How to Drain Plumbing Lines Properly

Many plumbing repairs and maintenance tasks start with a task which, when done properly, prevents extensive damage to the different parts of your plumbing. In addition, it prevents your home from getting flooded. This task is draining all the water from plumbing lines, and below are highlighted the steps to do it right.


  1. Look for the water main of your property. Due to the many changes in building codes throughout the years, there is no single part of your home where you can find the water main. The water mains in many single-family homes can be found in one of two spots: the irrigation box near the perimeter of the property or near to (or attached to) a water meter on a wall on the exterior perimeter of the structure.


  1. Shut off the water main. Open the box holding the water main if it is placed in a box. The water shutoff valve will have a handle or knob, which you should turn counter-clockwise (to the left). Is the knob or valve sticky? Exercise caution; grip and turn it with the aid of a rag.


  1. Once you have done the above, open every tap and flush every toilet. With the supply of water cut off, you have to bleed the remaining water in the pipes. Make sure that you visit each toilet, bath fixture, and sink and drain all the remaining water. If the repair or maintenance task you will be doing requires the draining of a water heater, make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for removing water in it. This often involves having a garden hose attached to the heater and opening the valve.


  1. Make the water run until only slow dripping remains. Once no water remains in toilet tanks, flush the toilets once more to empty the toilet bowls. Once the duration in between drips reaches five seconds, you can take out all the fixtures and fittings you need to fix.


  1. Older or custom houses may require you to make use of special tools to make shutoff valves tight or loose. If you cannot manipulate the valve with your hands, take a photo of it, then show this photo to those in plumbing shops. They may have the correct tool for the job.


Many plumbers from reputed plumbing companies may instruct you to drain the plumbing lines while he is on his way, so make sure that you know how to do this right. Also, prepare a shirt when you do this, as you may be wet before you’re done!