SLPOA - A Concern For Property And Environment
Sharbot Lake Property Owners' Association
Tips 'n Tricks
Opening and Closing Your Cottage - Tips from Hydro One

Opening and Closing Your Cottage

There are a few areas you should check off every time you open and close your seasonal home. In general, it's important to look at security, your electrical system, and your water system.

Closing your seasonal home

Security in the off-season can sometimes be a problem. There are a number of steps you can take to help protect your seasonal home and its contents:

  • If you have any neighbours who stay there year-round, ask them to watch your home. Perhaps they could park a car in the driveway to help make the home look occupied
  • If you leave the electricity on, you can use portable timers to turn lights on and off at specific times
  • To enhance security around the house, install outdoor motion sensors that flood the selected area with light whenever movement is detected
  • You can also choose to have outdoor lights automatically go on at night and off at dawn by installing photoelectric cells
  • Consider a security system that is monitored by a reputable local security firm. A basic system offers protection against burglaries. More sophisticated systems include smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. If you have such a system, inform your security company when you are leaving for the off-season and ensure they have your contact information
  • Tightly close your fireplace damper to prevent animals from getting in through the chimney

Electrical system
Some people choose to shut off electricity to their home in the off-season by throwing the main switch at the fuse box. If you do this, be sure to turn off all major appliances, your water heater, and electrical room heaters before you turn off the main switch. This will ensure a smoother and safer start-up when you re-open your home.

If you leave your electricity on to operate security systems or lighting, you should:

  • Turn off the power supply to your major appliances at your main panel
  • Turn off the power supply to any space heaters. Otherwise they may turn on during cold weather

Water system
Turn off the power to your hot water tank and drain it. Here are the steps to follow:

  • Remove fuses or shut off main breaker to disconnect power to your water heater
  • Open hot water tap at the sink. Tap must be at a higher level than the tank
  • Attach a hose to the tank's drain valve located at the bottom of the tank and direct hose towards basement drain or outdoors.  Opening to drain or outdoors must be lower than drain valve to siphon out the water
  • Open drain valve and drain tank completely.  Once tank is completely drained, remove hose and close drain valve
  • If you're closing the house for the winter, shut off the water to the house and drain the cold water from all the taps. This will prevent your pipes from freezing and bursting

Opening your seasonal home


  • Call your security company to let them know that you are back
  • Check your home for any signs of damage or vandalism

Electrical system

  • Visually inspect your hydro meter and power lines for damage. If a power line is down or damaged, stay clear and call Hydro One Networks power outage and emergency number immediately at 1-800-434-1235
  • Inspect visible wiring to outdoor lighting fixtures, water pumps and other equipment. If wires are damaged, remove the fuse to that circuit or turn off the circuit breaker, and call a qualified electrician
  • Check all household appliance cords. If damaged, unplug the appliance and do not use it until the cord is replaced
  • If your electrical panel uses fuses, make sure they are screwed in tightly and that you have spares. Don't use fuses higher than 15 amps in normal receptacle and lighting circuits

Water system

  • Make sure drain valve at bottom of water tank is closed
  • Open a hot water tap at a sink. The tap must be at a higher level than the tank
    Open cold water shut-off to tank
  • Leave hot water tap on until water comes out of tap. Tank is now full
  • Turn on power to water heater at fuse box or electrical panel.
  • Check tank and drain valve for leaks

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