How to Winterize Your Camp’s Plumbing Pipes

Learn How to Protect Your Summer Camp’s Plumbing System

By Mark J. Donovan

If you own a summer camp in a colder climate it’s vital that you winterize your camp’s plumbing system at the end of the summer. Not doing so will cost you a fortune in broken water pipes and water damage.

Winterizing a camp’s plumbing pipes involves more than just shutting off the water supply line to the camp. Read below to learn how to winterize your camp’s plumbing pipes and protect your property from extensive water damage.

Winterizing Camp Plumbing Supply Lines

The first step in winterizing a camp’s plumbing system is to shut off the water main to the camp. Start by throwing the switch on the main circuit breaker panel that powers the well pump. Then shut off the main water valve to the camp.

If there is a hose bib (spigot) below the main water valve to the camp, turn on a sink or tub faucet nearest the hose bib and then turn on the hose bib valve. Prior to turning on the hose bib valve, however, place a bucket underneath it. This process will effectively drain all the water from the plumbing supply pipes in the camp.

To help ensure all the water is drained from the plumbing supply lines open up additional faucets while the water drains out of the hose bib. If you don’t turn on the faucet valves a vacuum suction in the plumbing supply lines will prevent water from freely draining out of them. After draining all the water in the plumbing supply lines, shut off all of the faucet valves and the hose bib.

If you don’t have a hose bib below the main water shut off valve, then look for small drain plugs under each faucet. You should see small brass nipple fixtures on the supply lines near the faucet.

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Remove the brass nipples to drain water from the supply lines. Again make sure you place a bucket just below the drain pipe prior to draining the faucets. After draining the water re-attach the brass nipples.

Winterizing Camp Plumbing Drain Pipes

To winterize the plumbing drain pipes flush the toilets until there is no water left in the toilet tanks.

Then pour some environmentally safe anti-freeze into the toilet bowl. Similarly pour some of the anti-freeze into each sink and tub drain. Again, make sure you use a house or RV camper type anti-freeze. Do not use anti-freeze meant for automobiles.

That’s all there is to it for winterizing your camps plumbing pipes. In the spring, all you’ll need to do is turn on the circuit breaker to the well pump and the main water valve to the camp.

Learn how to fully winterize your vacation home here.

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