How to De-winterize Your Plumbing

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Winterizing your plumbing system prepares it to survive the cold temperatures of the winter months in the event that the home is left vacant for a period of time. In particular, it is purposed to prevent damage to the plumbing that may result from frozen water pipes, which may cause them to spring leaks or burst. De-winterizing your plumbing prepares it for regular, daily use. Read on to learn how to de-winterize your plumbing once winter is over.

  • Turn off all the faucets and spigots in your home, and then unscrew the aerator from the faucets. The aerator is simply the cap at the end of the faucet.

  • Turn off all valves in your home. This should include your water heater tank, dishwater hookup, and washing machine. This step can save you a lot of clean up later on in case you miss one of the valves.

  • Locate your water main (your main water valve). Turn on water main halfway, which will allow the water to slowly flow back into your plumbing system. Let this flow of water continue until your water heater tank and toilet tanks fill up.

  • In the meantime, carefully examine your plumbing pipes to look for any leaks. Should you find one, immediately turn off the water main and repair it.

  • Next, partially turn on your faucets and spigots. Allow the water to run for about 15 to 20 minutes, and flush each of your toilets at least two times. The purpose of this step is to expel air from the plumbing pipes and to flush out the anti-freeze used in the winterizing process.

  • Turn off the faucets once the water begins to run clear. Replace the faucet's aerators. Re-fill your water softener, if you have one. Switch on the water tank.

  • Pour one or two quarts of water down your floor drains.

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  • Photo Credit Image credits:lovu4ever, under the StockXchange license
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