We are getting ready to enter our first winter with our small lake cottage in Wisconsin. I am concerned about pipes freezing since it is alongside a very cold lake. We are actually planning to leave our heat set at about 55 degrees all winter long because we have heard this is better for the cottage and we can potentially enjoy some winter weekends out there....but is that it? Do we just set the thermostat and go? Or are there other winterizing items that we should try to do to protect the plumbing? Any help will be appreciated. We are trying to understand all of this before it is truly winter. Thanks again for any responses.
As a minimum you want to shut off the main water valve and/or turn off the pump.
And turn off the water heater.
If there is a problem you won't have weeks/months worth of water leaking.
Depending on the construction details and where the piping is run you might still get damaging freezing with the heat at 55 (or even at 70).
If you can contact the sellers ask them about what and how they winterized.
Also check with neighbors that know the cabin.
Full winterizing is require drain the water lines. If the cabin was setup for this it the lines will be slated to a low spot and a drain valve there. Otherwise an air compressor is used to blow out the lines.
Then flush all of the toilets to remove water from the tank.
Then pour RV antifreeze in the toilet bowl and other traps.
If you have a phone line you can setup a "dail home" freeze alarm.
Or if neighbors can see the house you can put a flashing light freeze alarm in the window.