Close-up of pipes.

When Is the Best Time to Winterize Pipes?

Winterizing your pipes is vital in preparing your house for winter. Protecting your home from the cold weather is very important. After all, if you don’t prepare adequately, you leave yourself open to all sorts of issues. As such, winterizing your pipes is an important step you must take care of every year. That is mainly because most people leave their homes unoccupied during the holidays. However, you might ask when is the best time to winterize pipes. That is a fair question, as winterizing your pipes too early can cause some issues. So, today we’ll help you learn about the best time to winterize pipes and the benefits of doing so.

What is involved in winterizing pipes?

Winterizing your pipes includes draining all the water from your pipes, emptying the water heater, and filling all fixtures with an anti-freeze solution. There are a lot of steps to winterizing and de-winterizing, and they need careful tending. Of course, this will leave your plumbing unusable, as it is essentially the process of preparing the piping for a prolonged vacancy. With all of this in mind, it’s essential to familiarize yourself thoroughly with the process. After all, missing one step can lead to your plumbing being left vulnerable to the dangers of winter. And if this happens, you may come back home to find that frost damaged your plumbing to the point of being completely unusable. If this happens, you’ll have to deal with expensive repairs, so winterizing your plumbing is in your best interest.

Close-up of a valve.
Winterizing is a short process that makes sure your pipes are safe while away.

Why should you winterize your pipes?

If for nothing else, one compelling reason to winterize your pipes is to avoid damage to your plumbing. Simply put, without winterizing your pipes, if you leave your home vacant, your pipes will freeze. As water freezes, it expands, and as it grows inside the pipes, it can cause much damage. In the best-case scenarios, you’ll return home to a few leaks. Usually, however, the damage is much more severe; typically, you’ll find that several pipes have burst open. In other cases, pipes can get completely torn apart by the ice. With all of this in mind, it makes sense that winterizing your pipes is incredibly important if you want to make sure your piping stays intact. Additionally, experts from Van Express Movers note that if you’re moving this winter, you should ensure you winterize your old home before moving.

So when is the best time to winterize pipes?

Ideally, you should winterize your pipes right before leaving your home. After all, winterizing your pipes makes your plumbing essentially unusable until it’s de-winterized. So, winterizing too early will leave you without water until you’re ready to leave. As such, in a perfect world, you’ll winterize your pipes as you prepare to leave your home. Whether you’re going away for the holidays or any other reason, you want to ensure you winterize your home if you’re going to be away for a while. For planning purposes, remember that winterizing takes about 20 to 30 minutes. And when it comes to your plumbing, consider some tips to keep it in perfect condition. After all, there are a lot more things that can affect your plumbing in the long run. And you should be ready to deal with them as they come, or you risk serious problems with plumbing.

Close-up of a faucet.

When is the best time to winterize pipes in your home? Right before you leave for a more extended period.

Winterizing also decreases energy consumption

When you winterize your pipes, your heating system only has to keep the temperature above freezing. That means that, while you’re away, the heater will use much less power than it would otherwise. You can safely turn off the gas and electric supply to the water heater. By doing all this, you’ll find that your monthly bills will be much lower than if you hadn’t winterized. So, besides giving you peace of mind that nothing will get damaged while you’re away, you’ll also see a decrease in your bills while away.

Additionally, if you’re moving into a new home this winter, you should check if the former owner winterized the house. In reality, you should have a checklist with you and inspect all systems in the home. It doesn’t hurt to be safe, after all.

Winterizing also protects from other plumbing problems

Because winterizing puts your plumbing system at a standstill, it protects you from other plumbing issues. There’s no water flowing through the pipes, so no plumbing issues you’d usually be exposed to can happen. So, besides protecting your home from the plumbing problems specific to winter, you can rest assured that your home will be just the same as you left it. At least plumbing-wise, if you winterize your pipes properly, your home will be completely safe while you’re away. Additionally, winterizing prevents molds and fungi from starting because there’s no moisture they can feed off. Therefore, winterizing is a great way to avoid plumbing issues and any water-related problems. However, when it comes to maintaining your plumbing, you should consider the things you should never put down the drain to ensure nothing goes wrong in the long run.

Close-up of pipe opening.
Winterizing protects from all sorts of issues, not just related to winter.

When is the best time to winterize pipes – wrap up

There are a lot of benefits to winterizing your home, especially when planning to leave it unattended for a while. Protecting your home’s pipes from freezing and preventing other plumbing issues are just two examples. In addition, you might discover that you’ll save quite a bit on bills by winterizing your home. Ultimately, it pays off to winterize your home no matter how you look at it, whether it’s savings or safety. 

We hope that this guide to when is the best time to winterize pipes helps you out, and we wish you a great rest of your day.