Leaving for a week: shut off main water supply?

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jeff622859
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Leaving for a week: shut off main water supply?

Post by jeff622859 »

Do you guys turn your main water source off when going on vacation?

I have had some major water damage to my house and now I am paranoid.

Thanks!
Kris3
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Re: Leaving for a week: shut off main water supply?

Post by Kris3 »

Absolutely. Even if I am only gone for a couple of days. Just make sure to turn the water heater off also.
flyingcows
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Re: Leaving for a week: shut off main water supply?

Post by flyingcows »

Yes, I use our shutoff valve in the house, I don't touch the meter shutoff
Yoshida26
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Re: Leaving for a week: shut off main water supply?

Post by Yoshida26 »

Hello
I just returned after 10 days, turned the AC to 83 and left the key with a neighbor. I have a ring camera in my house that I monitored but I have never in all my years even thought about turning the water off...HMMM
livesoft
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Re: Leaving for a week: shut off main water supply?

Post by livesoft »

No. My lawn needs watering while we are on vacation.

Decades ago our neighbor was gone only 3 hours when we noticed water coming out of their back door. We were able to help them and stopped the leak. They were able to get home in about 2 hours.
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JoeRetire
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Re: Leaving for a week: shut off main water supply?

Post by JoeRetire »

jeff622859 wrote: Mon Jul 25, 2022 5:45 pm Do you guys turn your main water source off when going on vacation?
No.
I have had some major water damage to my house and now I am paranoid.
Do you have someone who could check your house periodically? Would that make you less paranoid, or would the paranoia just shift to worrying about something else?

I watch a few of my neighbors' houses when they go away. My neighbor watches my house when I go away.
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PoppyA
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Re: Leaving for a week: shut off main water supply?

Post by PoppyA »

Yes after we heard a Plummer in a plumbing supply store bragging about all the money he makes from people who don’t!
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Ozonewanderer
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Re: Leaving for a week: shut off main water supply?

Post by Ozonewanderer »

Yes, shut it off if you leave for any extended period. One time I came home from a trip and the bottom of my water heater rusted through. If my water had been turned on I would have come home to a swimming pool in my basement.
almostretired1965
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Re: Leaving for a week: shut off main water supply?

Post by almostretired1965 »

Yoshida26 wrote: Mon Jul 25, 2022 5:51 pm Hello
I just returned after 10 days, turned the AC to 83 and left the key with a neighbor. I have a ring camera in my house that I monitored but I have never in all my years even thought about turning the water off...HMMM
You would if a major leak ever happened to you while you are away. 20 years ago our upstairs toilet tank cracked while we were gone for several days to attend a funeral. Ever since I have shut the main prior to any trip out of town that is more than 48 hours. Has yet to happen again, but I still remember vividly walking into the house and proceeding to fall on my rear on the pool of water in the family room. My one and only claim ever on the homeowners insurance policy!
exodusNH
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Re: Leaving for a week: shut off main water supply?

Post by exodusNH »

jeff622859 wrote: Mon Jul 25, 2022 5:45 pm Do you guys turn your main water source off when going on vacation?

I have had some major water damage to my house and now I am paranoid.

Thanks!
I turn off the water to the washing machine, but never the while house.

I don't think it's a bad habit. At least you know it works, which will be handy if you ever really need it! I had never used my shutoffs in the 17 years I've been in my place. I just had them replaced with new valves a couple of months ago.
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AerialWombat
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Re: Leaving for a week: shut off main water supply?

Post by AerialWombat »

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runner3081
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Re: Leaving for a week: shut off main water supply?

Post by runner3081 »

I don't shut down the main for three reasons.

1) Irrigation
2) Pool refill
3) The few times we have shut water off (in the past), it seemed to cause more problems with sediment and leaks after turning it on.
Flyer24
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Re: Leaving for a week: shut off main water supply?

Post by Flyer24 »

Topic moved to Personal Consumer Issues.
bltn
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Re: Leaving for a week: shut off main water supply?

Post by bltn »

The pipes to our beach house have burst twice due to freezing weather in the past while we were gone. A neighbor noticed each time and turned the water off. But not before the monthly water bill went well into four figures each time.

I then learned that a couple of my neighbors have always turned off their water when leaving. I now turn off the water at the street each time we leave, usually for a few weeks. No problems since.
bob60014
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Re: Leaving for a week: shut off main water supply?

Post by bob60014 »

I shut the main off when I'm away. Yes, I know a water event can occur anytime. But, after coming back from a overnight trip to a flooded kitchen, ruined cabinets, floor, etc. and the $$$ to repair, yep, I turn it off! Cheapest insurance ever, imho.
Last edited by bob60014 on Mon Jul 25, 2022 6:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
benway
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Re: Leaving for a week: shut off main water supply?

Post by benway »

.....
Last edited by benway on Wed Aug 03, 2022 8:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
sadie wess
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Re: Leaving for a week: shut off main water supply?

Post by sadie wess »

Never. My house sitters need access to water. Also, if there is a water problem, I will be contacted and we can decide what to do.

Leave my home and land unattended for a week with no one keeping an eye out?



No.
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Ozonewanderer
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Re: Leaving for a week: shut off main water supply?

Post by Ozonewanderer »

runner3081 wrote: Mon Jul 25, 2022 6:28 pm I don't shut down the main for three reasons.

1) Irrigation
2) Pool refill
3) The few times we have shut water off (in the past), it seemed to cause more problems with sediment and leaks after turning it on.
Re: pool refill
You can add a pipe coming off the main water line to a separate one for the pool. I had this doen.
Parkinglotracer
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Re: Leaving for a week: shut off main water supply?

Post by Parkinglotracer »

Leave a house in Florida for 6 months (that is checked on monthly) and turn the interior house water off. Sprinkler system stays on. If we leave our house overnight we turn water off. We have valves installed. I have had to replace some dried out flapper valves on return.
59Gibson
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Re: Leaving for a week: shut off main water supply?

Post by 59Gibson »

You can but think about whenever you leave the house for work, go to the store, round of golf etc.. the water could be halfway up the wall by the time your back home. So what is the cutoff time wise?
KrisNC
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Re: Leaving for a week: shut off main water supply?

Post by KrisNC »

We haven’t done this even for longer vacations, other than leave the kitchen faucet on slow drip during winters.
We were lucky to be at home and caught the water heater fail/leak in the nick of time.
This thread got me thinking, maybe we should shut off the valve.
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snackdog
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Re: Leaving for a week: shut off main water supply?

Post by snackdog »

Always if away for more than a few days. This limits damage in the case of a water leak. We have had water leaks at almost every place we have lived and so have family and friends. Very common.
afan
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Re: Leaving for a week: shut off main water supply?

Post by afan »

We used to shut off the water main.
Then we switched insurance to a company that made a BIG deal about water risks and gave a discount on homeowners coverage for installing an automatic system that will shut down the water if there is more consumption than our usual pattern. Now we trust that system.
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Cosmo
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Re: Leaving for a week: shut off main water supply?

Post by Cosmo »

livesoft wrote: Mon Jul 25, 2022 5:52 pm No. My lawn needs watering while we are on vacation.

Decades ago our neighbor was gone only 3 hours when we noticed water coming out of their back door. We were able to help them and stopped the leak. They were able to get home in about 2 hours.
You mostly likely have a home shut off (if the builder didn't sheetrock over it like they did at our home), which would not interfere with your irrigation schedule if turned off.
Sprucebark
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Re: Leaving for a week: shut off main water supply?

Post by Sprucebark »

My water shutoff is an ancient ball valve. It’s probably got a few spins left in it before it fails. I don’t shut it off unless I have to. If it were to break and I needed to shut the water off I think the city would have to bring some heavy equipment out.
Afty
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Re: Leaving for a week: shut off main water supply?

Post by Afty »

I’ve never done this. Would consider it if we were away for more than a month though.
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cchrissyy
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Re: Leaving for a week: shut off main water supply?

Post by cchrissyy »

Nope I've never done this.
I would probably start researching if i was going away for over a month.
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sport
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Re: Leaving for a week: shut off main water supply?

Post by sport »

We always do this. We found that turning off the water jammed up the ice maker in the fridge. So, we turn that off before we turn off the main valve.
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ClevrChico
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Re: Leaving for a week: shut off main water supply?

Post by ClevrChico »

I do this with a modern ball valve for my shutoff. A good idea.

If I had an old gate valve? No way. Simply turning those can start causing them to have a slow leak, or worse. And, I can't imagine worse timing right before a vacation.
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Re: Leaving for a week: shut off main water supply?

Post by jarjarM »

ClevrChico wrote: Mon Jul 25, 2022 8:53 pm I do this with a modern ball valve for my shutoff. A good idea.

If I had an old gate valve? No way. Simply turning those can start causing them to have a slow leak, or worse. And, I can't imagine worse timing right before a vacation.
+1, best to not touch the old gate valves, especially if they haven't being adjusted in years. Also, it'll depend on if you need irrigation or not. We left for 3-4 weeks with the main water on due to the need to water the trees.
phinanciallyfit
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Re: Leaving for a week: shut off main water supply?

Post by phinanciallyfit »

We do not. I start seeds for my garden in the beginning of February, so by the time they are in the ground, I have invested substantial time and effort. They'd be dead after a few days of not watering. When we went away this summer, we had someone come by 2 x a week. We have not taken a big winter trip since owning our house, but I imagine we'd consider turning off the water in the winter.
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Metsfan91
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Re: Leaving for a week: shut off main water supply?

Post by Metsfan91 »

jeff622859 wrote: Mon Jul 25, 2022 5:45 pm Do you guys turn your main water source off when going on vacation?

I have had some major water damage to my house and now I am paranoid.

Thanks!
I do not shut off. Never think about it. Not a concern at all...Line outside the house is underground. Inside, it is always 60+ degree.
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Kookaburra
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Re: Leaving for a week: shut off main water supply?

Post by Kookaburra »

JoeRetire wrote: Mon Jul 25, 2022 5:59 pm
jeff622859 wrote: Mon Jul 25, 2022 5:45 pm Do you guys turn your main water source off when going on vacation?
No.
I have had some major water damage to my house and now I am paranoid.
Do you have someone who could check your house periodically? Would that make you less paranoid, or would the paranoia just shift to worrying about something else?

I watch a few of my neighbors' houses when they go away. My neighbor watches my house when I go away.
Watching a house will not prevent a major leak or flood. That’s the equivalent of installing a ring system. Great, now you can watch (or have someone tell you) that your basement is flooding.
Corvidae
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Re: Leaving for a week: shut off main water supply?

Post by Corvidae »

No. I don't trust the shutoff valve and dare not touch it. If there was a leak inside the house while we were away, the rooms most likely to be affected probably need to be demolished and remodeled anyway, so this would just move that project forward and maybe expand the scope of work a bit. This is assuming we were away for a few weeks at most. If gone for 6 months or something like that, would probably just sell the house.
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Re: Leaving for a week: shut off main water supply?

Post by Kookaburra »

jeff622859 wrote: Mon Jul 25, 2022 5:45 pm Do you guys turn your main water source off when going on vacation?

I have had some major water damage to my house and now I am paranoid.

Thanks!
Yes- that is the smart thing to do. I know of several people that went on a week vacation and came home to a big wet surprise. Pipe bursts and leaks can happen suddenly and for a variety of reasons. Also, braided hose connections at washing machines, dishwashers, and under sinks have a relatively short life compared to plumbing. And their mechanism of failure is often catastrophic.
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Re: Leaving for a week: shut off main water supply?

Post by Kookaburra »

I’m sure the Murphy family would have benefitted while they were in Orlando. There is no way the “Wet Bandits” were smart enough to figure out how to turn the main valve on.
exodusNH
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Re: Leaving for a week: shut off main water supply?

Post by exodusNH »

Sprucebark wrote: Mon Jul 25, 2022 8:37 pm My water shutoff is an ancient ball valve. It’s probably got a few spins left in it before it fails. I don’t shut it off unless I have to. If it were to break and I needed to shut the water off I think the city would have to bring some heavy equipment out.
The street shutoff just requires a long rod.

Get your main shutoff replaced. I had mine done a couple of months ago. The plumber scheduled with the city to shut it off at the street. The city worker waited for the 15 minutes it took the plumber to install the new valves.
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Re: Leaving for a week: shut off main water supply?

Post by exodusNH »

Corvidae wrote: Mon Jul 25, 2022 9:57 pm No. I don't trust the shutoff valve and dare not touch it. If there was a leak inside the house while we were away, the rooms most likely to be affected probably need to be demolished and remodeled anyway, so this would just move that project forward and maybe expand the scope of work a bit. This is assuming we were away for a few weeks at most. If gone for 6 months or something like that, would probably just sell the house.
You are underestimating the damage mold could cause.

Getting the main shutoff replaced isn't usually a big deal. I had a bunch of work done a few months ago, including replacing the main shutoff. That part was the fastest, about 15 minutes of work.
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Re: Leaving for a week: shut off main water supply?

Post by ruanddu »

ClevrChico wrote: Mon Jul 25, 2022 8:53 pm I do this with a modern ball valve for my shutoff. A good idea.

If I had an old gate valve? No way. Simply turning those can start causing them to have a slow leak, or worse. And, I can't imagine worse timing right before a vacation.
Our house was built in 1953. Would you guess that our house has a gate or ball valve? I am not sure how tell without taking it apart. Thank you.
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ClevrChico
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Re: Leaving for a week: shut off main water supply?

Post by ClevrChico »

Unless it's been replaced, it's almost certainly a gate valve. Gate valves have roundish handles. Ball valves have lever handles.
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Re: Leaving for a week: shut off main water supply?

Post by wander »

jeff622859 wrote: Mon Jul 25, 2022 5:45 pm Do you guys turn your main water source off when going on vacation?
No.
retired recently
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Re: Leaving for a week: shut off main water supply?

Post by retired recently »

We came home from a trip once and the ice maker had leaked and ruined several boards in the kitchen. Now if we are gone for a few days I shut off the water and hot water heaters plus open a spigot downstairs to drain what is in the pipes.
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JoeRetire
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Re: Leaving for a week: shut off main water supply?

Post by JoeRetire »

Kookaburra wrote: Mon Jul 25, 2022 9:53 pm
JoeRetire wrote: Mon Jul 25, 2022 5:59 pm
jeff622859 wrote: Mon Jul 25, 2022 5:45 pm Do you guys turn your main water source off when going on vacation?
No.
I have had some major water damage to my house and now I am paranoid.
Do you have someone who could check your house periodically? Would that make you less paranoid, or would the paranoia just shift to worrying about something else?

I watch a few of my neighbors' houses when they go away. My neighbor watches my house when I go away.
Watching a house will not prevent a major leak or flood. That’s the equivalent of installing a ring system. Great, now you can watch (or have someone tell you) that your basement is flooding.
That's true. It's not a complete preventative measure. Having someone watch the house was intended to help with the OP's paranoia.

If you are looking for prevention, you should turn of the water, drain the lines, and drain the hot water tank. You should also turn off your fuel source and electricity. Perhaps have an armed guard around the perimeter of the house and a pest control person inside as well.

My answer to the question remains "No".
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OpenMinded1
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Re: Leaving for a week: shut off main water supply?

Post by OpenMinded1 »

59Gibson wrote: Mon Jul 25, 2022 8:04 pm You can but think about whenever you leave the house for work, go to the store, round of golf etc.. the water could be halfway up the wall by the time your back home. So what is the cutoff time wise?
It could be halfway up the wall in a short period of time, but it depends on the flow from the leak. It could be a relatively small leak that would cause a lot of damage over the course of a week-long vacation, but not nearly as much if it occurred when someone was home. For example, if someone was present they might notice and take corrective measures to stop a small stream of water slowly working its way from the water heater to the wall separating the garage from the house's living quarters. If nobody is there for a week and a relatively small leak occurs, the amount of damage might be far greater.

I turn my water off if nobody is going to be present for more than 24 hours. I had a ball valve installed inside the house for this purpose. (If I had an old gate valve, I would get it replaced with a ball valve.) Before getting the ball valve installed, I turned the water off at the curb. I purchased a long metal tool designed to remove the manhole cover and turn the water off. The whole process only takes a minute or two, and it's not very physically demanding.

I started turning my water off after a plumber mentioned it while doing some minor work for me. He said a customer of his had a leak while on an extended vacation, and the damage was going to cost about $30K to fix.
Last edited by OpenMinded1 on Tue Jul 26, 2022 6:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
OpenMinded1
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Re: Leaving for a week: shut off main water supply?

Post by OpenMinded1 »

retired recently wrote: Tue Jul 26, 2022 5:20 am We came home from a trip once and the ice maker had leaked and ruined several boards in the kitchen. Now if we are gone for a few days I shut off the water and hot water heaters plus open a spigot downstairs to drain what is in the pipes.
I don't think I would ever buy a refrigerator with an ice maker. It makes getting ice a little easier, but is not worth the increased risk of water damage IMO.
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Re: Leaving for a week: shut off main water supply?

Post by tennisplyr »

Yes. We’ve had friends who were in vacation and came home to a flooded house.
“Those who move forward with a happy spirit will find that things always work out.” -Retired 11 years 😀
59Gibson
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Re: Leaving for a week: shut off main water supply?

Post by 59Gibson »

OpenMinded1 wrote: Tue Jul 26, 2022 6:41 am
59Gibson wrote: Mon Jul 25, 2022 8:04 pm You can but think about whenever you leave the house for work, go to the store, round of golf etc.. the water could be halfway up the wall by the time your back home. So what is the cutoff time wise?
It could be halfway up the wall in a short period of time, but it depends on the flow from the leak. It could be a relatively small leak that would cause a lot of damage over the course of a week-long vacation, but not nearly as much if it occurred when someone was home. For example, if someone was present they might notice and take corrective measures to stop a small stream of water slowly working its way from the water heater to the wall separating the garage from the house's living quarters. If nobody is there for a week and a relatively small leak occurs, the amount of damage might be far greater.

I turn my water off if nobody is going to be present for more than 24 hours. I had a ball valve installed inside the house for this purpose. (If I had an old gate valve, I would get it replaced with a ball valve.) Before getting the ball valve installed, I turned the water off at the curb. I purchased a long metal tool designed to remove the manhole cover and turn the water off. The whole process only takes a minute or two, and it's not very physically demanding.

I started turning my water off after a plumber mentioned it while doing some minor work for me. He said a customer of his had a leak while on an extended vacation, and the damage was going to cost about $30K to fix.
So 24 hrs is your cut off. I think it can be a false sense of security because all kinds of things can happen in a 3hr time period away from home. It was smart to have your ball valve installed, the gates are known to lock up if not used much and fail
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Re: Leaving for a week: shut off main water supply?

Post by shunkman »

OpenMinded1 wrote: Tue Jul 26, 2022 6:53 am
retired recently wrote: Tue Jul 26, 2022 5:20 am We came home from a trip once and the ice maker had leaked and ruined several boards in the kitchen. Now if we are gone for a few days I shut off the water and hot water heaters plus open a spigot downstairs to drain what is in the pipes.
I don't think I would ever buy a refrigerator with an ice maker. It makes getting ice a little easier, but is not worth the increased risk of water damage IMO.
When turning the water main off you should also turn your ice maker off. Otherwise, the ice maker will cycle over and over again perhaps causing it to wear out prematurely. This was in the instructions that came with our refrigerator.
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lthenderson
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Re: Leaving for a week: shut off main water supply?

Post by lthenderson »

It takes me about 15 seconds to walk down to the shutoff and shut it off. Has always seemed like cheap insurance so we do so whenever gone for more than a couple days.
59Gibson
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Re: Leaving for a week: shut off main water supply?

Post by 59Gibson »

Not sure if this has been mentioned, but if turning water off remember to turn off water heater or at least dial down to vacation mode. In some areas of the country in the winter I've heard of folks draining water htr and pipes.
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