If you’re going for a vacation away from the frosty weather, you do lots of preparations before you leave. Is your plumbing ready to be alone in winter? Finally, there is one thing you absolutely have to remember before you pack your bags and make your way to the airport: you have to drain your water pipes.  

Why Should You Drain Your Pipes?

When residents leave their homes not occupied during the winter, they turn on their thermostats to save energy mode — this makes their pipes to be at risk of freezing when the outside temperature below zero or there is no guarantee that  your heating system will not fail.

If you are home and your water pipe burst

First thing that you should do is turn off main water shut-off valve which is beside your water meter. In most of the cases your water meter is in a basement and your shut-off valve may be 2 types: ball valve or gate valve. If its ball valve – you need to give a handle a quarter of turn (90 degree) or if its gate valve – you need to turn handle clockwise until the leak stops.

Then,  call a plumber to get professional drain replacement and repiping services and take photos of the scene as evidence for your insurance claim if you want to make one.

But what if it happens when you are away?

If somewhere in your house water supply pipe freezes and that water inside a pipe can expend and burst your pipe, but we should remember that water is under pressure from city. During the temperature changes inside the house the pipe can unfreeze or/and water under pressure can squeeze through frozen section and find recently occurred crack in water pipe. Unfortunately, running water will never freeze. You could come home from an expensive vacation to be greeted by thousands of dollars’ worth of damage.

Insurance, what would they say?    

When you were getting home insurance you probably chose an option of water damage coverage, but it’s not all. Your insurance company informed that your coverage applies when house is being occupied by people. Oops, in this hard moment you may have to foot the bill on your own. Some facts about home insurance. 


Draining your system is a simple and quick task that you can do before you leave the house. Start by finding the house’s main shut-off valve in the lowest level — it’s traditionally placed near your water meter or your water heater. If you have trouble locating the valve, you can always call up Rooter Team to help you find it and check if it’s working properly. 

Once the valve is closed, go to the faucet at the lowest point in your house like the laundry room sink or the basement bathroom sink. Turn on the faucet and let the remaining water in the pipes drain out. Slowly move up the levels of the house, turning on every faucet and allowing water to run out of them. You can also use an air compressor to blow out a water that’s left in your pipes.

if shut-of valve doesn’t turn off fully and water still going – then you will need to replace it, just simply call Rooter Team.   


Call a plumber to make sure you have emergency drains and they are not clogged by doing a camera inspection or ask Rooter Team to have a professional look at your plumbing.