How to Winterise a House in 3 Simple Methods
Are you leaving your house during winter to go on a long vacation? You fear that when you come back your pipes will no longer work properly and they get frozen due to the cold days.
You think the only solution to avoid this kind of plumbing disaster is to leave the heat on while you’re away. You’re wrong. It would be more costly that way. Instead of leaving the heat on which results to getting higher electric bills, you can save money by turning your utilities off and winterizing them. This process involves shutting the water supply off and draining your entire plumbing system.
If you happen to have a water system of your own, such as a well, you will need to drain the tank and all water treating apparatus. With this you’ll be able to enjoy your vacation without having to worry about your plumbing system since you’re confident that your entire system is safely dormant.
- Drain the entire plumbing system
Start by turning off your company stop cock. You will find this outside your house commonly located underground on your property boundary. Starting from the top of your system, open all your faucets to drain all excess water inside them. Make sure not to leave any of them closed. Shut off your water heater as well and drain it completely. Remove your dishwasher and clothes washer’s drain hoses. Do not leave the house until you have completely removed any excess water from your faucets and other plumbing fixtures.
- Open valves and unions
Check near your water meter if you have drainable valves. If you have, open each of their drain cocks and let the water drain out of them. Make sure to completely drain your supply lines. If you have low-lying pipe which has no drain cock or faucet, just open and detach the line at the union in between two pipes.
- Put antifreeze solution
Before putting the antifreeze solution make sure you have drained the water out of your entire system already because you will be replacing it with the antifreeze. Flush your toilets and then pour a gallon of the solution into your toilet bowl. This will cause a mild flushing action, although some of it remains in your toilet’s trap. Also pour it into all your fixtures that have traps such as your sink, shower, bathtub and your washing machine standpipe. If you have a main house trap, fill the elbow part with a stronger solution of anti-freeze.
Here’s what you need to do when you come back to your winterized house after your vacation. Follow the steps below, in order:
- Turn all the faucets, including sill cock, to their off position.
- Detach the faucet aerators and clean them.
- Reconnect all the pipes you have disconnected.
- Close the drainable valves as well but keep the valve at the main water supply open.
- Test all faucets, slowly open them one by one starting at the sill cock.
- Water may spill out before it flows normally out your faucet spout.