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Old 09-15-2020, 12:04 AM   #1
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Default Maximum season length with a 3 season cottage?

How late in the season can you safely go if a place is not insulated using lake water pump (outside) in an uninsulated pump house?

And how early can you safely open?
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Old 09-15-2020, 07:24 AM   #2
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How late in the season can you safely go if a place is not insulated using lake water pump (outside) in an uninsulated pump house?

And how early can you safely open?
I'm interested in hearing the answer, too. In terms of water, it would all depend on the weatheróexposed pipes without water movement in sustained below-freezing temps will end that. In terms of interior conditions, I should think it would depend purely on the battle between your heating source, weather, tightness of the exterior boards and windows, and your willingness to accept cold outside edges and warm central sources of heat.

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Old 09-15-2020, 07:31 AM   #3
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From Columbus Day to Patriot's Day, Oct 12 to April 19, is the official lakes region, rule for freez'n pipes.

A standard porcelain toilet is what freezes and cracks, first and fast.

One way to beat that winter chill; go to www.ebay.com and purchase a heated mattress pad, made by Sunbeam, and fall in love with your Sunbeam heated mattress pad!

Is better than going to Naples, Florida!
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Old 09-15-2020, 07:39 AM   #4
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Really can't judge by time.You have to keep a close watch on the weather.
Most systems won't freeze until there is a sustained temp in the low to mid 20's
If you leave a faucet on at a slow trickle or a fast drip (outside faucet preferably) the pump will come on occasionally and the lake water will prevent the system from freezing.
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Old 09-15-2020, 08:20 AM   #5
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Default Live and Learn

Fifty-three years of island living has taught us to close during Columbus Day week. We have had cold snaps in late October down to 11 degrees. A few years ago, there was a fairly heavy snowstorm just before Halloween. Too old now to deal with cold weather! 🐻
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Old 09-15-2020, 09:13 AM   #6
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general rule of thumb is ours is shut down by 11/1. and a lot of time our plumber winterizes by mid November. All depends on your building, your pipes, sun exposure.
open mid April.
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Old 09-15-2020, 09:20 AM   #7
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We open May 15, close Oct 15 every year.

Could open slightly sooner but boat valet does not start for us until around May 15 so not worth it.

Once you get past mid-Oct you run the chance of a short freeze. Even if not enough to crack pipes, your begining to get to the point where it is no fun breaking out the compresser and antifreeze and getting wet. Or pulling the dock with cold water pouring in your boots.
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Old 09-15-2020, 09:22 AM   #8
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If you use the place after Columbus Day, winterize it each time before you go home.

You need to be thorough. I winterized a friend's place but their adult daughter took her boy-friend back after, for a romantic autumn get-away. They only drained the pipes and did not blow them out. The trapped water caused at least 4 leaks in the over-head pipes. Thank goodness they didn't know how to de-winterize the the heating system because the old-man did not want that anti-freeze stuff in it.

If you have section/zone valves in the system, you may wish to provide a minimum supply of water, to the toilet and a spigot, or just a spigot. Lugging your water in a bucket will be 'rustic' and help you get in touch with your inner pioneer!

Have fun, good luck!
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Old 09-15-2020, 10:18 AM   #9
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There really is now specific dates in my case, I monitor weather. I have the winterizing process down to about 3 hours..... (this includes things like draining hot water tank, blowing out pump and moving it into the boat shed etc.)

When the weather starts to show multiple nights in the 20s and teens in a row, I go up and winterize.

As soon, as nights in the 20s and teens become rare occasions, and the lake is ice-out I go open things up....
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Old 09-15-2020, 05:46 PM   #10
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We usually close 3rd week of October but have gone to Halloween with no issues. As far as turn on, as soon as they call ice out my water is turned on.

We always shut off the breakers when not there in case of a leak. We had a leak a few weeks ago from a failed fitting the plumber had just installed, had we not turned the breaker off it could have ran all week. We are single story and all plumbing is under the house so no risk inside. We just re-plumbed all with pex.
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Old 09-15-2020, 06:08 PM   #11
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Water system is in from ice out till the first week in October.

Far as use goes, I use mine in the winter all the time in a good season I get 6-7 weekends. No running water though.
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Old 09-15-2020, 06:37 PM   #12
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Water system is in from ice out till the first week in October.

Far as use goes, I use mine in the winter all the time in a good season I get 6-7 weekends. No running water though.
Is your place insulated at all?
What do you use for a heat source?
I have no idea why, but this fascinates meómaybe the man vs. nature thing.

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Old 09-15-2020, 07:28 PM   #13
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Default Winter Use

I use my camp occasionally in the winter. No running water inside but I do have a submersible pump with heated hose to draw water from the lake through a cut hole in the ice. The pump then fills up a 20 gallon water tank that I keep warm with a bucket heater. The Outdoor shower heats up nice Even when super cold out with a camping style on demand water Heater system.

Reliance toilet waste bags take care of bathroom issues or we take a trip to the mainland.

No issues with heat,... electric baseboard as well as mini split and propane fireplace get it toasty pretty quick. Having Wi-Fi thermostats is a big plus for getting the camp warm ahead of time!!

Oh yeah, the wife has never spent the night during the winter months and doubt she ever will. I mainly use it for ice fishing / snowmobiling, etc, etc.

Yes my camp is fully insulated.

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Old 09-15-2020, 09:54 PM   #14
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Thanks for all the feedback, very helpful.

I am a penny pincher when it comes to wasted fuel. So, on our old property I set it up so that I could remotely turn the power off to our oil furnace (which also did the hot water). There was no sense running it when we were not there for standby hot water and not that cold out. This saved a lot of fuel.

So with no heat at all the house usually would not drop below 40F until mid December. But of course the house was well insulated and sitting on a ton of granite. I had an alarm that would message me when temp dropped below 40 F and I would turn Furnace on. Usually at 5AM. But we burned less than 200 gallons of oil a year and that included hot water. I had antifreeze in the heating system too, because those baseboard heating pipes are the most vulnerable to freezing.

Like others said, it would take sustained low 20's before the house would drop below 40 F. Can depend on wind too.

As mentioned by others, my guess is 11/1 to Ice Out would be fairly safe for most places as well based on my own (non 3 season in how it behaved).
I know it varies with weather and exact situation at each site and there are many ways to extend usage.
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Old 09-15-2020, 10:53 PM   #15
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Default Winter island

Sanibel, maybe Captiv a if you want to rough it.
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Old 09-16-2020, 09:48 PM   #16
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Default Be wary of pex

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We usually close 3rd week of October but have gone to Halloween with no issues. As far as turn on, as soon as they call ice out my water is turned on.

We always shut off the breakers when not there in case of a leak. We had a leak a few weeks ago from a failed fitting the plumber had just installed, had we not turned the breaker off it could have ran all week. We are single story and all plumbing is under the house so no risk inside. We just re-plumbed all with pex.
Rodents (mice and red squirrels) will eat it. Better to stay old school with copper in a seasonal home.
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Old 09-16-2020, 09:53 PM   #17
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Default Pretty tight consensus

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How late in the season can you safely go if a place is not insulated using lake water pump (outside) in an uninsulated pump house?

And how early can you safely open?
In the spring, as soon as we have ice out, the system is turned on. Usually early April. Drain the system beginning Columbus Day weekend. Weíve come back as late as Thanksgiving and fired up everything for a few days, weather permitting. Cost is a couple gallons of RV antifreeze....
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Old 09-16-2020, 09:54 PM   #18
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Rodents (mice and red squirrels) will eat it. Better to stay old school with copper in a seasonal home.
That's good to know, I've been using Pex (love the stuff) on anything new or even on modest repairs.

But you can get mice even in a modern 4 season home, they can squeeze through the smallest crack.
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Old 09-17-2020, 08:38 AM   #19
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I also leave all my breakers on except the fridge and water heater (city water and sewer so no well pump). Just in case the mice decide they want to eat wire they will get zapped right away before they can cause any real damage to the wiring.
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Old 09-17-2020, 04:38 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by thinkxingu View Post
Is your place insulated at all?
What do you use for a heat source?
I have no idea why, but this fascinates meómaybe the man vs. nature thing.

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When I renovated my place I insulated it. The only thing that is not insulated is the floor. The real concern for me was the ceiling as I vaulted them and after much discussion with the building inspector I opted to modify the soffits which are now vented and installed a ridge vent. There is about a 3" gap between the roof sheathing and the top of the insulation in the ceilings to allow air flow. I'll get to the floor later once I see a way to do it that I like. Last thing I want is to attract mice which is always a concern. Since it was a complete redo down to the studs the exterior was was sheathed with zip board and I have new double pane windows. So the building is tight.

On any given weekend I bring a couple gallons of water for drinking, melt snow for cooking and have a small camping chem potty.

All in all it's not to bad at all. In fact during my years of renovation winter time was used to haul out big bulky and heavy stuff over the ice. Also my last weekend of winter occupancy I make sure all my propane tanks are topped off for the summer. Wrestling 100 pound propane tanks in the boat is a pain!

Far as heat goes I use a blue flame vent less heater 20K BTU heating about 600SQFT for now, eventually I'll install either a vented gas or pellet stove. How well does it work? I do need to keep the ceiling fans running to mix the air and do crack a couple of windows for cross ventilation. Also have 2 CO detectors. Here is the coldest reading I took last winter.
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Old 09-17-2020, 10:06 PM   #21
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When I renovated my place I insulated it. The only thing that is not insulated is the floor. The real concern for me was the ceiling as I vaulted them and after much discussion with the building inspector I opted to modify the soffits which are now vented and installed a ridge vent. There is about a 3" gap between the roof sheathing and the top of the insulation in the ceilings to allow air flow. I'll get to the floor later once I see a way to do it that I like. Last thing I want is to attract mice which is always a concern. Since it was a complete redo down to the studs the exterior was was sheathed with zip board and I have new double pane windows. So the building is tight.

On any given weekend I bring a couple gallons of water for drinking, melt snow for cooking and have a small camping chem potty.

All in all it's not to bad at all. In fact during my years of renovation winter time was used to haul out big bulky and heavy stuff over the ice. Also my last weekend of winter occupancy I make sure all my propane tanks are topped off for the summer. Wrestling 100 pound propane tanks in the boat is a pain!

Far as heat goes I use a blue flame vent less heater 20K BTU heating about 600SQFT for now, eventually I'll install either a vented gas or pellet stove. How well does it work? I do need to keep the ceiling fans running to mix the air and do crack a couple of windows for cross ventilation. Also have 2 CO detectors. Here is the coldest reading I took last winter.
That's cool to take advantage of the Ice.

Best way to insulate your floor is closed cell blown in foam. No Vapor barrier issues and it will fill every nook.
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Old 09-18-2020, 09:38 AM   #22
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That's cool to take advantage of the Ice.

Best way to insulate your floor is closed cell blown in foam. No Vapor barrier issues and it will fill every nook.
I've considered this approach however.... my concern is that this stuff may attract ants or worse mice that may find it attractive as well. With the bottom of the building completely open to the outside this concerns me.

Not that mice don't find fiberglass insulation attractive either!
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Old 09-18-2020, 09:48 AM   #23
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It only takes a small crack and then you have mice in the house. I foamed around the pipes and haven't seen a mouse since (knock on wood). Creating a barrier under the house for the insulation to sit on that is mouse proof would be complicated. And that's if you have room to work. I absolutely hate working under the house.
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Old 09-18-2020, 10:02 AM   #24
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Default Floor Insulation

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I've considered this approach however.... my concern is that this stuff may attract ants or worse mice that may find it attractive as well. With the bottom of the building completely open to the outside this concerns me.

Not that mice don't find fiberglass insulation attractive either!
Max,

What I did at my place for floor insulation... I used small cans of spray foam around all pipe and other small floor cutouts first. I then installed fiberglass insulation. Covered all insulation with 1/4" luan. I used urethane caulking over all luan seams then screwed strapping over all the seams and sealant to ensure nothing could get through.

Its been under there for 12 years now and we get no mice. bugs or ants. Floor stays nice and warm in winter as well.

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Old 09-18-2020, 10:59 AM   #25
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Max,

What I did at my place for floor insulation... I used small cans of spray foam around all pipe and other small floor cutouts first. I then installed fiberglass insulation. Covered all insulation with 1/4" luan. I used urethane caulking over all luan seams then screwed strapping over all the seams and sealant to ensure nothing could get through.

Its been under there for 12 years now and we get no mice. bugs or ants. Floor stays nice and warm in winter as well.

Dan
Dan

I had a similar thought in mind, when I re-did the house I also re-did the mess of an excuse for plumbing which I consolidated to a single that travels under the floor joists east to west. My thought was to use fiberglass bats and cover it with zip board taping the seams. Same thing I did for the exterior wall and roof sheathing. Thing I love about that stuff is it has that coating on the outside that essentially is better than house wrap already integrated. The goal being that if I have to gain access I can with it being screwed into place. Since I have all my plumbing consolidated I can box around that and insulate that as well.

My neighbor just had a new place built and they employed a similar method to insulate the floor as well which I was curious to see how they would do it.

I'll figure it out and start to experiment with it. I do like what you did. Since the luan is so thin have you had any problems with it warping on you? I was thinking the 3/8" green zip board, although heavy would not suffer from this.
I've had that stuff warp so bad it popped through screw heads! Guess using a pan washer would help with that under every screw head.
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Old 09-18-2020, 11:31 AM   #26
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Dan

I had a similar thought in mind, when I re-did the house I also re-did the mess of an excuse for plumbing which I consolidated to a single that travels under the floor joists east to west. My thought was to use fiberglass bats and cover it with zip board taping the seams. Same thing I did for the exterior wall and roof sheathing. Thing I love about that stuff is it has that coating on the outside that essentially is better than house wrap already integrated. The goal being that if I have to gain access I can with it being screwed into place. Since I have all my plumbing consolidated I can box around that and insulate that as well.

My neighbor just had a new place built and they employed a similar method to insulate the floor as well which I was curious to see how they would do it.

I'll figure it out and start to experiment with it. I do like what you did. Since the luan is so thin have you had any problems with it warping on you? I was thinking the 3/8" green zip board, although heavy would not suffer from this.
I've had that stuff warp so bad it popped through screw heads! Guess using a pan washer would help with that under every screw head.
Max;

I have not had any warping issues with the luan sheeting. The zip board and tape sounds like a great idea also!

Insulating and sealing the floor will make a huge difference in your home comfort not only with AC and heating but with any bug or mice issues. It basically becomes a non issue.

Good luck!

Dan
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