep the heat on to the lowest level you are comfortable with. Depends on you and your house, but I'd go with 50. Doing the above will prevent catastrophe and will let you sleep at night.....at least that works for me! :)


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    Re: Best way to keep pipes from freezing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclonepride View Post
    By drain the lines......just run the water in the various faucets until nothing comes out?
    If you really want to be safe I'd hire a plumber to come in and do it and have the city completely turn the water off to your house. I'm a licensed realtor and appraiser and always recommend a professional do it. Clients usually pay about $100-$150 to have the property professionally "winterized". I realize that's easy for me to say because it's not my money, but based on some of the absolute disasters I've seen from DIY methods, I'd say it's money well spent.

    Just my two cents...



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    Re: Best way to keep pipes from freezing?

    When we were last house hunting, we looked at a number of houses that had been "winterized" or had the water shut off. Not a big deal for a potential homebuyer, and a much better alternative to busted pipes.



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    Re: Best way to keep pipes from freezing?

    Move the house south?



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    Re: Best way to keep pipes from freezing?

    I would not shut the water off. The reason is that you are trying to sell the home. Winterization is just asking for a low ball offer from the buyer. Plus, they can't check the faucets, etc.

    You need to do everything possible to encourage the buyer to get emotionally attached to your house, especially if it's an old one with character.

    Another mistake people make is setting the heat too low. Not only is it hard on plaster, (cracking) but it gets people thinking that they are looking at a cold, old, house, rather than a warm one with lots of character. 60 is about as low as I would dare go, and I would certainly turn it up before any showings.

    I think you're just fine letting it drip, but maybe you could look at dumpng a heat vent into the crawl space.


    Walking on water is easy. Just do it in December when it's frozen.

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    Re: Best way to keep pipes from freezing?

    Dumping antifreeze down the drain sounds like a very bad idea. I doubt the city would approve of someone pouring toxic chemicals into the sewer system (or it's probably bad for your septic system if you've got one).



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