"Understanding Your Home" by Building Inspector Mark Visser
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Humidifier: Turn off water. Disconnect and drain feed
Water heater: Turn off water supply. Open drain valve at
bottom to empty the heater.

Remove washer drain (1)
Add antifreeze to standpipe (2)
Drain supply hoses (3)

Close valve and drain water
supply to toilet

Winterizing Your Home
Appliances, plumbing fixtures, furnace, furnace humidifier, CA, hot water heater, spray hoses, water softeners

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When the temperature falls below 32 degrees Fahrenheit (0 degrees Celsius) inside a house, there is a good chance that water will freeze. When water freezes it expands 9% and pipes can crack or burst. There is not only water in plumbing supply pipes but in every thing hooked up to it such as appliances, plumbing fixtures, furnace, furnace humidifier, CA, spray hoses and water softeners.
If you are planning to be away from the house or cottage during the winter months, winterize everything that still holds water after the plumbing supply pipes have been drained.
- Adding antifreeze to toilets and drains.
- Draining water from appliances, furnace, CA, furnace humidifiers, etc.
- For more information on winterizing homes with hydronic or hot water heating systems, draining water supply lines, antifreeze and giving your home or cottage that "lived-in look" when you are gone, see links below.

Turn off water supply. Flush toilet. Use a plunger to remove some of the water from the toilet bowl. If there is still some water in the tank after flushing, flush again and hold the flush lever down till all the water has been drained. Loosen water supply feed tube and drain. Add quart of antifreeze to toilet bowl.
Add two cups of antifreeze to all drains for kitchen and bathroom sinks, laundry tubs, showers and bathtubs.


Turn off water supply. Run for a few seconds. Disconnect and drain discharge hose, then re-connect. Add quart of antifreeze to the drain and turn on the dishwasher again for a few seconds so the pump will be protected . Disconnect power supply.

Refrigerator water dispenser or ice maker.
Disconnect and drain water supply line. The line is located at the back of the refrigerator. You will have to pull the fridge away from the wall to get to it.
Whole house or under the counter water filter system.
Remove and empty any feeder tubes and filter canister.
Flexible spray hoses.
Make sure to disconnect and drain flexible spray hoses for sinks, kitchen faucets (with pull out spray attachment) and hand held shower heads.
Washing machine.
Close hot and cold water taps and drain the two supply hoses. Start washer in normal cycle and stop it when water stops running. Remove the washing machine drain hose from laundry standpipe and drain the water into a pail. Pour one cup of antifreeze in standpipe drain and two cups in the washing machine to protect the pump.
High efficiency furnaces are also called condensing furnaces because they extract a fair amount of water vapor from the flue gasses. This condensate is drained into a floor drain. If there is no floor drain the condensate water is funneled into a condensate reservoir near the basement floor which has a float and condensate pump. When the reservoir is full the float will activate the pump. Condensate water is usually discharged to a nearby laundry tub by means of a flexible clear tube. Add antifreeze to the reservoir and, once full, the condensate pump will be activated by the float. When you see the liquid changing colour in the clear tube you can stop adding antifreeze. Turn off the power the furnace and the condensate pump will be deactivated as well. Now add more antifreeze to the condensate reservoir until the motor is covered and protected from freezing.
Air conditioner.
Condensate is collected into the A/Cs drain pan and via a condensate line channeled to a floor drain or condensate pump. Follow draining instructions as mentioned above. In addition, the air conditioner drain pan should be emptied as well. The pan is located below the evaporator or cooling coil in the supply plenum of the furnace. For more information on condensate tray, line and pump go to "Central Air Conditioning, how it works"
Furnace humidifier.
Shut off water to the unit. Empty the pan. Remove and drain water feed tube. Read also "Humidifiers - Why we need them"
Hot water heater.
Turn off water supply to hot water heater. Temperature controls on gas water heaters should be set to the 'off' position. Close gas valve. For electric water heaters turn off the power at the distribution panel. Drain hot water heater by opening drain valve near the bottom of the tank.
Water softener equipment.
Turn off the power to the water softener. Disconnect the water piping to the water softener unit and drain the lines into a bucket. The brine tank should not cause any problems and doesn't have to be drained.

Draining water from plumbing supply lines and winterizing homes with hydronic or hot water heating systems

RV Antifreeze and giving your home or cottage that "live-in look" when you are gone

Related useful information
Frozen water pipes and how to prevent it from happening again

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