Winterization - Need advice. - Posted by Mark - IL

Posted by Mark - IL on February 21, 2001 at 21:58:13:

Thanks for the quick response. I will call a plumber in the morg and have the realtor let us in. The date of the winterization is Oct of 2000.
Thanks again for thw quick response. Any other info is helpful.

Thanks a million. :slight_smile:
Mark - IL.

What part of IL are you from? I am in the Peoria area.

Winterization - Need advice. - Posted by Mark - IL

Posted by Mark - IL on February 21, 2001 at 21:09:40:

Just bought a REO, Going to close in a few days. Notice when inspecting the house that there were “winterization” stickers on all the facuet handles and toliets. The water has been turned off. I know I need to call the gas and Elec. Company to get them turned on As well as the water.

What does this mean “Winterization”? do I need to call a plumber to make sure the pipes won’t burst. Does this also affect Gas and Elec? Also does this affect the Water heater which is also Gas. Any thoughts would be greatful. Thanks

Mark - IL

Re: Winterization - Need advice. - Posted by Troy M

Posted by Troy M on February 22, 2001 at 06:58:29:

Don’t turn on the power and/or gas to the water heater prior to getting the water on (and the water heater tank full).

Troy M

Re: Winterization - Need advice. - Posted by Paul_MA

Posted by Paul_MA on February 22, 2001 at 24:10:14:

Go in the basement, under sinks, behind tubs, below toilets and all around the furnace and close every valve.

Turn the radio off. : )

Then start in the basement at the main, and slowly turn it on, listening for the flow of water in the pipe.

If you don’t hear anything, it needs to be turned on by the city or town.------If you hear water flowing, it can only go as far as all the closed valves. If no leaks so far, turn on one ‘leg’ of the system at a time, listening for dripping, which could be happening upstairs while you’re still in the basement.

The water system is seperate from the electric and gas systems.

Winterization generally means all systems are shut down, but especially means that the plumbing system was drained and the pipes blown out with compressed air. This is for water that may reside in low spots in the pipes. Disconnecting the plumbing at the lowest point in the house is common.

Re: Winterization - Need advice. - Posted by Ron (MD)

Posted by Ron (MD) on February 21, 2001 at 21:34:44:


I’m in Maryland, not in nordic Illinois, so things may be different there. We do, however, have freezes here.

I’ve rehabbed about 40 houses in the last three years and sometimes they have been winterized. Almost always, they’ve been vacant for some time before I owned them.

Jim IL is a very smart, experienced guy, but here’s another perspective.

I don’t do anything special when I start a rehab…whether it’s been winterized or not. Either way, you don’t know if it’s gone through a winter without winterized. Even if it was winterized this year, it may have sat empty through a cold winter the year before without the benefit of winterization.

Either way, I don’t have the luxury of turning the water on prior to purchase. I’m buying fixer-uppers and I know I might have plumbing problems…although I usually don’t. When a contractor starts work in a house, he opens the main water valve, which the “winterizer” will have turned off. He then automatically looks around for obvious problems. Not a big deal.

Now, you didn’t say that your house was fixer-upper. You might be paying more for a house in better condition and not expecting to do significant repairs. In that case, you might be able to get the water turned on for a few days for you to inspect.

HUD, for example, has specific provisions for automatically allowing buyers to turn on utilities prior to settlement for just this purpose.

Again, this might be a much bigger deal in chilly Illinois, but I’ve never done things suggested by Jim.

Ron Guy

Re: Winterization - Need advice. - Posted by Jim IL

Posted by Jim IL on February 21, 2001 at 21:20:47:

Is there a date on the stickers?
When was the home “winterized”?
Before the deal is done, I’d get an inspector over there to see if the plumbing is in deed in tact.
Perhaps a local plumber can help.
Also, do not just have the city turn the water on.
You surely do not want to find some leak at that point.
Also, maybe call the company that did the “winterizing” and ask them what they did exactly?
Did they just turn off the water and drain the pipes?
Did they blow them out?
Did they add anti-freeze to the lines?
And, did they leave anything disconnected?

Be careful here, you surely don’t want to have a mess on your hands AFTER close.

Good luck,
Jim IL

Re: Winterization - Need advice. - Posted by Jim IL

Posted by Jim IL on February 22, 2001 at 14:30:38:

The reason I gave him the suggestions that I did was I once had a home that had allegedly been “Winterized”.
We closed, got into the house with our contractor, had the water turned on by the city.
Everything seemed fine, and then when we came back to the house the next day, there was a pipe with a small leak in it.
Sadly, this small leak had run over night and ruined some things with water damage.
So, now I am a bit paranoid about “Winterized” homes.
There is one service here in my area that does this, and they not only disconnect the water at its source, but they blow out the pipes, and ad anti-freeze to the traps.
And since anti-freeze is not too healthy to drink, I like to make sure everything is working fine and let the water run to clear the lines.

Just my $.02,
Jim IL

Re: Winterization - Need advice. - Posted by Mark - IL

Posted by Mark - IL on February 21, 2001 at 21:53:28:

The House is a fixer-upper and will rehap to rent out.
Wow, you guys are fast to responsed, THANKS

Mark - IL