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How to Winterize Your Cottage
Winter is on its way – are you ready?
Although the weather in Michigan has remained unseasonably warm for mid-November, snow is on its way soon. For cottage owners, that means it is time to winterize the cottage. Winterizing your cottage may sound intimidating, but for many cottages it only entails a few relatively simple steps:
- Turn off the water to the cottage.
- Turn off and drain the hot water heater. If the cottage has a well, the pressure tank should also be drained.
- Thoroughly flush and drain all of the pipes. In order to do this, you should first find the lowest water faucet (preferably on the exterior) and open the faucet. Then go through the cottage and open all of the remaining water faucets, shower/tub faucets, and flush every toilet until they are empty. If the cottage has a water line in the refrigerator, drain the water line and empty any ice trays. It is very important to eliminate as much water from the pipes as possible.
- Pour a “cap full” of antifreeze into every drain in the cottage, including, toilets, sinks, and showers.
- Turn on the dishwasher for a few seconds. This will allow any water remaining in the line to the dishwasher to drain.
- Lastly, ensure that all of the windows and doors are locked before leaving for the winter.
Prior to winterizing your cottage, it may be wise to consult with a local plumber regarding the above steps. A little time and effort spent to properly close down your cottage now can make the difference between immediately enjoying the cottage next spring or spending most of the spring repairing burst pipes.
A special thank you to Rich Kogelschatz of Heartland Builders for his assistance.