October 15, 2019
After Thanksgiving, it is usually time to close down your seasonal cabin, trailer or vacation house for the winter. One of the biggest issues is preventing your pipes from freezing during the off-season, which is a very common problem.
You should partially winterize any time the residence is not used full-time or when it will be left unoccupied for long stretches. You should completely winterize your seasonal cabin or trailer after Thanksgiving (or sooner if the weather is below freezing!) and continue until the middle of spring.
You will need to go through a few steps to winterize your cabin or trailer. If you will not be parking a trailer in a covered, warm space, do follow these winterizing tips:
Water Heater – Drain the water from your hot water tank using the drain valve located at the bottom of the tank. Attach a garden hose to the valve and drain it into the nearest drain or outside. Turn the breaker off to the tank or turn off the gas valve, or both, depending on whether your tank is electric or gas.
Water Lines – Find the water supply lines for your cabin where they come into the foundation. These are typically copper or PVC lines coming from the ground. Locate the shutoff valve to these lines and turn off all water.
Faucets – Once the water is turned off, locate the lowest faucet on the property (preferably one on the exterior). Open that faucet and leave it open. If you do not have an exterior faucet, find a faucet at the lowest elevation point inside the cabin and turn it on.
Remove Water – Next, go through the cabin and turn every faucet to the on position and flush every toilet. This will eliminate as much water as possible from the system.
Antifreeze – Next, pour antifreeze into every drain of the cabin, including showers, sinks, and toilets. For RVs, you can use RV antifreeze, but for cabins, you must use regular antifreeze. RV antifreeze is diluted for water tanks.
Dishwasher – Close the dishwasher (if applicable) and let it run for a few seconds to pull any water from inside the supply lines. This will activate the solenoid for the dishwasher and prevent it from freezing or breaking during the winter.
Even when you follow all of these steps, you may not get all of the water drained from your cabin’s pipes. If you experience any breakage or pipe issues, Always Plumbing & Heating will be there to help.