De-Winterizing A House: A Step-By-Step Guide

Do you know that winterizing your house before the winter sets in can prevent damage caused by frozen pipes? Yes, it enables you to treat the plumbing systems to prevent potential damage to the roof, furnace, and plumbing system. Also, it saves on heating costs and keeps the house safe by preventing icefall. 

However, once you occupy the house again during spring, you’d need to de-winterize it. Wondering how to de-winterize a house? Don’t fret; by the time you read this article, you’ll be able to know all about it.

  • What is de-winterizing?
  • Why you should winterize your house?
  • How to de-winterize a house?
  • What is the cost of de-winterizing a house?

Now let’s dive in.

What is De-Winterizing?

De-winterizing is the practice of reopening water lines and pipes for use after you’ve left your home standing vacant for a long time during the cold days of winter. It involves reversing all that you did during the winterization process, which includes;

  • Draining the water softener and heater.
  • Unplugging appliances.
  • Programming alarm and thermostat systems.
  • Disconnecting all flexible supply lines for washing machines, toilets, sinks, and dishwashers.

What you’ll Need for De-Winterizing a House?

Equipment & Materials For De-Winterizing

Tools/Equipment Required For De-Winterization

  • Flashlight
  • Owner’s Manual for Appliances
  • Set of Wrenches

Materials Required For De-Winterization

  • Rags or paper towels

How to What are the Steps for De-Winterize a House?

Although de-winterizing a house seems like a daunting task, the following steps make it a breeze. However, if you need to de-winterize a house for inspection, make sure to follow each step carefully.

Step 1: Turn On All Electrical Outlets

Turn On Electrical Outlets
  • First, shut off all the electrical services and leave the essential circuits. However, if you need to flip them on, do so on the main service panel.
  • Inspect all your circuit breakers in the panel and then turn on those you had shut off. This applies if you want your plumbing running again.
  • To prevent potential water leaks, refill your electric water heater before you turn the circuit that powers it on. This is assuming you have one at home.

Step 2: Connect All Water Pipes And Tubes

Connect All Water Pipes And Tubes
  • Now set the plumbing fixtures and supply tubes back up if you had disconnected them.  Then inspect each and connect the lines to the valves. Do this in every room as you note every toilet, sink, and water-related appliance.
  • Don’t turn the fixture shut-off valves on. Ensure that they’re all fully shut off.
  • Examine the water softener, water heater, and any other water utility appliance and ensure that their water connections are fixed.
  • Remove the aerators on the bathroom and kitchen faucets to clean the build-up before turning the water on.

Step 3: Turn The Main Water Supply On

Turn On The Main Water Supply
  • After ensuring that all the disconnected water supply pipes and tubes are well-reconnected, turn the main water supply on to make sure it’s halfway open.
  • If the utility sink is close to the main shut-off valve, turn it on and open the faucet.
  • Now, open the main water supply slowly. This will allow the pipe to refill with water and the trapped air to escape.

Step 4: Open The Boiler, Water Softener, Water Valves, And Water Heater

Turn On Water Supply Of Water Heater
  • If you had shut off the boiler, water softener, water valves, and water heater during the winterization process, turn on their water supply.
  • Then, open the escape valves to remove the trapped water as the appliances fill with water.

Step 5: Turn All Plumbing Fixtures On

Turn On All Plumbing Fixtures
  • Open the valve of the main water supply about halfway and visit every plumbing fixture in each room.
  • Then open the fixture’s shut-off valve and open the faucet of every fixture; this allows the air trapped in the pipes to escape from the faucet. The first water flow might be vigorous and loud, which is normal.
  • Shut off the faucet when the water starts running clear and steady.
  • Check for leaks in the fixture shut-off valves. Tighten the active leaking joints, if any.
  • As you check the fixtures, there may be a drip or small leaks. Hence, carry rags with you.
  • Examine all the fixtures, including dishwashers, refrigerator ice makers, and water filters, to ensure that their water supplies are restored.
  • Check if the toilets are correctly operating.
  • After ensuring that all the fixtures are correctly operating, turn on the main water supply valve to the fully open position.

Step 6: Check The Faucet Of The Exterior Hose Spigot

Check Faucet Of Exterior Hose Spigot
  • After de-winterizing, the freeze-proof faucets can start leaking. So, you need to check each exterior fixture to ensure that it properly closes and opens without leaking.
  • If the water pressure is low, it indicates that the stub-out pipe extending from the house has a leak, you can check it out by inspecting the basement.

Step 7: Double-Check All The Plumbing Fixtures

  • In this step, you need to go back into each room and double-check all the plumbing appliances and fixtures for proper operation. Ensure that the connections to the water supply aren’t leaking.

Step 8: Plug Appliances And Lamps In

Plug In All Appliances
  • Unplugging lamps and appliances is standard practice for winterization. So, when de-winterizing your house, you need to plug all those appliances back into their sockets.

Step 9: Turn The Gas On

Turn On The Gas
  • When the house is left unattended in the winter, the natural gas is turned off to avoid danger from gas leaks. So, during the de-winterizing process, you need to turn the gas back on at its main shut-off valve. Doing so would restore the gas throughout the house.

Step 10: Reprogram The Alarm System And The Thermostat

Reprogram The Thermostat
  • If you had adjusted the programmable systems during winterization, you would need to reprogram them to your occupied home’s needs.
  • Also, ensure that the thermostat is adjusted to an appropriate temperature.

What is the Cost of De-Winterizing a House?

Generally, the cost of de-winterizing a house by professionals ranges between $150 to $200.

And that’s it! All you need to know about how to de-winterize a house. So, if you’ve carefully followed the steps outlined above, you can be rest assured that your plumbing will be restored. As mentioned earlier, if you de-winterize a house for inspection, ensure you properly do it. Now get the job done and enjoy the sunshine.

Did you have any challenges when de-winterizing your house? If yes, feel free to ask any questions in the comment box below.

Thank you for reading!

Before you leave, don’t miss the following article on Gharpedia –

Fixing the Airlock In Pipes: 5 Efficient Practical Methods!

Author Bio

Jennifer Kiminza – Jennifer Kiminza is a content writer and content marketing professional at Hub Spot, an inbound marketing and sales platform that helps companies attract visitors, convert leads, and close customers. Previously, Jennifer worked as a marketing manager for a tech software startup. She graduated with honors from Nairobi University with a dual degree in Business Administration and Creative Writing.

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