08:39PM | 09/06/03
Member Since: 09/06/03
2 lifetime posts
Hi, my family has a summer cottage up in Northern Wisconsin. In past years we used to have a neighbor close up the cottage for the winter. He moved away suddenly and now it looks like I'll have to do it myself. He did not leave us any contact information so that I could ask questions. Anyone have any ideas as to what I need to do? I know for a fact I will need to do the following:

- drain the water heater,
- open all the valves and blow the water out of the pipes (we have a combination of cast iron and plastic),
- Put anti-freeze in toilet and tank and perhaps a little in the pipes so that it pools in the traps

We do have an electric well with a tank that is located in a closet just inside the main hallway. The closet has a dirt floor which probably means I can drain it right there. I really don't have a clue what to do with the water tank. I'm assuming that I will need to drain the water from it. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.


04:29PM | 09/07/03
Member Since: 09/17/02
524 lifetime posts
You don't need antifreeze in the toilet tank, only in the bowl to keep smell out. You need to drain ALL water from pipes, pump, pressure tank, traps, tea kettles etc.
Take home any can goods etc. Install window shutters if you have them. Prep lawn mower, outboard motor etc for winter storage.


05:32AM | 09/08/03
Member Since: 09/16/02
250 lifetime posts
Joed, what keeps the water in the tank from freezing? My grandpa had a cabin and he flushed the toilet to drain most the water out of it and then dumped just alittle antifreeze in there. He also used some in the bowl itself. I don't have a list of everything, but I know of a couple things he did.

1. Decon or mouse food.
2. Unplug refrigerator or trip breaker. Remove food. Clean interior with baking soda solution of 1 tablespoon soda to 1 quart of water. Wipe dry. Leave box of soda in frig and freezer. Leave doors open. Water supply to icemaker will already be shut off. (If you have an icemaker)
3. Shut he hot water heater off at the breaker BEFORE you drain it.

Below are a couple websites I just searched for which may come in handy. Checklists for closing up a cottage.

Below is a website of a company who closes cottages for you. Maybe if you don't feel like doing it you can look up in your pohne book if you have anyone like this or call these people to see if they have references.

Good luck.


07:05AM | 09/08/03
Member Since: 09/06/03
2 lifetime posts
Thanks for the advice guys . . . I feel more comfortable in closing up the cottage myself now. It seems the tough part will be to remember everything I need to do with the plumbing part of closing up. I've been doing all the other stuff for years . . . wew've always hired a local to take care of the plumbing part . . . well, he's gone and now it's my turn.


06:15AM | 09/10/03
Member Since: 09/17/02
524 lifetime posts
There should be no water in the tank. You drain it. You only need antifreeze in the bowl to keep the smell out of your cottage. I actually just leave mine dry. I have had antifreeze freeze in the bowl.
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