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Thread: Shutting down the house question - in a hurry

  1. #1

    Default Shutting down the house question - in a hurry


    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. #2
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007


    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?

  3. #3
    Consultant cwhyu2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Cincinnati OH


    RV antifreeze for all the traps & toilets

  4. #4
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 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.

  5. #5


    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.

  6. #6
    Master Plumber master plumber mark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    indianapolis indiana - land of the free, home of the brave....
    Blog Entries

    Talking 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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