Hello, plumbing experts. I have a heating question I'm hoping you can help me with. The bottom line on this thread is I want to know if I'm responsible for freezing my friend's pipes and if I should pay his repair bill.

Last night I was at a friend's house in Vermont, where it reached negative temperatures overnight.

Just before sleep, my friend told me I was welcome to adjust the heat with their programmable thermostat, but did not give me instructions as to how.

It turned out the room I was sleeping in was too warm for me to comfortably try to sleep, so I went to the Honeywell digital thermostat and clicked the down arrow, until it reached 56 degrees. A couple of seconds after doing this, the screen returned to 67 degrees, the original temperature.

Thinking I did something incorrect in trying to turn down the temperature, I clicked the down arrow again, until the thermostat reached 56 degrees and clicked the "Set" button.

It appeared this got me into the programming section of the thermostat (where I would set the temperature for various days and times of the week). I clicked "Set" a few times (in an attempt to get out of this feature) but all it did was scroll through the various options I could change (the day, the time, the temperature, etc.).

Not wanting to screw up their program and not knowing how to exit the programming section, I just walked away from the thermostat. Not wanting to wake my friend, and figuring the thermostat would just return to its default state, I went to bed.

Upon waking up, the temperature in this zone of the house (there are three zones) was in the low 50s. And, even when my friend tried to turn up the heat, air would come out of the registers but it was cold and never heated up. My friend later discovered his pipes froze.

* On a side note, the zones in the floors above and below this zone had heat that worked in the morning. They have also never had this problem with their heat.

My friend insists this was not my fault, but I'm obviously skeptical and the timing of the issue seems to be more than coincidental.

The question is:

WAS MY INABILITY TO GET OUT OF THE PROGRAMMING SECTION OF THE THERMOSTAT THE REASON FOR MY FRIEND'S PIPES FREEZING?


Thanks,
Erik