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Extended Power Outage Home Prep
#1
So what kind of things should you do if your home is going to be without power during an extended amount of time during cold weather? The one thing I was thinking of is having your pipes freeze, so would it be good to shut off the water to the house at the main inlet and then do what you can to drain the pipes through the house?

For me, I can easily close the valve before my meter, and then I have a wash sink in the basement. If I were to open up both hot & cold on that sink, the water should drain down from the upper floors. Should you leave the faucets open then so that if there's any water left in the pipes to freeze it has a place to expand to?

What other things should be done for an extended outage?
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#2
If you are shutting down your water don't forget about the hot water tank. Good idea to shut down other gas fired appliances that may have electronic ignition as well.
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#3
Was thinking it might be a good idea to flip the main breaker switch on the electrical panel. Many times once power is restored it can flicker on and off a few times, and that can damage appliances. Might be good to wait a bit until you're sure it's stabilized before powering the home.
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#4
As for draining pipes there are a few options. If you are on city water and still have pressure, you can leave your faucets drip to prevent pipes freezing. Although that may only be a temporary fix, because I'm sure ice will eventually build up even if the water is flowing. To be absolutely sure I would blow out all the lines with compressed air or nitrogen. If you use compressed air make sure the run the water for a few minutes after everything is back up and running, because there could be some oil in the lines.

If you are properly set up, you shouldn't need to bother with any of that. You should have redundancy in your preps so that you have multiple sources of heat, and a backup power source.
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#5
I keep the faucets open and let a drizzle of water come out. Don't know if the theory is sound, but it seems like flowing water would not freeze as easily.

I keep the faucets open and let a drizzle of water come out. Don't know if the theory is sound, but it seems like flowing water would not freeze as easily.
Everytime we look the other way when someone else loses rights we disagree with, we make it easier to lose the rights we support.

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#6
streaker69;134142 Wrote:Was thinking it might be a good idea to flip the main breaker switch on the electrical panel. Many times once power is restored it can flicker on and off a few times, and that can damage appliances. Might be good to wait a bit until you're sure it's stabilized before powering the home.

I don't think I would do the main breaker, but I would definitely flip the breakers of the larger appliances like refridgerators, stoves, washer, dryer, etc.

Also would unplug all electronics except a clock radio that you can turn the volume up all the way on (provided you're home) so you can get important stuff back up and running if it's in the middle of the night.
Vampire pig man since September 2012
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#7
During the last sub-zero cold spell, I took an old "tension" shower curtain rod and ran it across the entry to the addition that is through our kitchen. That room is backed by an enclosed porch and below is the unheated garage. It's also the end of a long heat duct run that isn't very effective due to some half-assed work by the previous owner. That room can be several degrees cooler on a normal winter day and at sub zero temps you really notice it.

Anyway, I hung an old sheet across that entryway to help reduce the "heated area" and keep some cold air in that room.

When the power is out, we do the same across the hallway at the bottom of the steps that lead to the second floor.

The emergency heat source is positioned in the living room and that helps keep heat from rising and going upstairs needlessly.

Tape will work in a pinch if the material is light enough. I used IV tape initially.
I then picked up some shower curtain rings at the dollar store that will "click" closed pinching the material to hold it. THEN my wife decided to just fold the top of the sheet and sew a channel to allow the rod to be slipped through before hanging the rod.

Whatever works. It doesn't have to be pretty.
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#8
Camper;134154 Wrote:
streaker69;134142 Wrote:Was thinking it might be a good idea to flip the main breaker switch on the electrical panel. Many times once power is restored it can flicker on and off a few times, and that can damage appliances. Might be good to wait a bit until you're sure it's stabilized before powering the home.

I don't think I would do the main breaker, but I would definitely flip the breakers of the larger appliances like refridgerators, stoves, washer, dryer, etc.

Also would unplug all electronics except a clock radio that you can turn the volume up all the way on (provided you're home) so you can get important stuff back up and running if it's in the middle of the night.

Not a bad idea, but you know, a blaring radio might be kind of startling to wake up to, maybe something a little more soothing...



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#9
Have an alternative heat source that does not need power I.e coal or wood stove solve issue with freezing pipes how else are you to survive when shtf
Rcpaul, proud to be a member of pa2a.org since Jan 2013.
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#10
Rcpaul;134162 Wrote:Have an alternative heat source that does not need power I.e coal or wood stove solve issue with freezing pipes how else are you to survive when shtf

The idea for this thread was to come up with ideas to protect your home from damage during extended outages. While it would be great if everyone had a secondary source of heat that would keep the pipes warm enough to prevent freezing, that isn't always an option to everyone.

I can heat with my woodstove and fireplace if I have to, but that doesn't mean that the pipes in the basement won't get cold enough to freeze with no heat since heat has this nasty tendency to rise.

It's always best to have more than one plan, right?
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