Seasonal shut down

Nothing is ever simple with us, and winterizing the water lines was no exception.

Tools used included a drywall saw, an air compressor and a mop.

The drywall saw was required to access the one shut off, which was in the ceiling in the ping pong area of the basement. We knew it was there and had marked its location when we were installing the drywall. (The other cut-out in the ceiling is a heat register).

Matt cuts the hole in the ceiling

We hung buckets by their handles from the taps to catch the water as we drained the lines. However, we quickly ran out of buckets, so Matt used what was available: one of our empty paint cans.

Paint can hanging from the ceiling

Paint cans dangling from the ceiling is not the decor we’re going for in the basement. Fortunately, this line drained quickly, and Matt was able to install the access panel that we bought to cover the hole.

The water line to the driveshed needed a little help to drain, hence the air compressor. The low point of the line is in the utility room in the basement, so my Dad connected the air compressor to the tap at the driveshed and let ‘er blow.

Using an air compressor to clear a water line

While the utility room is the low point, there’s obviously another area somewhere in the line where the water pools, because there was much more water in the line than I expected. The force of the air was a little too much for the bucket we’d hung on that tap, and we ended up with water sprayed all over the utility room.

Mopping up a puddle of water

It was nothing a mop couldn’t fix, but since the water flowed out into the rest of the basement we were very relieved that our new carpet isn’t installed yet.

Once the line was clear, we poured some antifreeze down the pipe just for extra protection.

Our third exterior tap and the old line to the barn were winterized without issue. The old pump and pressure tank in the barn are probably not fully drained, but, given their deteriorated state, I’m not concerned about any further damage. The line itself is clear and is also below the frost line, so when we’re ready to have running water in the barn we should be able to put it into service.

Winterizing the waterlines was at the top of the list of our fall chores, and it feels good to cross off another to-do.

Have you winterized your waterlines? Or is your climate gentle enough to not freeze your exterior hoses? Anyone else dealt with basement floods recently? Do you have any jobs that ended up being more complicated than you expected?

7 thoughts on “Seasonal shut down

  1. Not cold enough here to winterize though we do need to wrap all exterior pipes to protect from freezing. I didn’t know you need to winterize even when you occupy the place. I’m guessing you’re winterizing everything that branches out from the house – so, no faucets running out by the barn and such, right?

    • The waterline going to the barn is below the frost line, so the line itself will not freeze. When it comes time that we need water it the barn, we’ll have to figure out a solution to keep the pipes flowing once it’s above grade. We’ll probably use the existing insulated box from the old pump in some fashion. Maybe even the light bulb.

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