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Discussion Starter #1
How do I winterize a three season cottage?
I would prefer to do it myself rather than pay someone but I want to make sure that I do right.
Thanks in advance for the help!
 

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It's going to freeze and any water will expand and can break valves and pipes. You have to get all the water out of them. Turn off the well pump. Some plumbing systems are set up so the pipes drain by gravity, others have to be blown out with compressed air. Be sure to leave all valves in the open position. Don't forget the pipe from the well to the cabin.

Get some RV type (not car type) antifreeze and fill the traps on sinks, bathtubs, and showers. You don't have to drain them first but put in enough antifreeze so it's not too diluted. The water to the toilet should already be shut off. Flush it. Then pour about 4 gallons of water in the bowl all at once. The suction will leave the bowl almost empty. Then treat the bowl like any other trap. Doesn't hurt to put a little antifreeze in the tank too.

Wells will vary depending on what type you have. The basic premise is to drain everything above the frost line. I have a shallow well with the well pump and expansion tank above ground. The well pump has it's own drain plugs. I plumbed in a drain at the low point to drain the rest. I do have to drain the well caseing below the back flow preventer valve.

I also would turn off the electricity at the mains to prevent a fire over the winter.

Don't put out mouse bait. They think it's food and will set up houskeeping in your cabin before it kills them. They could chew on wires and other things you don't want them to chew. They will also die in the walls and really stink the place up for a few weeks in the spring. Don't leave anything out for them to eat. They can chew through plastic so totes won't work to protect food.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Nimrod, very informative.

I do not have a well, the cottage is spring fed.
There is a small pump in the crawl space that the former owners said they take with them, so I will do the same.

Would a wet/dry vacuum work to blow out the lines or would I need something more powerful?
 

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I think a compressor would work better, but I've never tried a vac. Every other year or so, our pipes in the barn would freeze because of pockets of water that wouldn't drain properly. I finally put to air valves in so I could blow it down with a compressor, and haven't had any trouble since.

Nimrod has a good point about the mice. My parents have cabin in the mountains. Although it's well built and insulated, they'll still get mice in. A few times, we had to burn the bedding due to mice infestation. They'd get in and chew it into material for nests, and it'd be full of droppings. Now we get rid of any food that not in cans, and put all fabric (clothes, blankets, etc) in tight wooden chests, metal foot lockers, etc. It's a pain to do, but makes it easier to go back up in the spring. Curt
 
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