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Winterizing Waterpipe Trick
Old 10-26-2015, 10:34 AM   #1
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Winterizing Waterpipe Trick

Had a pipe winterizing solution that I’d like to share the solution with you folks.

Problem: Have a long run of waterpipe (25 feet) under a deck that is pretty much inaccessible. In previous years, just closing the valve in the basement and letting the drain run has led to broken pipes in the spring (there’s a dip in the pipe that traps water; it freezes and…)

Solution: I tried a few years to run windshield washer antifreeze from the outside in...a little hard to do and quite messy; that little drain-plug hole isn't very cooperative.

So. I devised and easy siphon solution:

- Attach a short run of hose (20 ft) to the outside faucet and tie it about 7 feet in the air against the deck. Run water until it comes out the top of the hose...let it run to get any air out. Close the faucet but make sure that the water stays to the top of the hose.

- Go to the basement and close the indoor faucet shut off. Remove the little drain cap and attach some ⅜ clear plastic hose to the threaded end. Put the other end of the plastic hose into a gallon jug of windshield antifreeze. Push the hose to the bottom of the jug.
IMPORTANT: Make sure that the antifreeze jug is up higher than ground level outside! Otherwise the siphon will work backwards and flood your jug (and basement)

- VERY slowly crack open the basement shut off so that a little water runs from the little drain through the plastic hose to the gallon jug and pushes out any air. Close the valve.

- Run outside, open the outside faucet (make sure you open the faucet first) and drop the hose to the ground, making sure that the hose end is going to be below the elevation of the jug in the basement.

It should start siphoning right away. By the time you get down to the basement to check, you should have about of the antifreeze already gone. I let it run almost the entire gallon just to be safe.
I’ve done it 4 or 5 winters now and it does the job!

YMMV. Hope this is helpful to someone.
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Old 10-26-2015, 10:44 AM   #2
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For water pipes I just blow out the water using a shop vac exhaust. It is easy, works like a charm and no mess at all.

For toilets, sink and shower traps I use RV antifreeze.. but perhaps windshield washer fluid would be sufficient.
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Old 10-26-2015, 10:51 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pb4uski View Post
For water pipes I just blow out the water using a shop vac exhaust. It is easy, works like a charm and no mess at all.

For toilets, sink and shower traps I use RV antifreeze.. but perhaps windshield washer fluid would be sufficient.
I had tried the shop vac. In my case, that dip in the pipe trapped enough water to make the blow-out questionable...was never sure and didn't want to find out come spring when the water went back on.
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Old 10-26-2015, 04:49 PM   #4
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Compressed air at about 30 psi works wonders, but I like the siphon plan better. Both ends need to be accessible for the air to work.
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