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Northeastern Pennsylvania Scranton, Wilkes-Barre, Pocono area
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Old 09-17-2014, 11:27 AM
 
31 posts, read 30,387 times
Reputation: 19

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This will be our first winter here after having bought our house in Greentown this past summer. Since we don't live here full time, I need to start thinking/planning as to how best to address winterization of our new home. I'm wondering what you folks recommend in terms of steps to take to winterize, and also timing regarding when this should be done in order to avoid freezing issues. FYI, we have a raised ranch with unfinished basement, electric heat & HW, pressure tank, and onsite well & septic.

Do you suggest hiring someone to assist with winterizing? How much would this typically cost to do so? I'm pretty handy, but might consider calling in someone the first time so I can look over their shoulder and make a to-do list for future years.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 09-17-2014, 12:12 PM
 
Location: Swiftwater, PA
13,131 posts, read 10,560,296 times
Reputation: 9275
Quote:
Originally Posted by minuteman1970 View Post
This will be our first winter here after having bought our house in Greentown this past summer. Since we don't live here full time, I need to start thinking/planning as to how best to address winterization of our new home. I'm wondering what you folks recommend in terms of steps to take to winterize, and also timing regarding when this should be done in order to avoid freezing issues. FYI, we have a raised ranch with unfinished basement, electric heat & HW, pressure tank, and onsite well & septic.

Do you suggest hiring someone to assist with winterizing? How much would this typically cost to do so? I'm pretty handy, but might consider calling in someone the first time so I can look over their shoulder and make a to-do list for future years.

Thanks in advance.
My feeling is that you would be wise to hire somebody the first time. Listen to what they have to say and learn how to do it yourself next year. It is hard to give you advice without seeing your home. We have discussed this before - here is a link to an older thread: Need winterizing tips.
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Old 09-18-2014, 12:04 PM
 
Location: Pennsylvania
15,560 posts, read 9,584,514 times
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Since these guys are making money to winterize places, teaching you how would make them lose money.

Don't know how much they charge but I'd offer them some extra for the lessons.
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Old 09-18-2014, 12:32 PM
 
Location: Swiftwater, PA
13,131 posts, read 10,560,296 times
Reputation: 9275
Quote:
Originally Posted by PAhippo View Post
Since these guys are making money to winterize places, teaching you how would make them lose money.

Don't know how much they charge but I'd offer them some extra for the lessons.
As long as your there while they are doing their thing; your learning. All you have to do is ask questions - you are paying them. I think that most plumbers would treat you pretty good and answer those questions. They want to get the other jobs you might have available or get your recommendations to friends.
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Old 09-18-2014, 01:14 PM
 
37,069 posts, read 38,262,371 times
Reputation: 14831
Quote:
Originally Posted by PAhippo View Post
Since these guys are making money to winterize places, teaching you how would make them lose money.

Don't know how much they charge but I'd offer them some extra for the lessons.
Nothing wrong with watching, whenever someone comes to my house to do something I always watch even if it's something I know how to do. The mason was here laying some block, the few tricks I picked up watching him is going to go a long way for the two courses of block I need to lay.
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Old 09-18-2014, 02:13 PM
 
2,654 posts, read 2,820,009 times
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I agree with the notion that it is good to watch pros work on your house. If you are cordial and non intrusive they never complain. Standing over their shoulder all the time is a bit much (IMO)...coming back occasionally as they perform different steps seems good. Like most people, they like acknowledgement for what they know and do. Often I don't have the skill, time, tools or patience to do these tasks even if I 'know how'.

Shutting down a seasonal place IS something I've done many times. It is usually pretty simple if you are careful. I think hiring a pro the first time (at least) is a good one if you are unsure.

Opening back up requires some care too, because occasionally something goes wrong during the off season.
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Old 10-08-2014, 10:53 AM
 
671 posts, read 617,647 times
Reputation: 1243
I do handyman work in this area and don't take on new customers...Anyway.....
1. Shut off power to HWH and non essential electrical circuits..
2. Mark circuit breaker box with a Do not turn on warning with a procedure sheet set on top of it.
3. Drain down all water lines to lowest point..all faucets open,toilets flushed,,,Refrigerator with ice making hook ups usually have loops,,,they have to be disconnected and drained down also.....Think water and where ever it is,,it freezes....Water expands 8 or 9 % and burst pipes.And they will burst,nature always has it's say.
4. A safe anti freeze is pumped into all existing water lines to ensure all water is removed. This includes traps, every tub,sink toilet ect has one pour 3 quarts of antifreeze into them..
5. keep structure heated 20 degrees above freezing if possible...I don't do ass half work,can't afford a bad name and if there are any failures related to the shut down they are on me. It's all in the contract,,the included but limited to clauses that protect you and ME..
There's more but the point is get a person that knows what to do,,,sometimes minor plumbing needs to be done when a house wasn't used as a summer place drain down plugs ect...Many homes have water feed lines that aren't pitched properly ect....
He will set you up, walk thru the procedures with you and hand you a written procedure list and explain each step and why it is done....i tell folks to follow the instructions for start up and shut downs....If your detailed oriented I will not see you again about such matters....I stress the electric HW heaters because it amazes me how many electric coils burn out because they didn't fill the system before turning on the power....
It doesn't end there,,gutters have to be cleared out and other items addressed...That's what you sort of get when a person is called in...Some work is performed some advice is given ie..put in a timer for night lighting,,don't advertise your gone ect..

Most folks are capable enough to not need a handyman for this..Even people who plead mechanical ignorance are surprised at what they can do,,if they did their homework, you know more than you realize...It's a matter of attitude,perspective..
So if you decide to DIY,,,write a shutdown procedure list and a start up list,,,do it,follow it and then go over everything in the house,,,look at that faucet,each toilet,every appliance,,,,,and don't forget to lock the doors...
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