November is the month we begin winterizing homes for our customers with our COMPREHENSIVE level of service. Typically we turn their water off and make adjustments to the thermostats to help reduce utility costs. We begin turning water back on and adjusting thermostats in May as the likelihood of a severe cold snap diminishes.
We generally recommend that if you are leaving your home unoccupied during the winter months that you leave your water turned off and your heat set somewhere between 50 and 55 degrees, depending on the age of your home and how well the pipes are insulated. If you are in doubt about this we advise you to contact a local, licensed plumber for further instructions. Although in many cases it is not necessary to drain your pipes, this will insure that you minimize winter damage from freezing and or bursting pipes.
As far as water heaters go, if your home is unoccupied, we recommend that you turn the water heater to the vacation or the pilot setting. The advantage of the vacation setting is your water heater will be ready more quickly once you have adjusted the setting higher upon your arrival.
Important Things to remember when you do turn your water OFF:
1. If you have an automatic ice maker, lift the lever, so that it stops making ice.
2. If you have drained your pipes be certain to turn all recirculating pumps which require water to OFF (ie. fountains, ponds etc.)
3. If you have an electric switch for shutting off the water, don’t leave it in the drain position,always turn it OFF.