By Chad Fielding, Conference Centers Operations Manager
As cold weather approaches, we would like to offer some helpful information as cabin owners consider what to do with their cabins for the winter season.
If you wish to heat your cabin over the winter, Falls Creek strongly encourages you to turn the main water valve off to the cabin. In the event of a power outage or lack of propane, having the main water valve turned off could help minimize any damage your cabin might experience due to frozen and burst pipes. Setting your thermostat to as low as 50°F will help keep your cabin from experiencing any freezing and help minimize energy costs.
If you do not wish to continue to heat your cabin throughout the winter, we would suggest you take the following steps to shut down and prepare your cabin for the winter months.
- Turn off the main water valve to the cabin and open any drain back that might be present in the valve box to help drain as much water as possible from the water lines servicing the structure
- Turn hot water tanks off at the breaker or unplug them and then drain them completely
- Extinguish any pilot lights on stoves, hot water tanks, and heaters and turn off the main valve at the propane tank
- Once the main valve is turned off to the cabin open up all faucets and shower handles to ensure water is not trapped in the fixture or mixing chamber and allow water to drain out of the lines that may be overhead
- Flush all toilets and ensure the tank is empty. If water is still present in the bowl, pour anti-freeze in to keep it from freezing and busting the bowl
- Pour anti-freeze in any drain, especially 2nd-floor drains (floor, shower, water fountains, sinks, etc.)
- If low spots are present in the water supply lines, remove a stop valve and either utilize a shop vac or air compressor to help remove water from the lines
- If you turn the power off throughout the cabin to help minimize energy costs, it would be advantageous to prop open any refrigerator or freezer doors in an attempt to avoid the potential for mold & mildew
Falls Creek maintenance staff are willing and able to provide winterization services for cabin owners. Please contact the Falls Creek Welcome Center at (580)369-2101 to request the winterization of your cabin. Services provided will closely follow the steps listed above, with the fee being $20/hour (one-hour minimum charge) and an additional cost for use of anti-freeze at $12/gallon. Most cabins require one to two hours to complete. Larger multi-story cabins can take longer, but it is our desire to complete the process as quickly and efficiently as possible. If you have any additional questions or would like information about how to prepare your cabin for the coming months, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org; I’m happy to assist you and guide you through the process.