How Do You Winterize Plumbing?
When water freezes, it expands as it turns to ice. This expansion causes pressure within the pipes which can cause damage such as leaks and breaks. Winterizing your plumbing is a process that prepares your plumbing for freezing temperatures. It is a recommended process for homes that will be vacant for a period of time and will have no water will be running through the pipes.
The winterize plumbing process involves:
- Emptying the water heater
- Draining all the water from the pipes
- Filling all pipes with antifreeze
How to Winterize Plumbing
Before you begin, look at the exterior and interior of your home and decide what needs to be done. Write it down and create a checklist. This checklist will come in handy when it’s time to open your home again.
1. Turn off the main water valve, the water pump, and the water heater.
2. Open all faucets and drain all pipes. A closed faucet could create a vacuum and hold water.
3. Use an air compressor to blow the residual water out of the pipes.
4. Open the drain valve of your hot water tank and let it discharge until it is completely empty.
5. Drain all of the water that is left in the holding tank – especially the one located in the rubber diaphragm.
6. Flush the toilets to remove as much water as you can from the tanks and the toilet bowls. If all of the water cannot be removed, add anti-freeze to prevent any water from freezing and cracking the toilet.
7. Check all sink and shower drains that could have drain traps. Add some antifreeze to prevent the water from freezing and cracking the traps.
We recommend identifying the pipes that are most vulnerable to freezing. These will include pipes located outside walls and windows, uninsulated pipes, and pipes hear unheated spaces.
It is also important to look for any cracks or openings in walls, floors, and ceilings. If you discover holes during your inspection, it is important to caulk them to prevent cold air from entering through the gaps.