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How to Manage the Plumbing System in a Cabin

There’s nothing like being able to get away to your own little piece of the great outdoors and spending a few days in your very own cabin. Cabins provide a quiet retreat and a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Since you don’t want to be spending your time away dealing with plumbing issues in your cabin, here are a few ways to ensure the plumbing system remains in good condition, even when you’re away for long periods at a time.

Flush the System before Leaving

Since your cabin is just an occasional getaway, it’s likely that you don’t go to great lengths to keep it heated or cooled when you’re not there. In the winter, if your cabin is in a cold climate, this can be a problem if you don’t follow the proper procedures to protect the plumbing system. Before you leave at the end of a visit, turn off the water supply to the cabin at the main water cutoff valve, then flush all toilets and run all faucets until no more water is coming in. Once the supply has been exhausted, you can be fairly certain that most pipes are free from water, which will prevent the pipes from freezing on those cold winter days when the cabin is not being heated.

Thoroughly Insulate All Pipes

Without heat, or, typically, without much heat, all the supply and drain lines in your cabin could be susceptible to freezing. You want to give yourself the best chance at not returning to a flooded or mold-infested cabin next time, so thoroughly insulating all pipes, including drain pipes, is a good way to accomplish this. Even if the pipes do not come anywhere close to an exterior wall, insulating them is still important, as the entire cabin will be much, much colder than a typical house.

Use Antifreeze as Needed

No matter how much water you get out of your supply lines, you’re still going to have some water that remains in the drain traps. In a cabin that will likely get very chilly, any water, anywhere, is a bad idea. To prevent the remaining water from freezing, use a small amount of antifreeze in the traps to ensure that you don’t encounter any unnecessary plumbing issues when you return for another getaway. Make sure to use the antifreeze made for RVs, as it is non-toxic, especially compared to the ethylene glycol antifreeze made for cars.

Get a Pro’s Help

If you are uncertain about any item in your winterization checklist, it’s best to call a plumber from a company like A B C Drain & Plumbing. With the average cost to repair water damage at over $2,500, a small investment could save you a big cost in the future. Explain to the plumber that you want to winterize your house, and they can do a check to make sure all pipes and valves have been properly drained and will not burst over the long winter months. Again, if this step helps you avoid a house-full of water damage, it’s worth every second and every dollar spent.

Keep It Simple

If your cabin is just going to be an occasional getaway, it’s important to try and keep the plumbing system as simple as possible. After all, part of the purpose of coming to a cabin is to “rough it” a little, so if you have a complicated plumbing system feeding a bunch of different sources, it kind of defeats this purpose. A simple system that meets your basic needs will be much easier to maintain, thus giving you more time to enjoy all that Mother Nature has to offer.

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