De-winterizing Your Plumbing

Monday, April 4th, 2016

Winterizing is essential for protecting your plumbing when no one is around your home, but de-winterizing is also important. The process of de-winterizing involves many steps and is something you should do at any property you own that has been prepared for winter. There are several steps to the de-winterizing process, including checking the plumbing lines, turning on the water, flushing the toilets, and checking the exterior spigots.

Check all the plumbing lines in your home

You have plumbing connections throughout your home that are connected and supplied by other lines. Make a visual inspection of every plumbing connection you can. You want to ensure all fittings are snug and there is no visual plumbing damage. Take your time doing this step of the de-winterizing process. It is better to catch a crack in a pipe than let it spray water in your home.

As you are inspecting the plumbing connections, turn the shut-off valves to the off position. This will make checking for leaks easier by letting you limit the area where water is flowing. These valves are often found on supply lines under sinks, behind toilets, and near dishwashers. If the valves are old and rusted, you don’t have to do this step of de-winterizing. However, it is a good time to make note of which valves need to be replaced.

Turn on the water

If you are de-winterizing a second home, you should start with turning the water on at the main. Turn on the bathtub faucet furthest from the house’s main supply line. This step helps to quickly draw water throughout the system. If the main was turned off for the winter, you will likely get a lot of gurgling from air escaping the pipes.

Start turning on faucets throughout the house. As you turn on the water, start looking for plumbing leaks. Leaks can occur at any area of the plumbing system. Supply lines can leak at the wall or underneath the faucet and drains can leak just about anywhere. Don’t ignore even the smallest leak because it could become a major plumbing issue.

Flush the toilets

The seal between the tank and the bowl can spring leaks. Flush the toilet a few times to push the air out of the system and get it back to normal. This step in de-winterizing is when the leaks will likely start to appear. You should also check for a toilet that will not stop running. The flapper at the bottom of the toilet tank may not be sealing properly. Also, the handle may not be adjusted properly. You can make these adjustments and repairs easily while you are de-winterizing your property.

Check exterior spigots

Once you have checked the inside plumbing, take a moment to check the exterior fixtures. External spigots can sustain damage from the freeze and thaw cycle. Damage to these fixtures can typically be prevented by placing covers on them before winter arrives. Even if the spigot seems fine, assess the water pressure. If the pressure is lower than what it was last year, you may have a line split somewhere under the house.

After running your initial de-winterizing assessment, let the water keep running for awhile. As pressures normalize, you may find leaks where none were present a few minutes before.

De-winterizing could take ten minutes to an hour, but it is time well spent to prevent leaks and water damage. If you do find you have plumbing issues, contact the professional plumbers at Allen’s Tri-State Mechanical Inc. in Amarillo, Texas. You can call us at (806) 376-8345 or Contact Us by email for more information about our residential and commercial services. You can also stop by our office at 404 S. Hayden Street.