Q: Every fall we debate back and forth as to the best method of closing up our cottage for the winter months. Do you have some guidelines that we might follow.
A: Oh yes fall is fast approaching and we have to give up the summer place until spring. It is important to be very diligent so that there are no surprises when you return in the spring. Depending on the type of cottage, home or RV you have there are some specific tasks to keep in mind.
• Shut off water system by turning off pump or shutting the valve if on city water.
• Drain the pressure tank.
• Open all faucets.
• Break a union close to the valve so water will drain out clear to shut-off valve.
• Drain pump and run a few seconds to be sure all water is out of lines from the pump.
• To stop sewer gas, flush toilets and dip water out of flush tank and bowl, stuff plastic bags full of insulation into bowl.
• Drain flexible spray hoses in showers and sinks.
• Drain water heaters.
• Electric heating systems require no maintenance other than shutting the power at electrical panel.
• Turn off burner emergency switch.
Vacuum heating fins on baseboard heaters
• Washer: Shut off water supply line and drain water from drain hoses.
• Remove food or containers that contain liquid that can freeze.
• Put non-perishable food items in sealed plastic containers.
Keep pests out
• Cover Chimneys tightly to keep out raccoons, rodents and birds. Leave yourself a note so you do not forget to uncover in the spring before lighting a fire.
• Cover and/or plug any entry points in the foundation or eaves where squirrels, mice or other small animals can enter.