How to Drain Water Pipes Prior to Winter


Draining the water pipes involves turning off the water supply at the source, then turning on all the faucets to remove water from the pipes. You should also flush any toilets to remove water from the reserve tanks.

  • Turn off the water at the main valve. If you don't know where this is, contact a local plumber or call your water department. They can help you locate the main source.

  • Open all the faucets of every sink and allow them to drain. Hot water faucets will need to drain longer as they'll also be drawing water from your hot water heater.

  • Flush all of the toilets so remove the water from the tanks. Continue to flush them to ensure there is no water pooled that you can't see.

  • Use forced air to completely drain all your pipes. You can do this by holding the hose of an air compressor to the pipes for several minutes. The air will drive the water out.

Tips & Warnings

  • To winterize an empty house, add antifreeze to the toilet bowls and consider pouring some down each drain. Use only an antifreeze approved for this purpose.
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