Draining the plumbing pipes may be necessary for a few reasons. If the system has a water hammer problem, which is when plumbing pipes bang loudly when the faucets are turned on and off, then the cause could be too much air trapped in the plumbing lines. In this case, the system needs to be drained.

Seasonal homes have their plumbing system shut down for long periods of time, particularly during the winter. The system should be drained to prevent frozen pipes from bursting and filling an empty home with water and causing extensive damage.

Adding pipes to an existing plumbing system will also require draining the plumbing system before any work can begin. Here’s how.

1. Shut off the water supply.

Go to the water meter, located on an outside wall of the home, and shut off the main water valve.

2. Open the sink faucets.

Beginning at the top floor, open all sink faucets to allow air into the system and drain the system.

3. Open the faucet in the laundry tub.

Then, go to the lowest level in the home and open the faucet in the laundry tub or sink. 

4. Open the tub or shower faucets.

Open all tub and shower faucets to let the water drain from the system.

5. Flush every toilet.

Flush the toilet tanks and make sure they’re empty.

6. Leave the faucets in the open position.

Keep every faucet open to ensure every drop of water flows out of the system.

If a seasonal home will be left unattended for a long period of time, with standing water in various plumbing fixtures, it’s important to block drains and toilet bowls with wadded up cloth or plastic wrap to prevent the drain seal from evaporating. 

When turning the system back on, slowly turn the main valve halfway. Once there’s a steady flow of water coming from the laundry faucet, close it and wait for the system to fill and become fully pressurized. 

If you have any questions about draining your plumbing system, reach out to Roger The Plumber for professional plumbing service.

Click here to see the 5 most common plumbing problems.