Why Drain the Plumbing in Your Home?

Although it’s not a very common practice, it’s necessary to drain plumbing pipes in your home from time to time. You should drain them with the aim of:

  • Fixing problems related to water hammer
  • Shutting down your seasonal property in readiness for summer
  • Making major repairs on plumbing such as extending or replacing the plumbing lines in your home.

plumber draining water lines in a house

Water Hammer Problem

Also known as hydraulic shock, water hammer is an issue where the pipes tend to bang loudly whenever the faucets are either turned on or off.

This issue is also experienced when any appliance relying on the plumbing suddenly stops or starts water flow. This problem usually occurs when the air within the pipes makes water to sway around the plumbing, thereby banging the pipes onto each other.

The pipes may also bang against the wooden framing due to the water oscillation. Although some plumbing lines have air chambers for absorbing any shock, the problem can persist whenever there’s excessive air caught within the system.

The solution to this problem is draining the plumbing and refilling it such that any air gaps will be confined within the air chambers in the system.

Seasonal Shutdown

Your checklist for winter preparation should include draining your plumbing system. This is very important for properties built in regions that experience extreme cold, according to Pruitt Water LLC.

In case you will be leaving the property unattended during winter, frozen pipes may burst and water will discharge into your home.

It may cause extreme damage and huge losses. Thus, you should shut down the plumbing when planning to leave the property during winter.


Major Plumbing Repair Work

Draining the plumbing system in your home is not always necessary when adding some pipes or doing a minor repair, according one of our 24/7 plumbing services team in Sydney. However, it may be necessary for some major repairs.

For instance, you should drain it when installing a bathroom in your basement. In this case, you’ll need to drain the system since you will be connecting pipes below the existing plumbing.

There may be a lot of water within the plumbing and this water may flow out when cutting the pipes and spill around your home. If you drain them beforehand, you’ll not experience this challenge.

plumbing layout diagram for a house

How to Drain Your Plumbing System

Draining the water pipes in your home and refilling the entire system after repair work is an easy process. Simply follow this process to drain all the pipes:

  1. Start with shutting off your home’s main water supply. You can find a shutoff valve near your water meter.
  2. Next, open all sink faucets, starting from the topmost floor of your home. Doing this will let air in the plumbing. Air will assist the water to flow when draining the plumbing.
  3. Locate the faucet in the lowest floor of your home or basement and open it. Allow water from all upper floors to drain completely.
  4. Once done, go back to the top most floor and turn on the shower and tub faucets.
  5. Flush each and every toilet to empty the tanks completely.
  6. In case you’ll leave your property unattended, maybe going for a vacation during winter, then leave all the faucets open.
  7. No more water should come out of the faucets unless for some residual water drips out. Now you’re done draining the system.


Safety Tip: If you’ll be leaving your home unattended for an extended period, water standing in the tub, sink, floor, and toilet drains may evaporate.

As it evaporates, it may remove the sealant on the drain that usually keeps sewer line gasses from rising into your home.

It is recommended to use plastic wraps or wadded-up clothing to seal off the toilet bowls and blocked drains. By sealing them, sewer gasses will not rise into your home.


Refilling the Plumbing with Water

Simply follow this procedure to activate and refill your plumbing system:

  1. Start with closing the faucet on the lowest floor of your home.
  2. Next, close all upper faucets. Doing so will allow air to be retained within the pipes. The air will recharge the system’s air chambers.
  3. Now you can turn on your home’s main water supply at the valve. This will allow water to flow back into the pipes.
  4. Turn on all the faucets. Start with the faucet at the highest flow and go downwards. As you turn on each faucet, let air and water to sputter out. At first, discolored water may come out. This is usually normal, so don’t have any worries.
  5. Proceed to open the tub and shower faucets.
  6. Next, flush all the toilets and allow the tanks to refill.
  7. Once the running water clears, you can turn off each and every faucet. Start turning off the faucet in the highest floors of your home going downwards. You might experience occasional sputter when using the faucet again, but the remaining air in the system will be purged quickly.


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