Plumbing problems in plumbing systems can lead to unwanted expenses if not checked correctly.
That’s why it’s crucial to keep an eye on your home plumbing system, especially during the colder winter months. This is when cold air comes in contact with your pipelines, increasing the chances of a frozen pipe and burst drain lines, eventually leading to extensive water damage and dampness on the walls.
But there is a way to avoid these problems. All you have to do is drain your home’s pipes before winter sets in. This will prevent the issues of broken pipes and costly repairs.
Many homeowners are unaware of the process of draining pipelines. There’s no need to worry if you’re among them because we’re here to help. After a ton of research, we’ve carefully created this guide, explaining a few steps to help you with the draining process.
Steps To Drain Pipes For Winter
Frozen pipes make for one of the most common plumbing issues we encounter during winter, eventually leading to burst pipes. To avoid these problems, proactively preparing the pipelines for cooler temperatures is crucial.
Here, we’ll explain the steps you must follow to drain pipes for winter. Let’s take a look.
Step 1: Shutting Off The Main Water Valve
Every house differs in terms of where this water valve is located. The shut off valve can either be on the interior or exterior of your home near the water meter. The first step involves finding the main water valve; for this, you may seek the help of your water supply company.
Once it’s located, open the box (if there is one), and turn the handle or knob counterclockwise. However, if it’s more difficult to turn, you might need to use a rag or call a professional plumbing company for assistance.
Step 2: Turning On The Water Fixtures
After the main water valve is turned off, you’ll need to turn on every water fixture of your home until there’s no more water flow.
Step 3: Flushing All The Toilets
Next, we’d advise you to flush every toilet bowls in your house, beginning with the top floor. You can confirm whether or not the water has drained entirely by checking if the toilet tank is empty. This can also be cross-checked by simply removing the tank cover.
Step 4: Pump Air Into The Water Pipes
Once all your pipelines are drained, you’ll need to pump air into them to force out any remaining water. It’s best to utilise an air compressor for this purpose; all you have to do is apply bursts of air into the primary drains. Connect an air compressor to an open sill cock or basement faucet and blow air into the system at 70 pounds per square inch (psi). However, if you don’t have access to this tool, you can always use cans of forced air to get the job done.
This step not only helps in forcing out water from the plumbing pipes but also minimises the risk of the water freezing inside, thereby eliminating the problem of frozen and burst drain line.
Step 5: Ensure The Water Lines Are Completely Drained
If you regularly use appliances like washing machines at home, it’s important to run cold and hot water through them. This will make sure that all your water lines are entirely flushed out. And for dishwashers, allow them to run to clear water from the drain lines.
Step 6: Pouring Propylene Glycol
Finally, take a bottle of propylene glycol and pour it into the tubs and sinks of your home. Make sure you do this slowly. This acts as an anti-freezing agent, pushing any remaining water out of the pipelines. You may also consider adding a small amount of this solution to all the toilet tanks of the house.
But make sure you buy a non-toxic antifreeze solution; after all, it will be used inside your home. So take your time while selecting this chemical to ensure no compromise on safety.
Step 7: Using Water Again Post-Winter
Once you’re ready to use water again after the cold winter months, turn on the main water valve and allow each fixture to run until the pipes are full again.
When Should The Pipes Be Drained?
Most homeowners are aware of frozen and burst pipe threads during winter. That’s why it’s essential to drain pipes before the season. But then the question arises — when should the pipes be drained?
The answer’s pretty simple — anytime you turn off the furnace, or no one is at home. For instance, if you’re going on a vacation for two weeks or prefer staying somewhere warmer in the winter months, these are when draining is required.
However, if you’re leaving only for a few days and don’t have a problem going the furnace on, there’s no need to drain them. All you have to do is set the thermostat to a minimum of 10 degrees Celcius — anything lower leads to the risk of frozen pipes.
Don’t get frozen pipes this Winter.
There you have it; those steps need to be followed to have your home’s plumbing system sound for winter. These tips are easy to implement on your own, but you can always consider seeking assistance from a professional plumbing service if needed.
While it may seem like a daunting task to drain all of your water pipes, especially if you have a lot of outdoor faucets and sink faucets, you can see from the guide above that it is actually quite a simple task. But once the appointment is scheduled, sit back while the qualified specialists tackle the plumbing problem with ease and efficiency. Make sure you take the necessary precautions to prevent headaches from frozen, burst, and damaged pipes.
On that note, we’ll conclude this brief informative guide on draining pipes for winter. Here’s hoping we can help you learn how to avoid frozen and burst pipes.
That’s all for now; feel free to contact us for any queries related to the topic.