How Do I Winterize a House? - Posted by IB (NJ)

Posted by IB (NJ) on December 20, 2006 at 11:32:13:

Thanks JT. I was wondering if it was something simple or not. I’ll give my plumber a call and pull him off one of my mansions he’s currently working on - lol.

How Do I Winterize a House? - Posted by IB (NJ)

Posted by IB (NJ) on December 20, 2006 at 09:13:47:

Is it as simple as cutting the water off and draining the water drom the pipes throughout the house?

Thx. in advance.


Re: How Do I Winterize a House? - Posted by IA Jeff

Posted by IA Jeff on December 20, 2006 at 17:17:24:

I wanted to add the the others comments:

If your water heater is electric, turn it off at the breaker to avoid burning up the heating elements. Don’t turn it back on unless there is water in it.


Re: How Do I Winterize a House? - Posted by David Krulac

Posted by David Krulac on December 20, 2006 at 11:40:08:


  1. turn the water off and disconnect the water meter.

  2. use pressurized air to blow out the line.

  3. drain the hot water heater

  4. put RV antifreeze, not car radiator antifreeze, into every toilet bowl after draining the toilet tank and into every drain to fill the traps.

5… leave heat off.

  1. all faucets both hot and cold are turned to the full on possition.

  2. hoses removed from all outside hose bibs.

  3. be careful on any horitontial water line run or any run that going up hill with out a drain at the lowest point.

  4. if there is some place that can’t be drained, then I’ll put heat tape, an electrical min heater that’s wrapped around the pipes, and cover the pipes with insulation also.

  5. drain an water softener and preferablly seperate the parts and cambers inside that could contain water.

  6. if you have a hot water or steam furnace, that also must be drained down and winterized.

In Pa, our winters are not too severe, but we have already had before freezing temps in the 20s and one year some time ago we had a spell of 30 days in a row where the temps NEVER were about freezing. We’ve also had sub zero temps. That will reek havoc on your pipes.

the freezing water will bust open the meter, and casue a major water leak when turned back on. Many water companies will charge the customer for a frozen water meter. I don’t need that expense.

The temps inside will be the same as outside so boilers, hot water tanks, and pipes will freeze and rupture.

I’ve seen so mnay foreclosued properties, almost all have freeze damage here as the process usually involves a winter. Many times the banks will winterize after the sale, when the damage is already done. Like closing the gate after the cows have leaft the pasture.

My SOP is to turn off the heat and the water and leave he elctric on during the winter. Saves on freeze damage and saves on utilitiy expenses.

Re: How Do I Winterize a House? - Posted by JT-IN

Posted by JT-IN on December 20, 2006 at 10:19:57:


The water should be shut off at the main, or at least at the inlet to the meter. The meter should be removed and capped, so that water is not able to be recirculated. Turn off and drain water heater.

Find the low point in the system, (basement or lowest gravity point with a faucet or hydrant and drain teh water from the system. Faucets should be opened to provide air for suction to allow the system to drain completely. With the meter removed, and all faucets open, air pressure (10-30 psi) should be applied to the open line at the meter, and continue until the lines are blown free of water.

Toilets tanks must be drained and wiped free of any excess water in tank. Antifreeze (non-automotive mix) should be dumped into toilets until the trap expels; about a gallon in each commode. The same solution should be dumped into each sink, maybe a half gallon in each sink, in order to blow or empty the trap of tap water.

Heating system should be turned off. If you have a boiler system, these should be professionally drained and winterized. Forced air Electric, gas or fuel oil units do not require winterizing, but should be turned off.

Now that you know how, do the most efficient thing and call a plumber… You should be able to find one who will do a winterization for about 75 to 100 bucks, on a small house, Slightly more for the mansions that you deal with IB…

Then have the electric service turned off by the power company.