Winterizing Your Plumbing System

Winterizing your plumbing is a virtually cost-free alternative to frozen pipes.

  • Turn off the main shutoff valve or have the water company turn off service to the house.
  • Starting at the top floor, open all faucets, both indoors and outside.
  • When the last of the water has dripped from the taps, open the plug at the main shutoff valve if possible (if you have to,¬†contact the water company), and let it drain.
  • Turn off the power or gas to the water heater and open its drain valve.
  • To freeze-proof the system, empty toilet bowls and tanks.
  • Remove the clean out plugs on all sink traps (or remove the traps, if necessary).
  • Once emptied, replace them and fill with plumbing antifreeze mixed with water in the proportions specified for car in your climate.
  • You won’t be able to drain tub and shower taps. Instead, add at least a full quart of antifreeze.
  • Don’t put antifreeze into a dishwasher or clothes washer.
  • If your home has a basement floor drain or a main house trap, fill each with full-strength antifreeze.