Winterizing the Cabin
My cabin is more for new build methods. On my cabin which is 12 years old I had my plumber during the build set cabin up for quick drain. When leaving cabin,
Turn furnace down to 56, flip fuse for water pump and electric water heater off. Open all faucets and flush all toilets until empty. Plunge water out of toilet traps and put rv antifreeze in all traps. Open drain valve above water heater and both valves after pressure tank in basement. These are at lowest spot. They catch in 5 gallon buckets remaining water in angled pipes around house. Takes about 5 to 7 minutes to stop draining. I do not empty the water heater tank. This sits in basment next to floor drain. Plumber stated i would without doubt start the water heater before i refilled it and ruin it long before this place would freeze and maybe lose the heater to freeze. I turn thermostat on gas fireplace to 50 degrees. Installed in fireplace a device called the cabin friend that can turn gas fireplace on by battery power. If power would go out for extended time and dropped to 50 degrees in cabin the device would turn on fireplace. Does not run fans but easily heats all the main floor. 12 years no problem. We heat and electric cabin in northern wi in dead of winter for less than 100 per month.
Lakeshiner , your house/cabin sounds just like mine . Monolithic slab that has pex type heat coils run from a boiler throughout it . Summer fills and woodburner , 2x6 walls , home faces south with enough glass to catch whatever is available in winter to also warm the tile floors . Toasty !!
If you have a phone line, you can get a freeze alarm too. My water heater actually went out last year because the intake froze up and that is how my radiant heat runs. My alarm called me and let me know. I could then call it at different intervals to see the current temp in the building so I could tell how fast I had to head up. I only lost a degree every few hours so I had enough time to deal with it. Moved my exhaust pipe further away and then I was fine. Nothing like gluing PVC in -4 temps lol.
I have a Vermont Castings wood stove, I really like it. The ash tray swings out underneath it. That thing can cook us out if we overload it. We got it figured out now but there were times we had the windows open in the middle of winter and it was 80 inside. Heavy cast iron, like 350 pounds even though it doesn't look like it.
Winterization process; Drain water heater and pipes, blow out traps and replace water with rv antifreeze, when water is done draining blow out pipes, plunge out toilet and put in rv antifreeze, sponge out toilet tank and rv antifreeze, (take apart fill valve and rv anti freeze, rv anti in the dishwasher and run it for 30 seconds, sponge out sump pump it. It's a hassle but worth not having worries on the return.
Cabin building thoughts; put pipes on a slant so they will back drain, DO NOT put a check valve anywhere (holds water, avoid pipes on outside walls (better to come up inside of a cabinet)
just some thoughts from a weekend warrior.