September 21, 2022

Electricity tips for closing the cottage

Another hot and sunny summer season has come to an end. As the kids head back to school, and work shifts back to a standard routine, you will be spending less time at the cottage and are preparing to shut it down for the season.

Image of a Cottage

When closing your cottage, there are many tasks to complete. One of the most important is to ensure the electrical safety of the building over the harsh winter months. Here are a few tips.

  • Unplug major appliances including the water heater, baseboard heaters, refrigerator, dishwasher, air conditioning and pumps to avoid a power surge and possible outage or damage to the equipment when you turn the power back on next spring.
    • An extra tip for your fridge: In addition to removing all food and cleaning it thoroughly, prop the door open slightly to allow air to circulate. This will avoid any unpleasant smells from building up.
  • Go through each room and unplug items such as lamps, clocks, TVs, toaster, coffee maker and electronics.
  • Turn off the power to your water heater then drain your water tank. Shutting down the power first will help prevent damage to the heating element.
  • Drain the water from pipes in your plumbing system to keep them from freezing and bursting during the wintry weather when the heat is off. Opening the taps helps to release the pressure on the line. Remember to also drain water from flexible hoses in your shower, kitchen sink, dishwasher, washing machine and garden hoses, and add anti-freeze to your traps.
  • Check your trees, especially those close to the roof or power lines, for any branches that may come down due to high winds or heavy snow. You may want to trim them or hire a contractor to do this work.
  • If you have an alarm, you will need to leave the power on for it to work. If not, when all other tasks are complete, turn off all breakers in the electrical panel.

One final tip: Take photos around the outside of your cottage and each room before you leave. If there is any damage over the long winter months, you can show your insurance company the state of your cottage when you left it which can help with your claim.