safe way to heat cabin all winter long?

Reply

  #1  
Old 11-19-03, 12:17 PM
Sc0rp10n
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
safe way to heat cabin all winter long?

hi all. i've built a small cabin (14'x28') in a rural area of mississippi at my hunting camp. it's got electricity and plumbing (2 sinks, shower, toilet). the plumbing is setup so that i can drain the water supply lines. all supply lines have insulation on them. the cabin itself is fully insulated except for the floor.

we get a few hard freezes during the year, and there is the possibility that something could freeze and burst the pipes. they're all insulated, but you never know.

anyway, currently when i'm there, i just use electric space heaters to heat up the cabin. not really a problem. but when i'm not there, it can get pretty darn cold in there. the pipes will be as drained as i can get them, but there will still be water in the water heater. i'll put antifreeze down the toilet and the sinks and shower (to get it in the traps) when i leave. but i still am worried that SOMETHING may freeze and burst.

is there any safe solution that will allow me to set some sort of thermostat so that if it gets too cold in there when i'm not there, it can heat the cabin? i don't want to come to my cabin one day and find it burned down to the ground. but i'd also like to somehow prevent the freezing of anything as best i can.

thanks for any help you can give.
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 11-19-03, 12:32 PM
Member
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: wisconsin
Posts: 140
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
first thing that comes to mind is instead of heating the whole place...why not just heat the pipes in question? they make roof edge heaters that keep the roof from freezing and im sure they make pipe heaters that wrap around the pipe. i think those dont come on until its below freezing and would be alot less expensive to keep running



just my .02

i was bored here are some links



http://www.frostking.com/fkpg11.htm

http://www.homedepot.com/cmc_upload/...s/402570_3.jpg


http://www.do-it-yourself-pumps.com/...protection.htm

http://www.deanbennett.com/wintergar...ape-prices.htm
 
  #3  
Old 11-19-03, 01:09 PM
Ed Imeduc's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Mountain Williams Missouri
Posts: 18,389
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Lightbulb Water pipes

Id go for the wire heater on the pipes.

Look at Chromalox and their Thermwire also their Safe-T- Melt wire just put it on the pipes is all.You dont have to have a tstat but you can . ED
 
  #4  
Old 11-19-03, 01:11 PM
Sc0rp10n
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
is this something that you put on the pipes within walls? also, what if the pipe is already insulated? how does it work?

or should i be worrying about it at all? i can drain the lines for the most part, the cabin is insulated, and the pipes themselves are also insulated.

on a side note, should i worry about my water heater freezing up? i've got a short, fat, 30 gallon water heater.
 
  #5  
Old 11-19-03, 01:29 PM
Member
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: wisconsin
Posts: 140
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
either drain the heater all the way or set it to the lowest temp setting

but.....if you drain it....dont forget to shut the power off to it



the pipes in the walls......hmmmmm. i guess you would have to cut into the walls to get them covered/heated.

im out of suggestions......
 

Last edited by alwayz; 11-19-03 at 01:43 PM.
  #6  
Old 11-19-03, 02:44 PM
Ed Imeduc's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Mountain Williams Missouri
Posts: 18,389
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Lightbulb water

If you let the water heater tank on its ok. But why. Turn the power off drain it. Make sure you fill it first before you turn the power on. ED
 
  #7  
Old 11-19-03, 02:48 PM
Sc0rp10n
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
what would you guys do?

i go to camp nearly every weekend...friday-sunday from thanksgiving through the end of january. would you drain the water heater every sunday that you leave camp, only to fill it back up the following friday?

or...

would you leave it filled throughout that time, and just drain it if you were going to be away from it for more than a month during the winter?
 
  #8  
Old 11-19-03, 02:52 PM
Ed Imeduc's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Mountain Williams Missouri
Posts: 18,389
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Lightbulb water tank

Why use the power is all???? ED
 
  #9  
Old 11-19-03, 03:05 PM
Sc0rp10n
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
well, to be honest, the plumbing in my cabin just got completed this week. i'll see it for the first time friday. i guess i'm wondering how simple a thing is it to drain the water heater each week. is it something that should be pretty simple and convenient to do week to week? or is it something that should only be done a few times a year?
 
  #10  
Old 11-19-03, 03:20 PM
Ed Imeduc's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Mountain Williams Missouri
Posts: 18,389
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Lightbulb Water heater

Its like where is it . All you would do turn power off put a hose there on its bottom drain.Turn water off to it if its not off already open the bottom drain and all the hot water taps and thats it.Id do it only when it looks like it will get colder ED
 
  #11  
Old 11-19-03, 03:25 PM
Sc0rp10n
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
it's pretty easy to get to. it's in a storage loft of the cabin. i haven't been out there to see the work the plumber did, but he told me that he set everything up such that it could be drained pretty easily. i'm just wondering if with that volume of water in the tank (short, fat, 30 gallon), do i need to worry about it freezing in one week's time? or sunday night-friday afternoon to be exact. or would it take weeks of below freezing weather to actually freeze that amount of water?
 
  #12  
Old 11-19-03, 03:31 PM
Ed Imeduc's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Mountain Williams Missouri
Posts: 18,389
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Lightbulb tank

Dont know for sure where you are . But in Missouri even if it got down to 25o -20o it would take a week or more for it to ice up If the whole home is insulated ED
 
  #13  
Old 11-19-03, 03:32 PM
Member
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: wisconsin
Posts: 140
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
if you are there every weekend....screw draining it. just turn the temp all the way down so it doesnt run as much....if you are gonna be longer than 2 weeks gone....drain the thing


but just remember....missouri closes their roads if they get 2 inches of snow. so you might not make it up there a weekend or 2
 
  #14  
Old 11-19-03, 03:34 PM
Sc0rp10n
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
can't remember if i indicated. this is in central mississippi. the deep south. but we do get about 2 cold snaps in the 20's. i don't know...i'll see how easy it is to drain the thing when i see the work the plumber did this weekend. i guess i'll ask his advice since he worked on it there. thanks.
 
  #15  
Old 11-19-03, 04:37 PM
GregH's Avatar
Super Moderator
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Manitoba
Posts: 10,053
Received 18 Votes on 18 Posts
Sc0rp10n:

If you drain all the lines you will have to also drain the tank, at least partially, to make sure the lines going in and out don't have water in them.

If you have hired a licensed plumber to do this and has experience with this type of install he should have the lines set up with a slope, all draining to valves installed in all the low spots.
A tee installed in the hw tank supply with a hose bib installed in the tee would allow you to open it when draining and have the water empty in a matter of minutes.

What you do to winterize between visits will depend on what kind of job the plumber does.
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: