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Can we turn off Main Water Valve while away from home for extended periods

We have a Rinnai high efficiency condensing gas boiler Model E110CP . We want to shut off our main water valve while we are away over the holidays but leave the heat in the building on. Is it possible to do this and how do we set the boiler to insure the heat continues while we are away>


  • Zman
    Zman Member Posts: 7,572
    It depends. In some systems the backflow preventer on the boiler will cause the heating system to depressurize if the house looses pressure. If you could take a picture of something that looks like this http://www.supplyhouse.com/Watts-0386474-1-2-B9-11-Combination-1156F-9D-Copper-Press
    we may be able to give you a better idea.
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
  • Spiderwoman
    Spiderwoman Member Posts: 2
    I just took a look at our unit and I do not see anything that resembles the picture you attached
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,426
    A slightly more general answer: if, and only if, you have a low water cutoff or low pressure cutoff on the boiler, it may be safe to leave it running without the mains water on. However, be aware that if for some reason the pressure or water level does get low, the boiler will shut down, and the house will get cold and possibly freeze. You don't want that.

    The only safe way I know of to turn off the mains water in a building but leave the hot water heat on is to have a freeze alarm on the building, which will alert someone that there is a problem -- and to have a reliable someone who will promptly turn up and fix the problem. Boilers turn off for reasons other than low water...
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    delta TNew England SteamWorks
  • Ironman
    Ironman Member Posts: 7,379
    The safest thing is to have a LWCO and a freeze alarm that would notify you by phone or the net. Then you could shut the water off without worry.
    Freeze alarms are relatively inexpensive.
    Bob Boan
    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
  • kcopp
    kcopp Member Posts: 4,440
    I usually advise my customers to turn off the main but not drain down or open faucets. Let the existing pressure take care of the heating system IF it needs to fill.
    That being said having a friend check in on your home would be a good plan.
    One other option is to have a WIFI T-stat that can tell you what the temp is in your place while away.
    rick in Alaska
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,426
    The Wi-Fi thermostat is certainly a good solution -- but, and it's a big but, it's only useful in the power and internet stay on, and in any event it is only useful if you have a reliable contact who can come and take over fixing the problem when it occurs. Just knowing the place is getting cold isn't going to help a bit if it's freezing and you can't get someone there.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • BBros
    BBros Member Posts: 41
    edited December 2016
    FYI, many (if not all) Wi-Fi thermostat's send an alert when they lose communication, e.g. power outage. So it allows someone to investigate the situation. I utilize one on a property that is not occupied full time and it has worked very well to keep me informed of the home's condition. Obviously it has the added benefit of being able to come home to a warm house!

    Alternatively (or in addition) add a freeze/flood Wi-Fi sensor to the home if you don't want to change your thermostat. A Honeywell Lyric is one option.
  • Mark Eatherton
    Mark Eatherton Member Posts: 5,853
    My ENV control logic monitors my site remotely. My site sends the server in Atlanta a "heart beat" everyone hour, and if it doesn't receive a heart beat, then the server in Atlanta sends me an email, telling me it hasn't received one. I can then contact my next door neighbor, and see if they have electricity and internet. if they do, then I have a 1.5 hour trek on my hands to see what's going on. Only happened once and it was a failed power supply on the main PC that did in fact die on the vine.

    As previously noted, the only way I'd consider complete isolation, would be if there was a Low Water Pressure Cut off as a part of the control package. If you don't have time for that right now, then I'd give a neighbor a key, and show them what to look for and give them the phone numbers of the service contractors responsible for maintaining the system.

    FWIW, the largest annual home insurance claims are related to water damage... Think Smart. Look at Water Cop.


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