Do you have a vacation cottage or a cabin with running water? Like many cabin owners, you may just turn the water off the last time you visit in the fall, and leave the building alone until springtime. This approach is better than nothing, but it is an even better idea to have a plumber head out to the cabin and properly winterize it. Here are some of the services they can and should perform while on-site.
Drain the water heater
Simply turning off the water heater in winter is not a good idea. If the cabin falls below freezing, the water inside the water heater will freeze, which could cause lasting damage and flooding. Your plumber can drain the water heater so that it sits empty all winter. When you return to the cabin in the spring, you will just have to turn one valve to fill the tank back up and get things going again.
Turn off outside water valves
If you just turn the water off, there will be some water remaining in any pipes and fixtures leading to the outdoors. This can freeze and burst the pipes. Your plumber will drain these pipes and turn off any outside valves. They will probably also lubricate the valves, which will not only make them easier to turn in the spring but also less likely to break if you ever turn them during cold weather.
Clean out drains
If there is anything gross in your cabin's drains — and there almost certainly is — that grime will be pretty smelly after sitting all winter. Your plumber can use a drain snake or a hydrojet to clean out the drains, removing any hair, grease, or other debris. When you return to the cabin, your drains will smell fresh and work freely.
Check for weak spots in the pipes
Finally, your plumber should check for any weak spots in the pipes. They'll look for corroded spots, tiny cracks, and places where the pipe joints do not come together perfectly. Even with your pipes drained, the cold temperatures in winter can cause cracks and damage to worsen. You don't want to turn on the water for the first time in spring and have it gush out a damaged pipe. If your plumber finds any damaged pipes, they will fix them.
Paying a plumber to winterize your cabin is a smart choice and can prevent a lot of water-related disasters.
If you have additional concerns or questions, reach out to a local plumber.