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woody1975

Cabin Questions - Winterizing

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woody1975

My wife and I just bought a cabin by Pelican Rapids. I know it is early, but I have been buying things for it left and right and if I find good deals, I want to jump on them.

My questions is: I would like to use this cabin as often as possible, all four seasons. It has a crawl space and we have insulated it very well. What do some of you do to utilize your seasonal cabins in the winter. My first thought is to get a kerosene heater to put under the cabin just when I get there to warm up the pipes (I wouldn't run it continous). Can I use the water in the winter or do I need to just bring water in? We had some trouble getting the water going this spring, so we filled the toilet tank with water out of the tank until we got all of the pipes fixed. The toilet worked fine just filling the back with water and we could usee it. Would this be safe in the winter or am I out of luck?

Just looking for some early advice - I want to be ready.

TY

DL

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iffy

Quote:


Woody: Were you planning on draining the water system when you werent there? It's not a good idea to leave water on anywhere when you don't live there, unless the place has been designed for that from the start. Bring your cabins insulation up to snuff, insulate the crawl space, and any pipes down there, and you might be good to go. Otherwise just carry buckets of water in from the lake for your stool, and bring drinking water along.n Good luck.

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stick

I went through the same thing this past summer. I put 2 rows of 2" pink foam on the crawl-space walls and put an(sealed) oil reservoir heater in the crawlspace and set it mid-way (this is the typical Home Depot off the shelf unit). I shut the well pump breaker off when I leave. I also put an indoor/outdoor thermometer in there and put the cabled thermometer through a hole in the floor to measure the temp in the crawlspace. The thermometer ($10 at Target) tracks minimums and maximums, and the coldest it got in the crawlspace was in the upper 40s, and typically maintains around 60. This helps with warmer floors, too. I was worried about it, but I'm not too worried about it after experiencing a winter (with a SERIOUS cold snap). This is in the Grand Rapids area for reference. I also make sure I open up the cupboard doors for any under sink plumbing along an outer wall to let the normal heat get at the pipes. Make sure it's insulated behind those pipes, too.

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woody1975

They had the system set-up pretty well. I have an air-hook up and we are planning to shut the pump off, drain, and run air through the entire system (This wasn't done this past year, which is why we had to fix some pipes that had burst)

Insulating behind the pipes (need to remember that).

Sealed oil resivior heater - Did you run it all winter or did you just turn it on when you got there.

I'd rather not run the heat all winter, but was thinking of just setting it up when I got there. I have wrapped the main water line with heat tape and that worked very well (runs on a thermostat).

I appreciate the responses.

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stick

I ran the heater all winter, and they are pretty efficient and it doesn't cost a whole lot to do so. My crawl-space has outside access only, so I don't go in there in the winter due to snow buildup (if we really even get snow anymore).

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woody1975

Thanks Stick

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lawdog

Quote:

I ran the heater all winter


Weren't you worried about leaving that running while you weren't there for weeks at a time? I sure would be...

We drain our system and dump a little RV anti freeze in the traps as our cabin isn't winterized. I personally think if your cabin isn't built for it, you are asking for more of that pipe type trouble at some point by not winterizing your water system...

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stick

Oh yea, one last point. Make sure your insurance policy is up to date. Enjoy.

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dukhntr

I have done this several ways. First, when remodeling (insulating) we shut off the water after duck season, or if a warm winter,after deer season, pulled the pump and took it home (warm) and drained all of the lines. When using the cabin in the winter, we brought our drinking water, and either cut a hole in the ice or brought additional water to flush the toilet. We also uned the "shower in a bag" (coleman) by heating water on the stove and adding water as necessary.

Next phase incuuded a heat tape on the end of the sand point above ground and continuing up a short pipe and wrapping it around a "pitcher pump" installed only for winter use. This dramatically decreased the amount of water we need to carry. We were still using the shower bag, and a pitcher to pour water into the tank on the toilet. At the end of the weekend, all traps were treated to antifreeze.

After this phase, I had all water lines heat taped and all water lines were insulated with fiberglass pipe wrap. I use the heat tapes with the built in thermostat, that I believe is set to 37*. We installed a furnace, and I have a trap door that I leave open to get heat to the pump and pipes. All cabinet doors near the water pipes are left open to keep them warm. The furnace thermostat is set to 45* most of the time, unless there is a hard cold snap coming, then I set it to 55*.

We use our cabin nearly every weekend, and have had no freezing problems. Cabin is north of Alexandria.

Hope this helps.

Dukhntr

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woody1975

Dukhntr,

We are north of Alex as well-- In between Pelican Rapids and Vergas.

Maybe we are close.

DL

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dukhntr

Woody: Pomme de Terre Lake near the town of Elbow lake.

Dukhntr

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Heidi

God has never been nice to me when it is 25 below zero in

Grand Rapids and my heat taped wrapped pipes freeze. All it takes is a cold draft hitting a pipe. I have to crawl under there and do a better job of insulating. Not all freeze and most of the time a hair dryer does the job of freeing it up.

Nothing else to do at this temp, cause my butt is inside anyway. Good luck

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gunflint

I am responsible for keeping 11 cabins open and usable all winter. Here's what I would do. Insulate the crawlspace better than you think you should. What we use in our newer cabins is off peak electric heat in the crawl space. Just on heater in the middle. The most important item is Calrods. These are copper lines that run inside the water lines and keep them from freezing.

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stick

I have heard more people hiring someone to do the spray in foam insulation which seals the crawl-space and insulates better than anything else. I looked into it, but a bit more expensive than I cared to put into our little cracker-jack box.

I must say that with 2 rows of foam (the good pink stuff) I never got close to freezing all winter even with the severe cold-snap. It was only a few dollars a month to run the heater, too.

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aprowl

how often do you have to pot fuel in the heater..I use an electric heater and its very exspensive...

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