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The selling shtick for this product touts its ability to keep you informed about the status of your vacation home. But even if you (like us) aren’t loaded enough to have two homes, it’s still damn useful. Plug this sucker into a phone line, stick a 9V in the back, and it’ll call a phone number of your choice when the temperature drops below 45 degrees.

This would make a great addition to any home in the North — or any place where it stays below freezing for a decent chunk of the year. A broken heater (even while you’re alway for work) can make for a bad day. And $50 isn’t much to spend for peace of mind. Plus it’s kinda gadgety, which makes it a fun gift.

Via Amazon [What’s This?]

 

8 Responses to A $50 Basic Freeze Alarm

  1. Dan says:

    My parents bought a device like this after a burst pipe led to their cabin having to be stripped to the studs and redone. Insurance covered the repairs, but this is added peace of mind for them. They can also call into it and get the current temperature.

  2. Cameron Watt says:

    How hard is it to drain the plumbing in a cabin when you’re leaving?

    This would be good for fellows doing reno and construction work in the cold to keep tabs on their sites.

    I seem to recall reading about a fellow who rigged up a thermostat switch to his phone line so he would get a ring or a busy signal depending on the temperature.

  3. Frank Townend says:

    This is somewhat like my Internet-connected weather station. I can know the weather (wind, rain, etc.) at my home from anyplace in the world. Which means I can know what is happening without any ability to do anything about it.

    This violates the “Frank Townend Rule of Telephone Ringers”. Never turn the volume of a telephone ringer louder than the distance you can hear it and still get to the phone before it stops ringing.

  4. A.Crush says:

    Stuff like this makes me laugh. So what if it can call you when the temperature in your vacation home, or even your house goes to 45? Like Frank says, it doesn’t give you the ability to do anything about it. The only peace of mind this gives is so you can expect the place to be freezing by the time you show up, and check for whatever damage happened as a result.

    Besides, when water pipes burst, it isn’t always from indoor temps being low. The house can be a balmy 80 degrees inside, but an outdoor pipe, even underground, can freeze, break, and gush water until someone is smart enough to shut it off and call the water department.

    I suppose it would be a nice thing to have when you’re on a hot date, so you don’t go back to your place when it’s like that. I think an even better device might be something that calls you when your mother / ex-wife / ex-gf landlord is at your place so you can avoid going back.

  5. Toolhearty says:

    Cameron Watt Says:
    …I seem to recall reading about a fellow who rigged up a thermostat switch to his phone line so he would get a ring or a busy signal depending on the temperature.

    This is beautiful. I love the elegant simplicity.

    How hard is it to drain the plumbing in a cabin when you’re leaving?

    Agreed. If it’s a cabin or a home that’s going to be empty for a while, turn off the heat, kill the power, drain the pipes and fill the traps with anti-freeze. A neighbor who’s a plumber does this all the time for homeowners/real estate agents.

    I can still find some usefulness in this device. My furnace has gone out twice in single-digit temps while I was at work. Had I gotten a phone call at work alerting me, I’d have taken off early to deal with it while the daytime temp was still reasonable (or at least I would have known what to expect when I got home).

  6. jesse says:

    Devices like this are used in greenhouse operations.

  7. Jerry says:

    What’s a phone line? Oh wait, I remember. That’s the thing I pay for every month so my alarm system works right.
    Of course, that does make me ask the question (for vacation cabin) of whether or not you leave a phone connected in the cabin when you are away for long periods.
    Yogi and BooBoo will come in and rack up your long distance.

  8. Toolhearty says:

    Jerry Says:
    …Of course, that does make me ask the question (for vacation cabin) of whether or not you leave a phone connected in the cabin when you are away for long periods…

    That would probably depend on how often you use the cabin and what your phone service provider charges to disconnect/re-connect (this is assuming cell service is not an option). Gas, electric, and water are all usually metered; so if you’re not using them, you’re not paying for them either. Turning them off is for safety.

    If you want to leave your phone service “on”, but want to guard against Yogi and BooBoo running up your bill, take your phones with you when you leave. (Who carries around an extra landline phone? Not bears, certainly.)

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