Winterizing a seasonal home
Posted by JJVA on March 31, 2004 at 08:56:28:
We purchased a seasonal weekend house last November. I knew we wouldn't be staying there until Spring, so I tried to winterize the house. I didn't want to be paying for heat month after month when I wasn't going to be there. I did a lousy job, as evidenced by the frozen pipes I found when I went back to the house a few weeks ago. I'm a city guy. Never dealt with a well before, which added a little to my ignorance, but not much.

This is what I did to "winterize" the house:

1. I drained the hot water heater, and the compression tank.
2. I emptied the toilet tank.
3. I put car winshield washer fluid into the traps for the bathroom and kitchen sink, and into the toilet. It's supposed not to freeze until below 20 degrees below zero.
4. I opened the outside spigot to drain water from the house.

This is what I found after the Winter:

1. Three breaks in the cold water pipes.
2. Two breaks in the hot water pipes.

Obviously, I should have realized that the hot water pipes wouldn't empty from what I did.

Here's what I'm doing now:

1. Repairing the five breaks.
2. Putting in spigots under the house (it's on stilts) to empty the cold and hot water when I'll be away during the Winter.

Here are my questions:

1. Will the winshield washer fluid screw up the septic system?
2. Will just repairing the breaks in the pipes be enough? If a pipe didn't burst from freezing, is it okay, or is it weakened where it will break later?
3. Why didn't the black pipe carrying water coming up out of the ground from the well freeze too? It is exposed for four feet. It should have frozen even with the heat on.
4. Will what I'm doing work next Winter? Am I forgetting something?

Thanks for any advice.

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