Question We are Floridians who just bought a cabin in N. GA. Caretaker for previous owner says his routine has been to turn off main water valve to house, open outside ground level spigot and blow some air through an open faucet upstairs. There is some heat tape wrapped around the pipe as it comes up through the ground outside (from pump on shared well next door). There is also heat tape on same pipe as it comes through poured concrete basement wall to gas water heater. I've asked what is done about the hot water lines for winterizing. Answer: they kept WH on vacation mode (60 deg I think) and nothing more. As there is no circulation I don't understand why hot water lines aren't freezing. What am I missing? My plan is to do the same as previous owner on the cold water side and also let hot water inside run out till pressure is relieved and shoot some air in a faucet with the hot side open. This will drain water in the lines back into the water heater, which will then be getting no more water or pressure with the main water valve to the whole house off. Is there any reason I should not do this? Will the water heater on vacation mode with the main supply off cause a problem? We are all electric in FL so I'm learning to deal with gas in N. GA.
Answer Dear Dwayne,
I suspect that the previous owner also allowed the hot water to drain back into the hot water tank. As long as there is water in the tank, then vacation mode will keep the tank warm enough to prevent it from freezing. The other thing that I would do different would be to drain the hot water tank and shut it down completely... by draining the system that way you can get pretty much all of the water from the pipes.
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