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Old 10-16-2008, 11:44 AM   #1
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Winterizing a house in New England


I know shutting off the main water valve in the house , draining the water lines, water heater, blowing them out with presurized air and putting glycol in the toilets and traps is a must. I wonder if it is necessary to have the city shut off the water in the street. Also I have a hydronic heating system. I assume if I shut it off I need to drain it down and blow it out but if I leave it on at 55 degrees should I put glycol in the system and if so how much dilution. Am I forgetting anything else? Any help would be appreciated.

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Old 10-16-2008, 11:52 AM   #2
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Winterizing a house in New England


If you leave it on at 55 you don't need to drain anything. If you are turning the heat completely off then you need to drain the heating system as well.
I would also be concerned about the water line where it comes into the house. The short section before the shut off will still have water and pressure and could freeze and burst. I don't how you would drain that even with it shut off at the street. At least if it froze and broke you would not have a flood with the street shut off.

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Old 10-17-2008, 03:19 PM   #3
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Winterizing a house in New England


joed is absolutely right about the water main where it enters the house and where it goes above the frost line.

Maybe some heat tape? It'll use some electricity, but it's cheaper in the long run than coming back in the spring to a flood..

This site is for manufactured homes, but the article applies equally well to any type of home:

http://www.mygreathome.com/fix-it_guide/heat_tape.htm

(I have no affiliation with the site, but I read over that page and it looks to make sense -- I've also never winterized a house before, so this is just IMO).
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Old 10-17-2008, 03:58 PM   #4
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Winterizing a house in New England


don't forget most public water utilities charge a minimum fee whether water is used or not. 'voice of experience'
just an fyi

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Old 10-17-2008, 05:10 PM   #5
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Winterizing a house in New England


The wash machine and dishwasher pump need glycol also. I have heard of some people using windshield washer fluid instead. I think it's toxic and not allowed.
The curb stop that the town turns off should bleed off on its own once turned off. What can be a problem , is if there is a back-flow device on the service before the meter, this would prevent the water at the meter from draining out You would have to loosen the union nut on the back flow device if there is one.
Make sure you disconnect any garden hoses and drain the outside faucets.

Last edited by plumcass; 10-17-2008 at 05:17 PM. Reason: spelling --- forgot the hose bibs
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Old 10-17-2008, 09:36 PM   #6
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Winterizing a house in New England


Quote:
Originally Posted by almostdone View Post
I know shutting off the main water valve in the house , draining the water lines, water heater, blowing them out with presurized air and putting glycol in the toilets and traps is a must. I wonder if it is necessary to have the city shut off the water in the street. Also I have a hydronic heating system. I assume if I shut it off I need to drain it down and blow it out but if I leave it on at 55 degrees should I put glycol in the system and if so how much dilution. Am I forgetting anything else? Any help would be appreciated.
I would not be draining the hydronic heating system. They really shouldn't be messed with unless you know what you are doing.

If you do put in propylene glycol then do it according to the weather in your area. A 50/50 mix will be good for -30 or so. A mix of 20-30% is good for most cases. Just read the recommendations and go from there.

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