Empty Nester Flying South For The Winter? Winterize Your Home's Plumbing!

Posted on: 29 April 2021

After all the years of raising a family, you're finally empty nesters. This time of your life is perfect for extensive traveling or temporarily moving to warmer locales during the cold, wintry months. If you will take advantage of having an empty nest by traveling to a warmer climate during the winter, it's important to make sure your home's plumbing is prepared by winterizing it.

Why is winterizing plumbing so important? 

As you know, frozen pipes in the winter can lead to bursting pipes and, therefore, a lot of water damage. Now imagine having a pipe burst when you are a thousand miles away and won't be home for months. Here's how to prevent that from happening.

What is done when plumbing is winterized? 

To winterize plumbing, there are specific steps that are taken. It's a process that depends on what appliances you have and how many branches your plumbing has.

  • The water will be drained from all the plumbing pipes, fixtures, and appliances in your home, such as your water heater, water softener, and the refrigerator (if equipped with a water dispenser and/or ice cube maker). 
  • To help dry pipes, air compressors will be used to force excess water through the pipes. 
  • Antifreeze will be put into the drains and toilets throughout the house. This is done to prevent any excess water from freezing.
  • All valves will be turned to the off or shut position. 

Could you winterize the plumbing yourself?

While it is quite possible to winterize your plumbing yourself, it's a good idea to hire a plumbing service to do it for you. This is especially true if you won't be anywhere near home when it's below freezing. You want to make sure the job is done correctly or it could cost you a pretty penny in the resulting water damage and potential mold growth, depending on how long you'll be gone.

What is the process to return the plumbing to normal afterward? 

The process of de-winterizing is essentially doing the winterizing process backward. The valves will need to be opened first, then the water turned on, and the appliances allowed to fill. But, you should have the same plumbing company that winterized also de-winterize. Just be sure to tell them that you'd like to use their services to de-winterize when you return. That way, they can make notes so they can review the process before they begin de-winterizing in the future. 

Contact a company like Du-West Foundation Repair to learn more.