Vince ClingenpeelVince Clingenpeel is the president and principle inspector of Clingenpeel Properties Inc. His father founded the company in 1954 as a masonry business. He started his career as a bricklayer, then apprenticing again to become a master carpenter and remodeling contractor. He also teaches adult education trade classes in his spare time. Vince uses his knowledge, experience and affiliation with the American Society of Home Inspectors (www.ASHI.org) to provide home inspections as well as construction and maintenance advice to homeowners and do-it-yourselfers in Northern Virginia.
Vince Clingenpeel: I am Vince Clingenpeel, we are talking about how to winterize your home. We are at the electric panel. A newer system like, this is almost as simple as turning off the main switch and you are done. There are some older systems, they are called the split bus system. Turning off the main does not necessarily tun off all of your house. You may want to able to test. These simple tools right here will tell you, if your system is shut down. This nice little circuit tester will tell you if you have a hot wire. An incidental point about this breaker box, if you find a situation like this, this is a dangerous thing, you can get your fingers in here this needs to be dealt with. If you have got a real old system and you have got fuses, you may want to just consider them just taking them out entirely. Don t just unscrew them, there is a chance that they are going to arc. Another thing, I might talk about now is security system, you may consider that. With a security system, you are going to have to keep the power on in the house, those things run off the batteries. They don t last for just a little while. There is even the upper end systems, you can monitor your house, the temperature, the comings and the goings, any movement that s here, that s up to you to choose. Another item you might think about is your personals. You are going to leave your house for an extended time, take your stuff with you. You ought to consider anything that could be sold, your television, guns, it s a beach house, you want to take your surf boards with you dude. I once knew a fellow, that put all of his stuff in a very large five foot safe. When he came back, the safe was gone, so was the piece of the floor that it was attached to. In short, if there is anything of real value to you pick them up and take them home. So that about covers it, that sure can be a lot of work. Now a few of the thoughts, I want to share with you. It might be helpful for you to make a list, something like a checklist that you can keep up with. If you are going to be away for a while have a neighbor, a friend, a realtor or somebody with the key, maybe the home inspector. They will come by and check your house. You can also notify local police, they are almost always happy to do it right by, maybe be even a occasional walk around, just to keep track about how things are going. Remember if you have any other problems get some professional help. If you have any questions, thoughts or comments you can contact me through my web site www.