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How to Dewinterize a House

By November 5, 2020Home Maintenance
How to dewinterize a house

Maybe you head south for the winter months and are lucky to escape the harsh cold in the colder climates and trade it for the sun and warmth.  However, as all good things come to an end, you return home to your residence.  Now it is time to get the home ready for the warmer months, but how do you dewinterize a house? There are 12 steps to do this, let’s check them out.

When you left your home, you probably did a few things around the house such as turned off the power supply to the water heater, left the faucets in the “on” position, etc. To get your home back to livable conditions, there are a few things you need to do.

1. Reconnect Supply Tubes and Pipes to Dewinterize a House

If your dewinterization involved removing supply tubes and pipes, you may have a little work ahead of you.

  1. Start in one room first
  2. Check sinks, showers, and tubs and any appliance supplied by water
  3. Use a wrench or pliers to reattach the tubing and check that they are properly attached
  4. Leave shut off valves in the “off” position for the moment

2. Check Circuit Breaker Box

  1. After you reconnect the tubing and pipes, head over to the circuit breaker.
  2. Next, make sure that all of the individual breakers are in the “on” position in the box EXCEPT for the water heater. You could possibly burn out your heating element inside the water heater if left on without water to heat.
  3. If they are not, flip them to the “on” position. This will be necessary for you to have light in the home and also to turn on the water.

3. Turn on Main Water Supply

Slowly turn on the water supply; a quarter turn every 10-15 seconds is good

4. Valves for Boiler and Water Softener

  1. First, locate the valves. They are on the pipes and connected to the appliances
  2. Second, read the manufacturers manual or recommendations about how to fill the appliances
  3. Third, turn the valves “on” and follow the recommendations in the manual

5.Turn on Plumbing Fixtures to Dewinterize a House

  1. You will want to do this one at a time 
  2. Open the fixture shut off valve about halfway and then the faucet
  3. Air may come out which is normal and then also a lot of water.  Let the water come out until clear and then turn it off
  4. Check the pipes for any leaking as they may have burst or sprung a leak while you were gone. Inspecting them is important.
  5. Check dishwashers, water filters, toilets, etc. to make sure the water is working in the appliance
  6. Slowly open the valve to the fully open position
Check outdoor spigots
Water should flow out of the spigot

6. Check Outdoor Spigots

  1. Check the outdoor spigots that they open and close effectively
  2. Then, run water through and watch the water pressure.  If it is low, there may be an issue that you need to investigate

After you have tested all of the water, now is the time to turn on the water heater.

7. Plug in appliances

  1. When you left, you probably unplugged anything with a chord so make sure you plug these back in
Turn gas back on to dewinterize a house
Gas must be turned back on

8. Turn Gas Back On to Dewinterize a House

  1. Usually, when people leave a home for a long period of time, they will shut the gas off to the home. This is for safety.
  2. Make sure the valve is open for the gas furnace
Check the sump pump
Check the sump pump when you return to your home from the winter escape

9. Check the Sump Pump

  1. The sump pump must run effectively in the home.
  2. Rain and melting snow can flood basements and then cause damage if the sump pump isn’t working correctly.
Check roof gutters for leaves and debris
Clogged gutters will cause a backup of water into the home

10. Check Roof Gutters for Leaves and Debris

  1. Roof gutters will fill up with leaves and debris while you are gone and will need to be cleaned. Take care of this before the next storm arrives as clogged gutters can cause a backup of water into the home.

11. Set the Temperature on the Thermostat to Dewinterize the House

  1. When you were away, you may have left the thermostat on a higher temperature, since no one was at home.  Now is a good time to lower it and make sure the heat still works.  Before the warmer weather sets in, it will be a good time for an a/c check as well.

12. Other Areas to Check

  1. Check around outside of the house for foundation issues that may have occurred and then contact a home inspector if there are issues
  2. As soon as you can, change the air filter in the home. Since the home was empty, the air filter may be clogged with dust
  3. Check the batteries on carbon dioxide and smoke detectors and then test the systems to make sure they work


It is important to follow the rules of dewinterizing your home to ensure it is done correctly.  Water should be introduced slowly so there are no damages along the way.  Remember, the home has been empty for a long time so slowly reintroducing its components is important. Do you have other ideas about dewinterizing your home or good advice before leaving the home? Drop us a note below and tell us about it!