Maintain Your Pipes and Your Business

How A New Cottage Owner Can Prepare A Water System For Winter Storage

by Sheila Vasquez

There are a lot of things you have to make sure are taken care of each year when you buy a cottage to use during the summertime. One of the most important things is taking care of water system. If you have a cottage in an area that can get prolonged freezing temperatures, you have to make sure your entire water system is capable of handling the freezing cold without the pipes and water pump becoming damaged. Here is how you can winterize the components of a shallow pump water system in a cottage that draws its water from a nearby river or stream.

Winterizing the Cottage Pipes

You need to turn off the water pump that pulls the water from the stream or river and sends it into the cottage. The first step is to turn off the pump and disconnect the water pipes from the intake and discharge valves on the pump.

Allow the water to drain out of the pipes in the cabin. You can open the faucets to help relieve the pressure in the lines and make them drain faster.

Remember to flush the toilets so the water also drains out of the tank. You can use a small hand pump or sponge to remove the water at the bottom of the tank that won't drain out, and to remove the water inside the bottom of the toilet bowl.

Use anti-freeze specifically designed for cottage use to pour down the drains in the sinks, toilet, and bathtub to protect the elbow traps in the drain pipes. Do not use anti-freeze intended for automobile use, as this can harm the environment.

Storing the Water Line

Pull the end of the pipe out from below the water in the river or stream. Lift the pipe so all the water drains out of it. You can then put duct tape on the pipe openings to keep small animals, insects, and debris from getting into the pipe over the winter. This way you can reconnect the water line to the pump in the spring without worrying about things that could damage the pump getting forced into it.

Securing the Pump

Throw a couple of towels over the top of the discharge valve on the pump, and turn the pump on for a couple of short spurts. This will help to remove some of the excess water in the pump's tanks. Turn the power back off to the pump.

Pour the antifreeze into the priming hole on the pump so whatever water is still trapped inside won't freeze and damage the pump over the winter.

Cover the intake and discharge valves on the pump with duct tape until you are ready to restore the water system next summer.

If you need assistance winterizing your cabin's water system, contact a company like Golden Gate Well Drilling & Water Conditioning.

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