Shutting down the house question - in a hurry

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by bojala, Jan 23, 2008.

  1. bojala

    bojala New Member

    Jun 20, 2007

    Relocating to another state - I live in upstate NY, very cold and snowy. Will be gone for a month before coming back to square away house for the market. I intend to leave the power on, primarily for minimal heat and security lighting, so my question is:

    if I shut off the water supply at the main to avoid any unforeseen accidents, and drain interior pipes so they are empty, but leave the home minimally heated, do I still need to antifreeze my traps, etc? Not sure if the antifreezing process is only necessary in an unheated space.

    If I do still need to doctor my pipes and traps, I need some quick advice on products. Leaving this weekend, so I've got 2 days to figure this out.

  2. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Dec 15, 2007
    Service Plumber
    Plan on running the heat and have a neighbor check the house for you to make sure the heat stays up and running. Winterization is avery imprecise science in a house not built for it and results are spotty at best. If your lucky it works and if your not there is a lot of plumbing repairs to be done.

    What kind of heat do you have?
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  4. cwhyu2

    cwhyu2 Consultant

    Aug 11, 2007
    Cincinnati OH
    RV antifreeze for all the traps & toilets
  5. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Sep 1, 2004
    Yakima WA
    The problem with draining the pipes is that there are very possibly low spots that will not drain by gravity. To really be sure, the system should be blown out with compressed air. Not too difficult if you happen to have an air compressor, but a PITA if you don't.
  6. Herk

    Herk Plumber

    Oct 28, 2007
    S.E. Idaho
    The pipes should be blown out, the water heater should be shut off and drained, and the traps should all have antifreeze in them.

    What happens if there's a power outage - particularly one that lasts for several days? You can't get back to do anything about it. I'd make the extra effort.
  7. Master Plumber Mark

    Master Plumber Mark Master Plumber

    Feb 6, 2005
    Sensitivity trainer.. plumber of mens souls
    indianapolis indiana - land of the free, home of
    do all you can whil e you got the chance

    Loosen the water meter to drain out the system

    Do like everyone has told you ....

    flush the toilets, and open all the faucets,

    drain down everythign.....

    if you cant get hold of rv antifreeze, then
    get some window washer stuff that usually goes in
    your car........for all the traps....

    its not as safe,
    but you are not supposed to drink out of the toilets anway

    if you can blow it out , all the better....

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