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tadpole

Cabin Winterization

11 posts in this topic

Just bought a cabin up north. I am getting ready to shut it down for the winter. Was a year round home. I have never winterized a cabin before. I have a full basement, do I need to add anything to the sump pump? I know how to blow the lines ect. Any other help would be appreciated. What about varmits?(Mice ect) I also plan on putting gutters up, I did not see any cabins with gutters on them while I was looking at houses. Ice tear them off? Fill with pine needle? Why do they not put them on? I'm getting a small amount of water in the basement so I want to prevent this.

Thank
Tad

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Wheres the well pump, In the house or in the well? Shallow well with pump in the case above water?
Water tank and all lines need to be drained and blown out.

Toilets tanks drained. Toilet bowl and trap drained. All sink traps drained.

I don't like the idea of leaving a basement unheated through the winter. You might want to consider closing the upstairs off and keeping the basement heated to 40 degrees. Then insulate the ground outside with straw. Lay down plastic then straw and cover with plastic. Do the same with your septic tank and if its a trench system.
Rain gutters will help with the water in the basement but its best to slope the grade away from your foundation.

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After draining all the lines and toilet tanks and bowls, traps, water heater tank, low pipes that will hold water, (should have drain valves if you don't blow the lines out.) be sure to put RV antifreeze in them to avoid any possibility of freezing and bursting. ~1/2" in the tank and enough to seal the bowl and all traps. RV anti-freeze is VERY CHEAP insurance. I have a lake home in Northern MN that I use regularly in the winter and shut it down every weekend I leave. I valve half the cabin off for winter so that I only need to do the kitchen, 1 bathroom, and the washtub when I shut it down. (it's sure nice to have a hot shower after being on the ice all day).
I also agree with ST as far as heating it in the winter. We installed base board heat in the basement 2 years ago and keep it 45 in the winter.....what's really sweet....is I have an alarm/thermostat control that calls me and alerts me if the power goes out or if it gets below a set temp.....I can also call the cabin and check the temp and change the temp between a low or high set point. smile.gif (using 2 thermostats)
I call the cabin before leaving the cities and switch the temp to 60 and 4 hrs later I walk into a warm cabin and turn on all the water immediately....light a fire...and pour a cocktail grin.gif
If your interested in the thermostat control let me know. I've got the literature at home still. Great company...they worked with us for a month because our's wasn't originally working right due to the long dial tone delays and weak voltage on the lines we were on the end of. After all that they gave us our unit free and a gift certificate to Outback for our help. My step-dad, being a retired engineer had a ball troubleshooting there product smile.gif
works great ever since !!

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Tadpole;
You are right on both accounts with the gutters. Leaves and debris clog them up and the ice and snow tear them off. There is a drop down made. My Father-in law-tried those...... ice made short work of those too.
Water in the basement.... could be no drain tile around the foundation or as ST stated. Some sump systems are just a hole in the floor with no tile to drain water to the hole. Thats another reason to heat the basement, if you plan on leaving the sump on.
Good Luck.

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rvvrrat,
I'll grab the information at home tonight and send you an email tomorrow.
The manufacturer is in Chanhassen.....I just can't remember their name right now.

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Tad,
in addition to the above posts, if you pull the sump pump out, remove the in-line check valve that's usually right above the pump in the discharge pipe, this check valve will keep water in the pipe above the check valve and will freeze causing the pipe to crack.
Also, I put plastic food wrap or over the toilet bowls to keep mice from falling in the water/antifreeze and drowning, nothing the wife likes more than a couple dead bloated mice floating in the toilet.

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Thanks to all! I don't know how I could even get by without this site. I have found everything from fishing info, lawn care, mississippi access and quite a few friends. It sounds like a bunch of work, I'm going to pass on the guttering and try alittle fishing instead

Thanks again,
Tad

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Twitter,

I am very interested in the thermostats you mentioned. If you don't want to post the info here please contact me at rvvrrat at hotmail dot com.

Thx!
Pete

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Thanks to everyone for all the help! I left the basement heated after a run to Menards. Closed down all the rooms upstairs except the kitchen and left the furnace on 45. I installed a electric heater in the basement 220/with a blower, hard wired in set it at about 45 also. Blew out the lines ect. I should be good to go??? If I missed anything let me know.

Thanks
Tad

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Tadpole, close the curtains. No use giving anybody any incentive. You might want to leave one light on as well. Is there a neighbor that might be able to check on the place now and then?

chunk

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Thanks for all the help! I did meet a few of the neighbors, and yes one of the fellows is going to check on my cabin. WWII vet 89 years old and check on everyones cabin!!!! Super nice guy! I left the furnace on set as low as it would go and closed off all of the bedrooms, family rooms and baths. I blew out all the lines. Closed up all the windows with plastic. I installed an electric heater in the basement and left it on 45. I was wondering about the amount of show. My neighbor behind me said he comes up a couple of times a year to shovel the snow off the roof, he has a trailer, do I need to find someone to shovel off my roof and will I be ok with the winterization. How many time should I expect to have to fill my gas tank, it is a large one. Does the gas company regularly come out and fill or will I have to call them.

Thanks,
Tad

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