Vacant Home: When to Drain Water Heater and Plumbing
LESLIE: Alright. Let’s head out to Arkansas where Ann has got a question about a hot-water tank. What’s going on, Ann?
ANN: I have an unoccupied house and the hot-water heater is on a screened-in porch. It is partially protected on two sides. And the temperature is going to be down in the low teens for a couple of nights and for 48 hours or so, the temperature will not be above freezing.
TOM: How long is the house going to be unoccupied, Ann?
ANN: Oh, I don’t know.
TOM: I mean is this the kind of thing where it could be this way for months?
TOM: Well, if it’s going to be that way for months, I would drain the hot water water. I would drain the water heater, I would drain the plumbing system. And I would leave the heat on a low setting because we don’t want the building to swell, we don’t want the doors to swell and that sort of thing. So I’d leave the heat on like around 55, 60 degrees.
But I would definitely drain the plumbing system because there’s really no point in leaving it on. And if you do, you could get a pipe freeze and a break. Does that make sense?
ANN: OK. I appreciate it.