How to Drain Outdoor Water Pipes for Winter

Winter’s coming, and it can be tough to keep your outdoor water pipes from freezing. It is important not to let too much water freeze in your pipe or the frost will continue until you have a frozen pipe! To prevent this issue, use these tips as well as some additional resources below:

The “how to turn off water to outside spigot” is a question that many homeowners have asked. If you want to avoid freezing pipes, it’s best to drain your outdoor spigots before winter.

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With the coming winter months, it’s time to start thinking about how to protect your exterior water pipes from the elements. Draining your outdoor water pipes is critical, and the procedure is straightforward. Draining your outside water pipes helps to avoid exterior damage as well as possible inside harm. 

In this post, we’ll look at how to get your water pipes ready for the winter months by draining them. The paragraph above provides a high-level overview; nevertheless, we shall go through each step in depth.

We’ll also go over why draining your water pipes before winter is so vital. Take a look at the material below if you’re interested in learning more about this procedure. 


Contents Table of Contents

  • How Do You Get Your Outside Water Pipes Ready for the Winter?
  • What are the Benefits of Draining Outdoor Water Pipes?
  • How to Keep Your Pipes and Drains Safe During the Winter
  • Last Thoughts

How Do You Get Your Outside Water Pipes Ready for the Winter?

The most challenging aspect of winterizing your water pipes is determining where they begin in your home. The pipe in most contemporary houses begins in the same place – commonly on the basement ceiling or at the main shut-off valve. 

You’ll need to identify the pipes, faucets, and shut-off valves before you can empty your outside water lines. Then turn off the water and open the outside faucets to drain the water, followed by opening the bleeder caps to eliminate any remaining water in the pipes. Close all of the bleeder caps and faucets after this is done. 

The following are the actions you’ll need to do to prepare your outside water pipes for the winter:

  • Begin by taking a trip around the perimeter of the property and noting every outside faucet.
  • All hoses connected to the faucets should be disconnected.
  • Drain any water that may have accumulated within the hoses and store them.
  • Locate the shut-off valves for each of the faucets within the house (these will be lever valves with bleeder caps on them)
  • Close these valves to turn off the water flow to the exterior.
  • Return to the outside faucets and turn them on to allow the water to drain.
  • To drain the remaining water from the pipes, return to the lever valves and open the bleeder caps (make sure to have a bucket ready to catch the escaping water)
  • Return the bleeder caps to their original positions.
  • Return to the outdoors and turn off all of the outside faucets. 

Your outside pipes and faucets are now ready for winter once you’ve accomplished all of the procedures above. 


What are the Benefits of Draining Outdoor Water Pipes?

It’s critical to drain your water pipes before the winter arrives. When the water in the pipes outside freezes, they might burst. You may have to deal with a lot of water seeping into your basement or foundation walls if this occurs. This may seriously compromise the structural integrity of your house and your belongings. 

While draining all of your water pipes may seem to be a big chore, particularly if you have a lot of outside faucets, you can see from the instructions above that it is really fairly straightforward. Even in bigger houses, draining your outside water lines should take no more than an hour. With this in mind, emptying your exterior water pipes before winter or approaching cold weather should never be pushed off. 

How to Keep Your Pipes and Drains Safe During the Winter

There are a few more things you can do to keep your water pipes and drains safe throughout the winter months. The following is a list of extra measures you may take:

  • Insulate
  • Leaks should be repaired.
  • Thermogenesis latent
  • Keep an eye on drafts.
  • Drain grates should be cleaned.
  • Drain protection should be installed. 


One of the most effective methods to prevent your pipes and drains from frost damage is to insulate them. If any of your exterior pipes are still in use throughout the winter, you’ll need to insulate them. This will help you avoid frost damage and save money on your energy costs. 

Circular insulation can be put fast, and this sort of insulation is widely available — you can get it at most home improvement shops. If your pipes are thin, heat tape or cable insulation may be used. These should be put in the autumn before the temperatures dip below freezing.  

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Leaks should be repaired.

As the summer draws to a close, it’s a good idea to go around your property and check all of your faucets and pipes for leaks. If you come across any, patch them up and fix them as soon as possible. If the pipe is connected to your heating or water supply, you should get it repaired by a professional. 

Thermogenesis latent

One of the easiest ways to prevent frost damage in the home is Thermogenesis latent. This involves keeping your heating at lower levels during the winter months. A steady lukewarm state of heating shouldn’t have any effect on your heating bill as starting and stopping the heating regularly may actually require more energy. 

Keep an eye on drafts.

Small gaps beneath entrances or between the stonework may allow areas to cool fast, causing the pipes in the property to freeze. Filling drafty spaces with insulation, plastic, or wood is a simple way to solve the problem. When doing so, make sure you don’t obstruct any outdoor vents. 

Drain grates should be cleaned.

Keeping your drains clean is the quickest method to guarantee that they are operating correctly and effectively. Remove any dirt, leaves, or debris from the grate to prevent it from freezing and becoming clogged. 

Drain protection should be installed. 

If the leaves are still falling around your home, make sure they don’t go into the drains. A drain protector made of non-freeze plastic may assist keep your drains from being clogged by frozen water. 

Last Thoughts

Before the winter months arrive, it’s critical to protect your outside water lines. As you can see, draining your water pipes efficiently is not difficult. We’ve covered all you need to know about emptying your water pipes as well as some extra steps you can take to safeguard your water pipes and drains during winter in this post.


The “how to winterize outdoor faucet without shut off valve” is a how-to article that will teach you how to drain the water pipes in your home for winter.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you keep outside drain pipes from freezing?

A: The best way to keep outside drain pipes from freezing is by using a heat tape. This will typically include an adhesive backing that can be attached to the pipe without any difficultly, and will provide insulation against freezing pipes in cold weather.

Should outside faucets be left open in winter?

A: That depends on what kind of winter youre talking about. Thats a very broad question! In general, it is better to close them during the cold seasons and open them back up in warmer weather.

Should I drain my pipes to keep them from freezing?

A: You should consult your local water company to determine the most appropriate way in which you can drain your pipes.

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