Summer Home Winterization

Recently purchased a new vacation home in the NE..It has public water coming in on a PVC line connecting to copper just inside the basement. It also has a grinder pump in the basement. It also has a heat pump and electric HW heater that has a pressurized expansion valve (never seen one of these before)..
I would appreciate any tips on winterizing it so I can shut the heat off for the winter. I plan on having the water turned off at the street and wrapping the water main line and draining as much as I can out of the pipes going from the top down. I also plan on putting RV antifreeze in the traps and draining the HW heater.
I'd like to avoid using heat tape if possible. The water main line is the lowest point of the system. There is an outside faucet that is lower than that but there is a run up between this outside faucet and the main. I am wonder if gravity will pull enough through this outside faucet to prevent any breakage from freezing..
Someone suggested since there would be no pressure from the street, that would give it room to expand back. Someone else suggested using vacuum at the lowest point to help pull any remaining water out. TIA CP
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Recently purchased a new vacation home in the NE..It has public water coming in on a PVC line connecting to copper just inside the basement. It also has a grinder pump in the basement. It also has a heat pump and electric HW heater that has a pressurized expansion valve (never seen one of these before)..
I would appreciate any tips on winterizing it so I can shut the heat off for the winter. I plan on having the water turned off at the street and wrapping the water main line and draining as much as I can out of the pipes going from the top down. I also plan on putting RV antifreeze in the traps and draining the HW heater.
I'd like to avoid using heat tape if possible. The water main line is the lowest point of the system. There is an outside faucet that is lower than that but there is a run up between this outside faucet and the main. I am wonder if gravity will pull enough through this outside faucet to prevent any breakage from freezing..
Someone suggested since there would be no pressure from the street, that would give it room to expand back. Someone else suggested using vacuum at the lowest point to help pull any remaining water out. TIA CP
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Charles Pisano wrote:

I own a vacation home in Flagstaff AZ (elevation 7000 ft) which needs to be winterized. Actually, it's a 60s-vintage mobile home with an addition. In the 60s, they didn't build them with gravity-drain plumbing, so you gotta use a compressor to blow the water out of the lines.
So, here's my winterizing routine. First, shut off the circuit breaker to the water heater - otherwise you'll fry both elements - DAMHIKT. Turn off the water at the street. Hook compressor to outside hose bib. Fire up the compressor and open the water heater drain. Shut down the furnace while waiting for the water heater to drain. When water heater is empty, close water heater drain. Go through house opening up each sink/tub/shower faucet until they blow dry. Flush each toilet, allowing tank to empty into bowl. Don't forget the supply lines to the washer, I did the first time. Shut down compressor when everything is dry. Next comes the RV antifreeze, about 1 cup for each sink drain, tub drain, toilet tank, toilet bowl, and washer drain. 1 gallon gets me through 3 sinks, 1 tub, and 2 toilets.
Interesting side note about refrigerators - the lower the outside temperature, the less well the freezer works. Apparently the temperature sensor is in the fridge, not the freezer, turning the compressor on and off to attempt to keep the fridge temp somewhere in the mid-30s. This results in a freezer temp somewhere close to 0. Well, if the temperature inside your shut-down vacation home is somewhere around 30, the fridge never runs, with the result that whatever is left in the freezer gets all soft and mushy. We typically open our cabin a few times each winter, took us several times before we figured out why everything in the freezer was soft. We have since learned to empty out the freezer in the winter. Counter- intuitive, but true.
Hope this helps, Jerry
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Charles Pisano wrote:

The water heater must have a thermal expansion "tank" (pressurized). If it's hanging down, unscrew it to drain.
Bring a "carry tank" of compressed air to help blow out lines.
Don't forget the toilet traps (bowl) when putting the RV in.
Appliances, such as dishwasher and washing m/c can burst pumps and solenoid valves if not drained carefully. You'd need to get specific info on a model.
Jim
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Oops ... double posted there..
I"ve heard of the lines getting blown out. But where do you apply the compressed air? To a sink faucet? Highest point down? PSI -max? Tanks CP
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