My house will be vacant for about a month and I'm strongly considering turning off the main water valve. However, I have a couple humidifiers which I generally need to run because I have a lot of interior wood flooring in the house. I'd like some advice on what to do here. I see three options:

  1. Turn off main water valve, don't drain the pipes, leave the humidifiers on. (Not sure what problems might be caused if the humidifier is running off the remaining water in the system... seems like it could cause a problem.)
  2. Turn off main water valve, drain the pipes, turn humidifiers off, and just accept that I'll see more cracks in the wood flooring.
  3. Don't turn off main water valve, leave humidifiers on.

No matter what, I'm going to continue to run my heat pump, and I don't expect deep freeze conditions.

2 Answers 2


I don't see why you would automatically get cracks without a humidifier.

Anyway, I strongly suggest turning off the water - it's far too risky not to. The damage from a leak will be way worse than a crack.

I would do #2: also turn off the humidifier. But: If I were really worried, I'd get a large bucket of water and leave it near a heat vent to warm up and put some water in the air.

Maybe experiment a bit before you leave see how fast it evaporates, and if it's too fast cover it partially. If too slow then put a synthetic very clean (you don't want mold) rag in it attached to something above it (to increase surface area).


I hit on the perfect solution. I have think! My humidifier water line is connected very close to the main shut off valve.....I am leaving this valve open and the humidifier line connected THEN I installed another shutoff valve just beyond the humidifier line. I can now turn off this second valve and the rest of the water in the house is completely turned off.without affecting the humidifier and the wood in our brand new house will not be drying out and shrinking.

  • Hello, and welcome to Home Improvement. Thanks for the answer; keep 'em coming. And, you should probably take our tour so you'll know how best to contribute here. Dec 20, 2019 at 11:48

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