Winterizing the home

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Cabin Fever

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Many people in Minnesota are snow birds. They may spend the entire winter in southern states. Some of the snowbirds keep the heat on in their homes so their pipes don't freeze. Others, drain their plumbing systems.

I know all about winterizing pipes, sinks, toilets, etc. in the home. What about winterizing dishwashers and washing machines? Do these have water left in them after use that could freeze and damage the machine? If so, what is the process for draining/winterizing them?
 

The Lazy L

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...What about winterizing dishwashers and washing machines? Do these have water left in them after use that could freeze and damage the machine? If so, what is the process for draining/winterizing them?
Pour RV antifreeze down the drains, it will replace the water in the p-traps. Don't forget the sinks and water closet(s).
 

Cabin Fever

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Pour RV antifreeze down the drains, it will replace the water in the p-traps. Don't forget the sinks and water closet(s).
Yeah, I know all of that. I've winterized my parent's lake cabin for years and have done all of those things many times. I was specifically wanting to know how to winterize a washing machine and a dishwasher.
 

Alaskajohn

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I have a valve to hook up and air compressor to blow out all the water. After I blow out all the water in the house, I turn on the washing machine on the fill cycle with the compressor running and whatever water that was in the washing machine is quickly blown out. Then make sure any water that was blown into the washing machine is drained out, but it will be minimal since the house has already been cleared.
 

Neb

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The new high efficiency front loading washing machines...

My brother got an almost new but had been used one and insisted it could not be allowed to freeze because it would be trashed.
Ben
 

The Lazy L

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Yeah, I know all of that. I've winterized my parent's lake cabin for years and have done all of those things many times. I was specifically wanting to know how to winterize a washing machine and a dishwasher.
Pour RV antifreeze into the washing machine and dishwasher. Run both for a cycle to draw the antifreeze through the units.
 

Caribou

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Haven't had a problem with my front loader. Perhaps I was just lucky. My dish washer says she's not drinking any antifreeze and that I can go **********.
 

txcatlady

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I pour alcohol in trap of washer to keep it from freezing. Never did for dishwasher as those lines aren't exposed
 

Frodo

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If your house is going to have heat. winterizing is really a feel good measure
If you plan on turning off power and heat
Do all the above that has been mentioned plus
open all valves in the house, drain water heater, turn off water heater, open hose bibs out side
hook up a compressor to a hose bib and blow the lines free of residual, IF you can, loosen the nut on the OWNERS side of the water meter, so it leaks. blow air back at the meter
REMOVE and toss in the garbage. those PITA vacuum breakers that are required to be on your hose bibs
 

randyt

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I pour about a gallon of "red pop" into the washing machine and put it into a spin cycle. This anti freezes the pump and pumps anti freeze into the trap on the standpipe or laundry tub.

For a dishwasher i pour a bit of anti freeze into the bottom and run a cycle. Then i disconnect the supply line attached to the solenoid under the dishwasher. Ive had a bit of water get trapped in the solenoid and come spring it can be cracked.
 

Cabin Fever

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Pour RV antifreeze into the washing machine and dishwasher. Run both for a cycle to draw the antifreeze through the units.
I assume a person would do that after he drained or blew all of the water out of the plumbing system.
 

Cabin Fever

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From your post #3 you already knew the procedure to drain your water lines. Now you have me puzzled more.
I do know how to drain the plumbing and using the pink RV antifreeze. I've done it a million times. So, if I understand you correctly, after I to the draining, then I should pour antifreeze into the washing machine tub and the dishwasher bottom and run them through a cycle....right?
 

PopPopT

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I have given this a bit of thought as we used to travel over the winter months. Don't know if we'll do that so much anymore. Our past method, however, was to turn the thermostat down to about 45 degrees and just walk away. It really didn't run that much as was demonstrated by a tiny electric bill. (We're total electric.)

In my case, I would have wanted to put in a "Tee" in the water supply lines, and maybe valves to open / close to isolate what I was doing, probably close to where the water comes into the house. (We're on city water.) For us, that's in a protected area under the house and I'm not sure it would ever freeze, even with no heat at all.

The idea would be, shut off the normal water connection and attach an RV style water pump with it's suction hose into a bucket of RV antifreeze. Then, it's a matter of keeping that bucket supplied with antifreeze as you go through the various parts of the house and get said pink liquid into the fixtures and appliances as needed to protect them. Some things, like a water heater, might be able to be drained in such a way that there would be no need for any antifreeze there at all. Toilets wouldn't need to have the tank filled with antifreeze, you'd only need to use enough to put antifreeze into the water lines and valves, and then of course enough in the drains / traps to keep those from freezing. The washing machine we had, I was able to run through "test cycles" such that I could get antifreeze into both hot and cold input lines without having to run a whole lot into it. To be honest, I never did this with a dishwasher or a refrigerator with a water dispenser but I doubt either would be terribly difficult. What I often forgot was the water filter under the sink, which I usually ended up remembering after unwinterizing the RV. If I had a refrigerator with a filter in that, it would also be something to remember, if not before winterizing, afterward when trying to get the antifreeze back out of the system. Some stuff is different, whether it has to have a filter in it to operate at all or whether it'll all work just fine with no filter installed. I've not been exposed to whole house water filters that much, or RO systems.

For a whole house, it would probably take 5 gallons pretty easily and I'd probably be inclined to have 10 or 15 gallons on hand before trying it.

Honestly, I don't think it would be that hard to do. It would take some thought, though, making sure to get everything. It would also take some planning to avoid wasting the antifreeze, thinking towards what to do first and last, how long the water lines are, that kind of thing. It's not rocket science. But not everyone would take the time to work it all out and get it done.

I did it in the RV many times. The house ain't that different, only bigger. Good luck!
 

Meerkat

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So far we try to summerize our home. No problem with winter here unless we have an Ice Age coming up and even them we probaly won't be here if it does.
 

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