Opening the cottage can be as important as closing up, so here are a few thoughts to consider as we look forward to opening up. For many of us, that will happen in early May.
Remember that the water in Lake Huron is still very cold and could be life threatening if one is exposed to such cold water for too long. When putting your water line in, be careful not to expose yourself to cold water for too long.
Getting the Water Running
- Make sure that the foot valve is cleaned up and free of debris. Some cottagers put on a new “mit” each spring.
- Check your line for obvious cuts or cracks. The real test will not come until the water gets up to the pump.
- Attach the water line to the pipe on which is attached the foot valve. New clamps are a good idea. Then put it in the water.
- Tighten all drains on your pump, except the one you use to prime the pump.
- Now prime the pump and turn it on, but be sure that the line to the cottage is still shut off.
- When the line and the tank are full, the pump will shut off.
- Now close all drains in the cottage and make sure that the hot water tank is not turned on until it is full.
- Turn off all outside water outlets.
- Leave several taps open until water flows freely from them.
- When the cottage is ready, turn on the valve that allows water to flow to the cottage from the pump.
- Listen for any leaks that may occur. If this happens, turn off the water immediately, and locate and repair the leak.
- There will be considerable “gurgling” in the pipes as the air is released.
- When water flows freely from all taps and the toilet tanks are full, shut off the taps and the pump will cease pumping when all lines are full.
- Listen carefully for slow leaks, and listen for the pump to go on when there are no taps open. That is a sign of a leak somwehere in your system.
- Good luck
Cleaning the Cottage
It is wise to clean the cottage thoroughly before young children and pets are allowed in.
- Dust, vacuum floors and rugs, and disinfect kitchen and bathroom surfaces.
- Check all drawers for evidence of mice and if necessary, clean thoroughly.
- It is wise to clean the fridge before turning it on. Hopefully you left it open during the winter.
- Some cottagers clean all baseboards, window trim and wash the windows, inside and out. Cleaning all cupboards and dishes is a good idea.
- Rake the lawn and remove all dead leaves and winter kill.
- Clean all eavestroughs of leaves and other litter.
- It is a good idea to power wash the decks, and if necessary, paint or stain them.
- Wash outdoor furniture before it is left out.
- Clean all flowerbeds of leaves and twigs.
- Now you can relax and enjoy the season.
Don’t forget to call Bell to begin your phone service, as well as the cable company, paper delivery and mail delivery (to the Post Office) if necessary.
Hopefully these suggestions will be helpful as you prepare for an enjoyable cottage season.