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The Home Depot

Plumbing Winterization Tips and Tricks

Pro Referral > Home Guides > Seasonal > Plumbing Winterization Tips and Tricks
Plumbing Winterization Tips and Tricks

You’ve probably learned by now that homeownership comes with a lot of responsibilities. When you purchase a property, what you are buying is basically a collection of things that must be kept clean, maintained and updated over and over. This isn’t just true for a home you are currently living in, either. If you own a place that isn’t currently occupied, it’s a must that you get it ready for winter.


Why? Because cold weather means frozen water and that could mean busted pipes and other major plumbing headaches. Plumbing repairs can put a major dent in your wallet. So, a smart homeowner prepares and does everything he or she can do to keep their plumbing system working well.


When the weather starts to cool down, plan ahead. Get your home ready for the changing season by winterizing your plumbing.

  1. 1.Flush the Water Out of Your Plumbing System

    Cold weather means frozen water and that could mean busted pipes and other major plumbing headaches.

    To do this, first turn off the water supply to your home. Depending on your water supply source, you will do this by contacting your water company or doing it yourself. Next, turn on a faucet at the highest point of the house and at the lowest point. Of course, what and where you choose to do this will vary from home to home. The highest point could be, for example, a bathroom on the second floor. MORE?

  2. 2.Protect with Anti-Freeze

    Once you’ve drained the pipes in your home, use RV anti-freeze to help preserve the places and appliances where a small amount of water might still linger. Do this so that water won’t freeze, expand and ruin anything in your home. Some places to consider adding a bit of anti-freeze: inside your toilet tank, into sink drains and into bathtub drains. However, do NOT pour any anti-freeze into your drinking system, dish washer or washing machine.

  3. 3.Insulate your Pipes

    Insulating your pipes will help keep them from getting too cold, it may even help to prevent them from freezing. Actually, it’s helpful to insulate your pipes even if you will not be vacating your home during cold weather months – doing so can help keep the water in your pipes warmer longer, which means your water heater won’t have to work so hard. Make sure to clean your pipes thoroughly before wrapping them in insulation. Also, make sure the pipe is completely covered with the insulation and that it is attached securely.

  5. 4.Don’t Forget to Check Outside

    Don’t forget that you may have to take steps to winterize the parts of your property that are beyond your four walls. Drain your hoses and put them neatly away. Drain and insulate outdoor pipes. Don’t forget about your pool, Jacuzzi, sprinkler system or fountains – if you have them.

  6. 5.Do it Yourself?

    Some of the things you can do to winterize your home are relatively cheap and easy for you to do yourself. Things like insulating your pipes, and putting away outdoor equipment are tasks that can be completed in a few hours. However, you may balk at the idea of more detailed plumbing work. Don’t be ashamed to hire a professional to help you winterize your home. Doing so saves you time, and means the job will be done right the first time. If you don’t already know of a plumber you trust, this is the perfect time to find one. Ask neighbors if they have someone that they are happy with. Look online for plumbers in your area. Some businesses may even offer home winterization specials.


    Winter weather can be harsh and damaging. Take the necessary steps to protect your property, or you may find yourself spending your holiday season savings cleaning up a plumbing mess.

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