Master Maintenance List

General Preparedness Discussions
Clarence

Re: Master Maintenance List

Post by Clarence »

NOV 24/20 UPDATED LIST:

The below master maintenance list needs your experience and tips.
Please review the below work in progress, pick any number of areas and add your ideas on what you know would be helpful to others and yourself because the hope is that this master list can be reference by those who have never used certain equipment or even for people who have run a generator for twenty years but due to stress… may forget a key item. It could go into some list you tape on a wall or place in a drawer or a binder with other manuals etc.
Don’t see a category or item, then add it and then add your to do list to it. I will then place into a group where I believe it to best fit. Look forward to your input. Cheers


Landscaping / earthwork / water attenuation / plantings / fencing / gates/ gardening:

• Reseal any unused seeds properly for use next year.
• Empty hoses, let dry and store in warm (not hot, to avoid drying out rubber) dry location.
• Turn off exterior water and drain all hoses, water timers, remove and properly store batteries used in timers.
• Check exterior drain ditches for debris and clean
• Clear leaves troughs and drain pipes in the fall and perhaps in the spring.
• Before use in the spring and fall, check the tops of exterior lights that may have bird nests wedged on top of them.
• Trim trees, make sure they aren’t a hazard in a wind or ice storm to damage home or property.
• Check property for slope and ensure water attenuation / runs away from the home and there is good drainage at the end of any drain pipe.
• Shovel snow away from the edge of the house to avoid flooding or back up of sump in the winter.
• Vermin: have ample supply of mouse/rat traps or other animals that are a problem. Borax, etc. on hand that can burrow under sheds or hide in homes.

Concrete - concrete foundations:
• Biannually, Check foundations for water leaks and repair

Masonry:
• Check concrete around chimney areas for loose or missing grout

Metals:
• Check metal or tin roofs for loose or corroded fastenings. This will help keep the roof on in high winds and prevent leaks.

Carpentry / Wood:
• Ensure all wood structures are sound, this includes hunting stands, posts for hanging of meat boat docks or canoe racks by the water etc.

Moisture protection / Roofing / building envelope / building envelope security:
• Routinely check condition of light boxes for spider webs, mouse or bird nests.
• Check all exterior lighting ( bulbs)
• Check for signs of water damage around window.
• Check roof vents for water leaks, check any chimney or heating exhaust vents
• Do walk around to look for damage or locations where vermin / birds may be entering/nesting. Place mesh over furnace vents, etc.
• Poke head in the attic space and check to make sure wood is not stained or wet or rotting where the roof may have signs it needs to be replaced.



Doors / Windows / Window film / protection against inclement weather:
• Before leaving the cottage or BOL, check to ensure all windows and doors are properly secured.
• Lubricate all garage door cables and pulleys, door hinges or window and door hardware
• Check for mould around windows and remove if seen in caulking.
• Check for break in the seal in thermal pane windows. You will lose significant heat this way and the crack will likely increase in size.


Finishes:
• Are boat, tractor, BBQ or other item coverings still waterproof.
• Do boats need new waterproof paint applied

Specialities:
ATV, UTV, Snowmobile, dedicated off road truck, Motorcycle, pedal or electrical bike or any true “off road vehicles:
• In addition to routine maintenance listed in manuals. Pull cable out on any winch, clean the cable per recommendations, let the cable dry, treat if metal, inspect and if good, rewind cable in. do it at least twice a year.
• If running vehicles where there is road salt, in heavy mud etc., make sure to wash down engine and others parts a few times in the spring to really get salt out from tight spots.
• After dusty, wet or muddy runs, wash off vehicle, brakes, engine compartment.
• Check air filters and maintain as needed.
• Check engine oils, radiator and other fluids
• If not using off road vehicles for extended periods of time, ideally remove battery and put on trickle chard over summer (sled) or winter for any ATV. This “may” also help prevent theft.
• Make sure Trickle charger for BOV is working so vehicle starts when needed.
• Vehicles: drain water from outboard motors, prep fuel tank per manufacturer’s specifications. Check any radiator fluid strengths for freezing and make sure coolant freezing levels are ok for your region.
• Change out vehicle BOB water bottles/ freshen them up in the spring and fall or as needed in your region.

Day to day use Vehicles:
• Check and replace old tire inflators.
• Do not neglect recommended vehicle maintenance requirements/ changing of oils, fluids, timing belt, air filters…. Check each vehicle manual and perform maintenance.
• Try and keep gas tank above half full
• Did you replace the fuel line de-icer bottle used last year or has it leaked in your trunk

Chainsaws and other motorized tools
• Prepare chainsaws and other small motors for long term storage per manufacturers manual.
• Add fuel stabilizer to tank or to fuel containers.
• Clean sparkplug/s
• Possibly change oil, clean filters.
• Store in dry area and ensure ventilation. Try and keep out of sight so people cannot see items from any windows.
• Consider running store bought 50.1 or other ratios for a full tanks worth of work in all the two cycle equipment being stored over the winter. This higher quality fuel may help your equipment start better come spring time.

Water Storage:
• As often as logically reasonable, check status of water storage containers for leak, discoloration.
• Change out water as needed to maintain safety, smell or taste.


Medical:
• Check to ensure items will or have not leaked or been compromised due to loose caps, freezing, small cracks above liquid levels (squeeze or tilt containers to the side to check for leaks).
• Replace / top up any items used during a vacation n event or season.
• Check expiration dates.
• Consider removing or properly securing any medications when leaving a building for extended periods of time (keep away from children).
• Put reminders into calendar for reordering of medicines.


Food storage:
• Check food lockers for integrity, signs of rodent activity, moisture.
• Place poison or other remedies for pests.


Communications:
• Bi-annually, review your rendezvous plans and communication plans in the event you are separated from your people when disaster strikes. This includes and not limited to rallying points, landmarks
• As friends or lovers come and go and family members move around and add or remove individuals from their circle, Phone numbers and email accounts will change or become inaccessible over time, Communications can fail big time. This from an EMP, system crashes, Mob destruction of cell towers.
• Review your primary rallying points and graded, alternate rallying points; Areas change, people move etc. Old plans may no longer work. Check to ensure preferred travel routes to those locations are still viable; determine non-electronic ways of communicating along those travel routes to let others know you have been there, if you are still travelling that route, or if you have changed plans (coded letter-drops, coded signs and signals). (More on coded letter-drops later; post-it notes can be your friend, and using MS Excel to generate unique codes).
• Remove batteries (regular, rechargeable or original company battery packs) from devices when not in use for months or over winter. Keep battery charging transformers with the unit and label them so you know what piece of equipment they are for. Again, not only for you but others who may need to perform that task.
• Examine and clean any contacts to reduce corrosion. Check manuals on how to safely clean contacts and with what chemicals or types of water.


Financial documents:
• Is financial information up to date, this includes any remote storage location such as safety deposit box, PVC tube buried at the camp etc.


Firearms and ammunition:
• Practice safe storage and cleaning requirements. This for firearms as well as ammunition (legal obligations and your best methods)
• Make sure to have a copy of any FAC, PAL… paperwork with you and at any site where firearms are stored to avoid running afoul of the law.

Laundry or Hygiene:
• Check bleach and other corrosive materials for damage from leaks, Consider storing in glass jugs for long term use/storage. Store away from metal, electrical cable or circuit boards.

Clothing:
• Check to ensure any stored clothing is still dry and ready for use when needed.
• Ensure one has needed waterproofing liquids and sprays. ( if required, protect from freezing)
• Not always easy but make sure any last minute clothing worn is put away dry or hang it up so it can dry out. You want to avoid moldy leather gloves, down jackets, sleeping bags, wool items…. when you return a few months later.
• Store clothing so mice do not make a nest of it. Place in well-sealed plastic or other secure containers.

Mechanical - Plumbing, heating/cooling/air filtration, water filtration, fire suppression, wood stove, and back-flow prevention:

Home, Cottage or BOL (Bug out location):
• Have spare air filters for furnace and change as required
• Check gauge/s on fire extinguisher and maintain as needed. Shake them up as often as possible to help keep chemicals mixed.
• Keep all manuals for large or complex equipment in one location. Example, generator, sump pump, alarm systems, water softeners, freezers ( and any keys to lock them), programmable timers
• Empty hoses, let dry and store in warm (not hot, to avoid drying out rubber) dry location.
• Turn off exterior water and drain all hoses, water timers, remove and properly store batteries used in timers.
• Have appropriate spare batteries used in home for wall thermostats, timers etc.
• Check the sanitary backflow preventer regularly to make sure nothing gets "stuck" in it. If the check valve becomes blocked, and there is backflow from municipal services your basement can get flooded. Many people first encounter this during a flood situation so if new a home or you see higher water levels then previous years starting to occur, check this ASAP.
• Cheek fire extinguishers in all closets, main areas, garages, sheds and ensure in working order

Electrical distribution, emergency power, smoke/CO monitoring, security systems, data and internet:

Energy:
• Battery and other maintenance on solar systems.
• Check generator fuel levels on regular basis, check in the fall a few weeks before you leave for the season and have levels or tanks topped up.
• Add fuel stabilizer for generator fuel when leaving for extended periods of time or when not using generator for long periods of time. Add quantities to gas and diesel per instructions, have enough stabilizer for your needs.
• Test Generator as often as logically possible. When checking, flip breakers and test circuits/ items connected to panels/s.
• Check any rodent prevention devices or poisons.
• To prevent a fire; before starting generator, check generator area, muffler etc. for nests made by mice. They will pack bits of paper towels, grass… into small engine compartments and heat could ignite.
• Label your spare generator fuses, spark plugs, oil and air filters and try and keep in a dry container to keep rodents away. Make a list of parts used during maintenance and reorder ASAP.
• Consider having start up and shutdown procedures near or attached to the generator so others not familiar or where one may have forgotten (hey we all get old one day or are tired) the process can reference too. A plasticised sheet of paper with 1,2,3,4... steps is good and take a picture of your unit and make reference to where buttons, chokes… are so you or others can find the areas you need to start it. Shut down procedures should also be mentioned.
• To help improve start up, let gas run dry from carburetor. ( check manual or YouTube if not familiar with how to do this)., Put this function on
Alarm Systems:
• Manually test all alarm system points / door contacts, motions, glass breaks, water sensors for sump pump pit... call alarm company in advance and put system “on test” for an hour or until you know you have tested every point. Call station back and review what zone signals they received and compare with what you tested, you want confirmation of all signals being received. Retest any zone not reporting and fix anything not working.
• Check and replace all fire, smoke and Carbon Monoxide monitoring devices and batteries. Keep additional batteries in stock for future use.
• Remove and secure phones, network gear when leaving cottage, BUT be sure to inform needed parties where things are locked away.
• Consider cancelling or suspending service to avoid misuse, abuse and subscription costs.


Clarence

Re: Master Maintenance List

Post by Clarence »

Landscaping, fencing...:
*Treat any locks used at gates with anti rust spray and protect lock as best as possible from rain and snow ( plastic bags, a covered lock box etc. ). If a key is left somewhere near by for a friend to use, make sure it’s easy to access in the winter, yet not obvious. If nailed to a tree twenty feet away, remember that footprints in the winter will also show! If using a lock, make sure you have the means to unthaw one when you arrive.

*If you have cell coverage at the cottage.... Consider the use of a game trail camera with cellular capability. Place inside or outside BOL, cottage so you are alerted to activity and have recorded image. Advise local law enforcement. Use fresh batteries and test all devices for transmission prior to departure, signal strength or reception may have changed since last test. Image capture capabilities vary greatly between day and night so place the camera/s accordingly. Few people look “up” when sneaking about so place out of direct horizontal line of sight, but not to high either. In some situations, it’s sufficient to just know someone is inside your cottage then trying to capture a face. If police can respond quick enough, they can still catch the person.

*make sure no trespass signs are all in place before leaving.



Electrical;
* When leaving BOL , cottage... turn off all unneeded electrical breakers or even main breaker. If doing so, try locking the breaker arm. If any exterior well water lines have heater cables on them, then this weakness must be addressed. If a new cottage purchase, check to make sure previous owner was not useing them.

* if possible, remove solar panels to prevent theft over winter months. Consider bringing batteries back home.
Clarence

Re: Master Maintenance List

Post by Clarence »

Need your ideas folks. Don’t be shy!.


Landscaping, Gardening ..

Drain water from any water filled earth “rollers” keep plug close so you can find in spring. Spray hole with rust treatment

Remove any dried up hose and spray nozzle washers and purchase replacements for following spring.

Turn off exterior water lines, open exterior valve and let drain well before freeze up.

Purchase and have ready any road salt or gravel duct to use on steps, paths


Vehicles:

Swap out seasonal clothing and any sleeping bags for appropriate temperatures. No need for mosquito head net in January but you do need your woolies!

Empty and Examine your spring summer bags for any liquids that may have leaked, dried out items, consider using batteries in the bag for other needs over the winter and purchase new ones for next spring.

Change out water, check expiration dates for medicines stored in vehicle bags
User avatar
peppercorn
Posts: 2057
Joined: Sat Sep 13, 2014 6:06 am
Location: Alberta

Re: Master Maintenance List

Post by peppercorn »

For solar stuff, there is a few things needing to be checked. Your battery manufacturer will have float, bulk and equalize voltages for the type of batteries you have bought along with hydrometer readings to check the battery chemistry with. With lead acid you better confirm that you are set up right for hitting the voltages recommended by the manufacturer (I like running a little higher myself).
You absolutely can not trust the meters on any charge controller, even top of the line ones. You absolutely need your own quality meter (not from CT). You will have to drop a couple hundred and get a Fluke brand (my personal choice). I have never seen charge controller meters agree with each other. I can see the displays on 4 of them from where I sit and they are all out by 10ths of volts from each other.
When you need to find a problem, starting with a known good meter will save you lots of grief.

Very little goes wrong with a solar system, panels just work, charge controllers just work, the number one problem that I have seen is connections that go bad over time. Connections are everywhere through the system. Multiple connections through a battery bank and high current ones at that and often near corrosive gases. Every month when checking the specific gravity of the acid grab on to each connection and give it a tug to ensure its tight, I also like to use the IR gun to shoot the connections when the batteries are charging.

The wires going to and from your charge controller likely cant be seen and are under a cover, often going to a terminal strip or block, these connections absolutely need to be checked every now and again. Remove the cover and pull on the wires, look for heat discoloration on the wiring or around the terminal block. Even if everything looks good tighten up the terminal screws anyway( if you can).
The higher voltage 48 volt systems seem to have fewer connection problems as less amperage runs though the connections.
Give a man a gun, and he can rob a bank. Give a man a bank, and he can rob the world.
Clarence

Re: Master Maintenance List

Post by Clarence »

peppercorn wrote: Mon Dec 07, 2020 6:01 am For solar stuff, there is a few things needing to be checked. Your battery manufacturer will have float, bulk and equalize voltages for the type of batteries you have bought along with hydrometer readings to check the battery chemistry with. With lead acid you better confirm that you are set up right for hitting the voltages recommended by the manufacturer (I like running a little higher myself).
You absolutely can not trust the meters on any charge controller, even top of the line ones. You absolutely need your own quality meter (not from CT). You will have to drop a couple hundred and get a Fluke brand (my personal choice). I have never seen charge controller meters agree with each other. I can see the displays on 4 of them from where I sit and they are all out by 10ths of volts from each other.
When you need to find a problem, starting with a known good meter will save you lots of grief.

Very little goes wrong with a solar system, panels just work, charge controllers just work, the number one problem that I have seen is connections that go bad over time. Connections are everywhere through the system. Multiple connections through a battery bank and high current ones at that and often near corrosive gases. Every month when checking the specific gravity of the acid grab on to each connection and give it a tug to ensure its tight, I also like to use the IR gun to shoot the connections when the batteries are charging.

The wires going to and from your charge controller likely cant be seen and are under a cover, often going to a terminal strip or block, these connections absolutely need to be checked every now and again. Remove the cover and pull on the wires, look for heat discoloration on the wiring or around the terminal block. Even if everything looks good tighten up the terminal screws anyway( if you can).
The higher voltage 48 volt systems seem to have fewer connection problems as less amperage runs though the connections.
Much appreciated. Any words on cold or heat issues effecting performance and anything that can be done while away from a remote setup.. thx
User avatar
peppercorn
Posts: 2057
Joined: Sat Sep 13, 2014 6:06 am
Location: Alberta

Re: Master Maintenance List

Post by peppercorn »

Clarence wrote: Tue Dec 08, 2020 2:12 am
peppercorn wrote: Mon Dec 07, 2020 6:01 am For solar stuff, there is a few things needing to be checked. Your battery manufacturer will have float, bulk and equalize voltages for the type of batteries you have bought along with hydrometer readings to check the battery chemistry with. With lead acid you better confirm that you are set up right for hitting the voltages recommended by the manufacturer (I like running a little higher myself).
You absolutely can not trust the meters on any charge controller, even top of the line ones. You absolutely need your own quality meter (not from CT). You will have to drop a couple hundred and get a Fluke brand (my personal choice). I have never seen charge controller meters agree with each other. I can see the displays on 4 of them from where I sit and they are all out by 10ths of volts from each other.
When you need to find a problem, starting with a known good meter will save you lots of grief.

Very little goes wrong with a solar system, panels just work, charge controllers just work, the number one problem that I have seen is connections that go bad over time. Connections are everywhere through the system. Multiple connections through a battery bank and high current ones at that and often near corrosive gases. Every month when checking the specific gravity of the acid grab on to each connection and give it a tug to ensure its tight, I also like to use the IR gun to shoot the connections when the batteries are charging.

The wires going to and from your charge controller likely cant be seen and are under a cover, often going to a terminal strip or block, these connections absolutely need to be checked every now and again. Remove the cover and pull on the wires, look for heat discoloration on the wiring or around the terminal block. Even if everything looks good tighten up the terminal screws anyway( if you can).
The higher voltage 48 volt systems seem to have fewer connection problems as less amperage runs though the connections.
Much appreciated. Any words on cold or heat issues effecting performance and anything that can be done while away from a remote setup.. thx
Regarding a remote setup, shut everything down but the charge controllers, they will keep your batteries charged up and ready for you to use when you return. By shut everything down I mean the inverter, with it off all loads are removed. Cold doesnt harm your batteries as such just lowers their performance (amp capacity).
The above was for lead acid, but now that LiFEP04 is taking over, you cant be charging these at below 0C, Permanent damage will occur if you try. Fortunately many, maybe most now have temp sensors that will automatically shut down the batteries if you try.I suspect all will soon come with this.
Give a man a gun, and he can rob a bank. Give a man a bank, and he can rob the world.
Post Reply

Return to “General Preparedness”