How to drain your plumbing system

While it’s not common to drain your plumbing pipes, there are a number of reasons why you might need to on certain occasions. Usually plumbing systems are drained when there is a need to fix problems related to water hammer, do major repairs on plumbing systems (such as replacing or extending plumbing lines) or shut down the property in preparation for the new season.


Water hammer problems, also known as hydraulic shock is when your pipes make loud banging sounds every time faucets are turned on or off. It also occurs when any appliances that are connected to plumbing suddenly stop or start water flow. The loud sounds are caused by air around the pipes pushing them into each other. Water hammer problems are fixed by draining the plumbing system and refilling it to push any air gaps back into the air chambers within the plumbing system.


A part of plumbing winter preparation is draining your plumbing system and is especially important for regions that experience extremely cold weather or if you have a property that will not be occupied during the winter season.


Here’s the process for draining your plumbing system:


Step 1: Shut down your main water supply. Usually your main shut-off valve should be located near your water meter.


Step 2: Open all the sink faucets in your home to let air enter the plumbing system. This air will help the water flow when draining.


Step 3: Find the faucet in the lowest point of your home. Let the water from all the other faucets drain completely.


Step 4: After all taps have been drained, go back and turn on your show and tub faucets and let them drain completely.


Step 5: Flush all the toilets in your home and empty the tanks.


Once all the water stops draining from every faucet in your home, you have successfully drained your plumbing system.