Providing Plumbing Solutions Since 1986

How to prep your cottage for winter

In the spring we talked about how to get your cottage ready for cottage season, but now that October’s cooler weather has settled in, it’s time to talk about closing the cottage for the winter season.

There’s always a long list of tasks that need to be completed before you can finally close the door on your cottage until next spring. One of the most important is to prepare your cottage’s plumbing for the winter season ahead. Your plumbing system needs to be drained of water to ensure that your pipes will not burst once the cold weather hits.

Steps to prep your cottage’s plumbing for the cold:

  1. Turn off the power to the water pump and hot water heater
  2. Drain the water out of the pipes. Open the taps inside and out to release the vacuum holding the water in the pipes so that they will drain out. If your piping system has not been installed so that it will require only gravity to drain, you’ll need the help of a compressor to blow the lines clear
  3. Open the hot water heater drain valve, which can be left open until it’s time to refill your system again in the spring.
  4. Flush the toilet to remove the water and bail out as much water as you can in the toilet bowl
  5. Pour plumbing antifreeze into the toilet bowl and tank, all sink and tub drains to prevent any remaining water from freezing

If you have a submersible water pump, it can most often be left in the lake over the winter (as long as it will sit below the ice), however the lines running from the pump to the cottage should be emptied of any water. A drain valve at the waterline will help unless you have a check valve somewhere in the intake line.

If you have an above-ground jet pump, ensure that all the water is removed from it, the pressure tank and all connections, hoses. Run some plumbing antifreeze through the system. It’s not a bad idea to stuff tin foil into pump and hose ports to prevent mice from nesting there over the winter.

If all of this sounds too complicated, give us a call, and we’d be happy to schedule an appointment to help you close-down your cottage plumbing systems for the winter.

And if you’re fortunate to have a cottage that will maintain warmth for winter use, we can help you with a winterized water supply system too.

For more tips on getting your cottage ready for winter check out Cottage Life’s “Clever tips for closing up your cottage this fall”

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