Any tips on winterizing a vacant house?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by scaryguyoy, Oct 11, 2006.

  1. scaryguyoy

    scaryguyoy Well-Known Member

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    The furnace is oil ,so i am considering turning the heat off due to cost.I am going to turn the well pump off at the fuse,then empty the water lines.I will then put whatever kind of anti-freeze in the toliet.Besides those are there any other things that i should do.
    Frank
     
  2. MWG

    MWG Well-Known Member

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    Anti freeze in all the drains. They have p-traps that hold water and will bust if you don't put anti freeze in them...
     

  3. brownthumb

    brownthumb Well-Known Member

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    keep the fridge door propped open with a broom.
    be sure your hot water tank doesn't get turned on before it's full with water after you re-start the well pump.
     
  4. anniew

    anniew keep it simple and honest Supporter

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    check for any liquids such as canned food, cleaning supplies, etc. that can freeze and burst.
     
  5. RACCOON

    RACCOON Well-Known Member

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    After u turn the water off ,open all the water valves so the water can drain out disconnect the toilet water supply, open the shower valve ,if ur smart u'll take a air compressor and blow out all the water lines,it's easier to blow out the lines then sweat
    the pipes in the spring,pour r.v. antifreeze in toilet and tank and all drains
    drain water heater and leave plug out,drain ur water pump if its a shallow well pump
    I used to winterize 5 motels every winter
     
  6. suburbanite

    suburbanite Well-Known Member

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    I don't have experience winterizing a place, but I'd think that putting a cap over any chimney to make sure no snow can get in would be important, plus closing the flu and any side vents to keep critters out. Also check the weather-stripping around all the windows and doors, and the points where any pipes go through the walls outside, to make them varmint resistant.

    You might also leave a note on the table in case anyone breaks in while you're gone--to let them know that all the utilities are switched off and so they shouldn't even try to use anything, but also with suggestions for calling for help--I'm thinking if this is a remote cabin or something where a stranded person might turn for help or shelter, more than a robber or a vandal.
     
  7. fantasymaker

    fantasymaker Well-Known Member

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  8. Mutti

    Mutti Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We had a summer cottage in MI and I well remember the year a squirrel got in thru chimney and tore the place up. Be sure that the chimney has screen cap. You'd be surprized how narrow a place a mouse can get thru. Also, mice will do major damage. My folks put out poison and we'd usually find a floater in the anti-freeze water in toliet. They'd make nests in the dressers. We always pulled the drawers and turned them upside down, opened all the cupboard doors.Nice if it is close enough to check on...if not see if you can have a neighbor check on it weekly or so. If we go away we have a neighbor that comes by and checks no one has been around trying to get into house/barns. Not to mention hunters that like to tear out fences and ride all over on their four wheelers. DEE
     
  9. haypoint

    haypoint Unpaid, Volunteer Devil's Advocate Supporter

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    While this was mentioned earlier, it is often overlooked. Just opening the hot and cold water faucets still leaves water in the pipe that runs up to the shower head. You need to open the deverter valve that switches the water from the tub to the shower. When you re-habitate, a split shower pipe won't show up right away and you'll end up with a mess and often a difficult to reach repair.
    Even the drain in the basement floor needs a shot of RV antifreeze.
    Get a handful of mouse traps with peanut butter bait and that should take care of the first round of invaders.
    Tape a note on the water heater breaker: "do not turn on until tank is full", you'll have enough on your mind that you might not remember that the water heater is empty.
     
  10. tiogacounty

    tiogacounty Well-Known Member

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    I'm surprised it took ten posts until somebody mentioned RV antifreeze. Not only is this non-toxic, so it won't kill your dog if he drinks out of the toilet when you aren't looking, it's also a lot cheaper than the green stuff. It's about $3 a gallon at Wal-Mart. It's pink so you can't get it confused with the poisonous stuff. I have checked my camper at ten below and I know it's works. good luck.
     
  11. SmartAZ

    SmartAZ Well-Known Member

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  12. highplains

    highplains Well-Known Member

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    Also glad to see that the RV was mentioned! Much less dangerous and does a good job here in South Dakota- not known for our balmy warm winters.
    The other thing I would do is use downy dryer sheets to keep mice away - stinkier the better! I don't know why they keep mice away but it sure does work well, even with food around in our camper trailer.

    Highplains